Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Writer's Block Wednesday: EXCUSE me, Linda Stasi/the New York Post?

Dear Linda Stasi & the New York Post,

I would say that I'm confused, but truth be told, I'm more annoyed than confused. You, however, are. Confused, that is.

In case you didn't know - I'm pretty certain that those of us who spend our personal time and personal money on a hobby that we enjoy don't care that you didn't know about us. In fact, I for one think that we were probably better off when you didn't. But unfortunately, thanks to SyFy and their new "Heroes of Cosplay" show that you reviewed...that's no longer the case.

First of all, many of the people who enjoy costuming and cosplaying also participate in things like theater, American Revolution and Civil War reenactments, SCA events, Renaissance Faires, etc. etc. etc. My question is, how is any or all of that "child's play" compared to cosplay? Especially considering that those who participate in reenactments or PENNSIC or Ren Faires are often there to actually stage [fake, in most ways] battles or sell items or sing folk songs, rather than to just hang out in costume and take fun photos and [sometimes] drink? Oh wait, the latter sounds just like Halloween, doesn't it? Is Halloween no longer deemed a fun holiday? Am I perhaps the only person in the world who would love if we could have Halloween several times a year or more? Well then, I guess I should just keep my mouth shut and go on being 'weird'.


Regardless, to separate us entirely from those who make costumes for theater (either for community theater or for money), or from those who act in theater, or from those who reenact Revolutionary or Civil War battles, is one hell of a mass judgment. It's one hell of an assumption. Oh, and additionally, doing so at all was completely unnecessary.

In fact, we had a mock tournament at the convention I organized, and cosplayers participated in it! I'm shocked that the world didn't explode! (Please note extreme sarcasm.)

Second of all, the next time you write something, you may want to have an editor look at your article before posting it. Because even if I look beyond your rude, judgmental tone and uninformed opinions, you left out some words here and there, and used some phrasing that doesn't quite belong in an actual news article or official review***. Of course, maybe I should go easy on you...you are writing for the New York Post.

Thirdly, what is your obsession with the competition aspect of costuming/cosplaying? "Competitive costume-making". "Competitors spend thousands of dollars." "Competitive cosplayers make giant molds." While costume contests are certainly part of conventions, I would like to see the factual numbers that led you to assume that all people who costume/cosplay are in it to win said contests and apparently don't do it for any other reason. I've never entered a costume competition and if any of my friends who costume/cosplay have, I've seen them do so maybe once - at a small convention that I organized. And there was certainly no "big cash prize" for that particular contest.

Fourth, some people probably do rent their costumes. Just like some people buy their costumes. As someone who makes most of mine, here's a hint: often, it's actually enjoyable to make these costumes. I mean, whoever would have thought that a person could actually enjoy sewing, molding, painting, or jewelry making? I don't know, perhaps the people who have had hobbies like these for hundreds of years? If not longer?

Fifth, most of us are in fact actual people who have real lives outside of costuming/cosplay. We are finance managers, engineers, book store clerks, bank tellers, real estate agents, nurses, waitresses, college professors...I could go on and on and on. The point is that it doesn't - and shouldn't - matter what we do to earn a living, because while I can't speak for everyone who costumes/cosplays, I think it's safe to say that for the vast majority of us, when we gather together and put on our costumes we do it because it's fun. I mean, God forbid a hobby being fun, though.

Sixth, what in the world  gave you the idea that we "want to be the fictional characters [we] portray"??? Again, I can't speak for everyone, but I have a lot of friends who cosplay. And of course I do it as well. For example, I can't imagine my friend who cosplays Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones literally wanting to be a mentally, physically, and sexually abused political prisoner in a medieval fantasy world. Another of my friends used to cosplay as a stormtrooper. You know, from that little saga called Star Wars? I'm fairly certain that he has no desire to be an essentially mindless soldier wearing horribly uncomfortable and hot and yet apparently not very protective body armor in a galaxy that is constantly at war. And hey, then there's me - I've put together a cosplay of Andrea from The Walking Dead series, because clearly I have some base desire to be fighting zombies and falling for the wrong guys in the post-apocalyptic Southern U.S.

Mr. Stormtrooper has had about enough of your shit.

Point being: just because we enjoy a book/tv/comic series, or a video game, or a movie - just because we like and/or identify with a character - just because we decide "I'd really like to cosplay as so-and-so for this convention" - does not mean we want to be these characters. And last I checked, it wasn't an issue for people to put on costumes and play characters in movies, TV shows, Broadway, community theater, high school theater, college theater...yeah, some of those are paid jobs, but some of them aren't. Some of them are - dare I say it? - hobbies.

Seventh - and last, but certainly not least - I was under the impression that you were supposed to be writing a review of a SyFy television show. What you posted instead is a badly written opinion piece on costuming/cosplay in general. So please note that I'm not sticking up for the show that you were supposed to review or how it portrays costumers/cosplayers - but if you watched the show I'm pretty sure you are supposed to post about whether or not it was entertaining. And if you knew nothing about cosplay and the lives of those who are involved in it,  the intelligent thing would have been to do a bit of research and, oh, I don't know...perhaps comment on whether Heroes of Cosplay does a decent job (or a bad one) of portraying what cosplay is and the people who enjoy it - since you clearly felt the need to write some sort of uninformed social commentary, rather than an article about the show's entertainment value.

Judging you right back.

*** Sample quotes:
"That's all mere child's play, or should I say, 'cosplay', compared to [the] real thing."
"Syfy...has a new series, "Heroes of Cosplay", devoted to these very folks who are devoted to competing..."
"She is...a cosplay mogul with lines of accessories and God knows what else." Pin It


  1. You. Rock. Thank you for responding. When I read her article, it blew my mind that someone could be so blatantly rude and naive AND be allowed to publish it via a credible business. And it wasn't even the opinion section. Very disappointed New York Post.

    1. Thank you <3

      Haha, well, it IS the New York Post (which generally has a terrible reputation anyway). I would be less annoyed and more WORRIED if someone was writing an article like this for the Times. Or the Globe, or the Tribune
      ...you know, any REPUTABLE newspaper ;)

  2. Considering the basis of her article is a shitty scripted reality show that makes cosplayers look stupid as shit with lines such as "SPENDING OUR RENT MONEY GUYS! LETS GET EVICTED TO FINISH A COSTUME!"

    can you really blame her?

    Ps, never call greenville lovely, its a black hole here and you know it ; p

    1. Ha! Trying to keep the people away from Greenville, there? ;) (probably not a bad idea...)

      I haven't watched the show so I'm not sure how people act/what they say on it, but even if it IS really like that...she did a terrible job of writing the article so that it was clear that the show itself gave her these opinions :-/

  3. Awesome post. Good Job on writing on this.
    yaya han, is eh okay.
    The only thing that I kinda don't like is fake boobs :/