Wednesday, August 14, 2013

HOC thoughts...

Last night Heroes of Cosplay premiered. I never had an opinion on the show prior to airing because I kept forgetting about it and I tend to try my best to not judge based on others opinion.  I make my own.

First of all, I am horrified at how this show has brought out the absolute worst in some people.  I am not talking about the people on the show itself (because they are pretty darn awesome) but viewing fellow costumers.  Seeing this has made me loose respect for quite a few people because taking part in this trash talking hurts your own community and your personal image. At the same time I have gained a lot more respect and admiration for others.  This is a community whether you like it or not.  Trash talking openly and publicly hurts everyone inside the community.  It makes all of us look bad and it makes every single one of us appear unprofessional by default.

I don't agree with the printed statement by executive producer Mark Cronin.  Male and female costumes are both intricate and interesting.  Both are competitive, both deal with costume panic and stress, both deal with dieting issues.  I know this because I hear it and I see it daily in person, on the phone, and in online posts.  Men have just as much to do with cosplay as women. It's unfortunate that women get glorified more often but cosplay wouldn't be the same if Batman, Iron Man, etc just vanished.  That said I can understand why some people would refuse to watch the show because I know a lot of amazing male cosplayers that are often overshadowed by women and justifiably frustrated by it.  So I don’t blame them for not watching the show based on Mark Cronin’s statements.

As for the show itself, I enjoyed it.  I am certainly not hooked though I plan on continuing to watch it. I think it's focused heavily on contests and that's not the core of cosplay.  It can be for some but I think as a whole this is not the epicenter of cosplay.  There is a large group of us that do much more then contests.  I feel as though contests make up for so little of what cosplay is and how many of us spend our time. 

We do a lot more: volunteering for children’s events, promoting comic book shops, aspiring artist sketch events (one of my friends is doing one right now), etc.

The format of last night’s show followed six cosplayers as they crafted their costumes, traveled and entered the costume contest.  It’s a lot to cram into one hour.  I would have liked to have seen more creation time and the interactions with the cosplayers and fans on the convention floor.  Although the piece with Becky walking into the show as Merida and talking to mini Belle was adorable.  On a personal level that’s what makes cosplay great for me and I am extremely happy that was included in the show.

I actually really enjoyed Becky in the show.  I applaud the heck out of her for being honest and open about her body insecurities on TV.  I think that’s something every single cosplayer male or female of any size or age can relate to.  I can for sure.  She is dead on about how scrutinizing fans can be and how easy it is for people to pick us apart for any flaw.  She even showed herself being laced into a corset underneath her costume.  Go Becky!  I call team Becky.

Anyway, here is the thing… if you don’t like the show for whatever reason, don’t watch it.  All you’re doing by watching is bringing their ratings up.  Don’t talk about it either because you’re then spreading word of mouth.  If you think trash talking will make people stop watching it then you are very much mistaken.  There is no such thing as bad press.  None.  Eminem built his career on bad press.  Press is press whether it’s good or bad and usually people are more interested in bad press which leads to curiosity and more viewers.  So you hurt your cause there also.

Again I get why some people are boycotting it, but I do think it’s worth watching.  I would like to see more behind the scenes and less competition.  It’s a lot to cram together with six cosplayers and only one hour.  Possibly they chose to follow too many cosplayers?

It’s moments like these that I wish I didn’t have a career.  I would have loved to have written this earlier and had it up online by lunchtime.  Ah, I guess I will be late to the party and that’s okay by me.