Cosplay Community from an Outside Perspective
date_range December 04, 2013
Before you begin reading this article, I would like to preface that I am not a cosplayer (I attempted to cosplay in 2007, but it was terrible (Never Again!)), nor a photographer. This article is purely my personal opinion of the cosplay community from my outside perspective. These are the conclusions I’ve come to over the years of attending / staffing conventions, and being friends with a fairly large number of well-known cosplayers and photographers.
From my view, the cosplay community used to be something innocent; dressing up as your favorite character while attending a convention or gathering. However, it seems over the years, with the increase in social media and accessibility to high-end photography gear, this community has become twisted into some weird drama-filled popularity contest. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that this does not apply to the entire community has a whole.
In my opinion, it’s not JUST the cosplay side of things that have made this community into a reality TV show of drama and backstabbing. It’s also the fans and photographers as well, that are fueling the drama… this might be a bit hard to explain. Let me try breaking up each category of the community into sections, and describe each type of personality you can find there now.
- The Queen-Bee – This type of cosplayer is the one who goes around trash talking everyone. They believe they are the best cosplayer in the world, and that everyone else’s cosplays could never compare to their own. When they attend conventions or gatherings they walk around acting like they own the place.
- The Hobbyist – This type of cosplayer is the purest form of what cosplay used to be about. They only tend to create cosplays for fun and the enjoyment they get out from it. They may have a following but don’t really let it rule their life.
- The Green-Eyed Beast – This type of cosplayer is the one who looks at popular, well-known cosplayers with extreme envy. They frequently trash talk the popular cosplayers. They schedule tons of photoshoots and continually try to boost their popularity to try and “out-rank” these popular cosplayers or get to their level of popularity, despite always complaining about them.
- The Dreamer – This type of cosplayer is typically a new cosplayer with a small following. They see their cosplay as portfolio work and hope to become a well-known cosplay model who does cosplay for a living.
- The Sex-Fiend – This type of cosplayer tends to cosplay a popular character to pick up on people at conventions. They will await for a fan of said character to obsess over them, and then lure them into a way to have sex (mostly while in cosplay still).
- The “It’s the thought that counts” – This is the cosplayer who isn’t very talented, but they are really excited about cosplaying and love the cosplay they are wearing. Sometimes they buy these cosplays online. They are typically judged by other cosplayers.
- The Amateur with Expensive Toys – This type of photographer has had no experience handling a camera. They shoot on auto or have very amateur skills when it comes to photography. They will always be at conventions with tons of expensive equipment they don’t know how to use and put on a front of being professional.
- The “He’s not Taking a Picture of your Face” – This is truly the creepiest of the personalities. This type of photographer will pray on the amateur cosplayer or the one who looks like they are alone at the moment. They will sometimes ask for a picture and will typically takes pictures of the cosplayer in the areas of the body the photographer has a sexual fetish for. The cosplayer will never see these photos.
- The Professional – The type of photographer is the professional photographer who does photography as a business. This photographer’s personality depends on the person. Some could be into cosplay photography to pick up on cosplayers, or some could simply be doing it to expand their portfolio.
- The Safari Sniper – This type of photographer hardly ever approaches cosplayers yet complains when a cosplayer doesn’t know who they are. They will take pictures from across the hall of a cosplayer without them knowing. They will get defensive if said cosplayer asks them to remove the photo. They are typically the ones who spew “I’m taking a picture of ______ in their natural environment”.
- THAT Guy – Everyone knows this photographer, they are the one every cosplayer tries to avoid at all costs. This photographer will keep talking to a cosplayer for HOURS. Their work is sub-par or not very good at all.
- The Minute-Man – This is the type of “photographer” who will run up to a cosplayer, snipe a photo of them and run away.
- The Tourist – This is less of a photographer and more so a person in the area of a convention going on that finds cosplay strange. They will ask for a picture and do some weird pose where they point at the cosplayer as if it say “look at this weird thing going on where I am visiting”.
- The “Nice Guy” with a Boner – This type of fan is the one who follows a certain cosplayer almost religiously. They are the first to Like, Comment, or share a cosplayer’s posts. They always put on a front of being the “nice guy”, never leaving a negative or perverted comment. However, secretly they are fapping to pictures of that cosplayer, and have a delusion that if they are nice to them they will be noticed someday. Their ultimate goal is to have sex with the cosplayer.
- The Stalker – This is the “Creeper” fan which many cosplayers have dealt with before. They are always “tracking” the cosplayer they like. Their first goal when attending any convention is to find said cosplayer. Once they find said cosplayer, they will typically hover around them for long periods of time.
- The Bull-Shit Artist – This is the creepiest of fans because you don’t see them coming. They are pretty good at hiding their creepiness. They are able to become friends with the cosplayer and their group of friends. They typically bull-shit their life story. If you’re a cosplayer and you have a friend whom you’ve known for a year or so now, but truly know nothing about them, there is a good chance they are a Bull-Shit Artist fan. Sidenote: This fan will typically throw “I’m friends with ____” around to get into things.
- The Biggest Dick – This type of “fan” (if you could call them that) is the one who says nothing but perverted things to a cosplayer. They typically try to touch the cosplayer inappropriately taking a photo with them. They see the cosplayer has a sex symbol and are completely rude.
- The Dandere – This is the type of fan who will almost never approach the cosplayers they like. They are not creepy, but are too embarrassed to approach the cosplayer. They mean no harm but worry about being labelled as a creeper.
- The Ubermench – This is the radical fan who is basically yandere all to hell, they are obsessed over a cosplayer to the point where they send death threats to the people they are close to.They typically go on crazy tirades for days on end.
- THE SUPER OTAKU – There are two variants of this type of fan. Both of them judge a cosplayer’s costume. They believe the cosplayer is not portraying the character correctly (even if it is about their body). The difference is one will quietly say these things and the other is compelled to make sure the cosplayer knows their strong opinions of the quality of their cosplay. This type of fan has typically never cosplayed before.
Commissioners (Cosplays / Props)
- The “Fashion Designer” – This is the type of commissioner who has to make everything accurate with a particular style of fashion design. They are typically a pain to work with as they will continually try to alter a commission to fit their view of how they think true fashion should look (even if it goes against the original design of the work).
- The “You Owe Me” – This type of commissioner will do “favors” for people, making them something but then turning around and asking for something in return later (sometimes this applies to them wanting sexual favors).
The ‘Good Guy’ Comissioner – This commissioner is usually a pleasure to work with, they don’t ask for anything in return or will do commissions for money. Their work is professional and they are mature about the work they do.
Well there it is, my list of how I’ve categorize the cosplay community from my outside perspective. I apologize if I offended anyone with this list (I probably did), again this is my personal opinion on how things seemed to have turned out lately from my view. What are some categories that you can think of that I may have missed?