Or Cosplay Etiquette 101…
First of all: cosplay is not consent.
Secondly: nothing a person wears, no matter who revealing nor how buttoned up, is consent, EVER.
And thirdly: cosplay is NOT consent.
Now that we have that out of the way we can discuss some etiquette surrounding cosplay!!!
1. ALWAYS ask to take a photo. It’s super creepy when someone who is dressed up sees someone out of the corner of their eye taking photos. You aren’t hiding. We can see. It’s SUPER OBVIOUS. Just ask! We have dressed up for a reason!! We what to talk about our work.
2. When asking for a photo: Please be specific. Ask if you can take a photo OF someone, or WITH someone, or if they can do a specific pose, or if you can hold or touch something specific. We need to know what we are consenting to when we say yes.
3. If we say yes to someone to take a picture with us: DO not touch ANYTHING we don’t say is ok! That includes but is not limited to… our body, our costume, our props, or anything that isn’t yours. Keep your grimy hands off. Because it’s insane how expensive and delicate some of this stuff is. And we don’t like being groped in public thank you very much!
4. When taking a photo please stand a respectable (but not too far) distance away unless invited to touch anything.
5. Thank us! And get our social media handle for when you put it up on the web. We love to see our work up.
6. Please ask questions! And tell us you love our look! Or gush with us and geek out about how cool the latest episode of that anime is… or how people are obsessed with the wrong romance… or commiserate in how few people are in the fandom! Ask us how we did something.. how much something cost… how difficult things were…
7. Post on social media as long as you have consent to! Use our hashtags and our social media tags! Talk about or cosplay… and how excited you were to see the character.
8. Do NOT body shame. Period. Sailor Moon can be black, Poison Ivy is crazy curvy and Elsa can totally be a guy. Cosplay is about the love of our characters. And honestly most of them are inhumanely impossible in real life. So please please please let people have fun!
9. Cosplay is all about expression. Embrace that vintage or historical Alice in Wonderland or that PJ version of the Gotham City Sirens. Everyone has a different take. And it’s all cool.
10. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is for you cosplayers out there. Everyone was a beginner at one point and there is no shame in the level of cosplay you are at. There is no shame in buying your cosplay (there are a lot of us that make our living building cool stuff!). There is no shame in bounding because you don’t have the money to build the full thing. And there is no shame in building something so complex and large you can’t get through the convention hall doors! You all rock!
And as always… if you are feeling harassed at a convention or see it happening to someone else, SPEAK UP. Contact the convention staff and coordinators. Call the phone number on the Cosplay is not Consent signs throughout the hall. Step in and speak up for the person being harassed. The more we do these things the less common they will become.
Have fun out there. And remember, always get consent for everything.