A couple of days ago, an internet outrage took place.
I know. I can’t really believe it either. Of all places to have an outrage, I would not ever have pegged the world wide web to be one of them.
In any case, the jist of it all was that the PR for Santa Fe Comic Con made a post that didn’t target anyone in particular, but DID point out a frustration that I am sure all promoters go through, or have gone through over the rise of costuming and cosplay, and those who self promote. Granted the situation and original posting could have been worded better, but in some fashion, it is understandable. Being in PR one DOES need to mind their P’s and Q’s. As stated, it was not a comment directly pointed at anyone in particular, but many took it pretty personally. (if this is rooted in truth at all). I re-post this from my Facebook as we had an interesting conversation regarding such there.
Cosplayers looking to market themselves in this fashion may very well have to get used to being turned down and/or away. Since the market exploded, “featured cosplayers” are a dime a dozen. If we take the post as an example, 20k followers world wide, is not going to make a difference whether or not your “offer” will get accepted. Likes do not equate to popularity or skill (despite so many thinking so). One can buy likes if they so choose to and artificially inflate those numbers, so no matter how many “likes” you have, it isn’t a guarantee you’re going to get the job. At that point, where do you cross the line between being a cosplayer or a cos-model when you pursue that kind of attention getting, and can you even guarantee that your presence is going to attract more ticket buyers? (at that point, unless youre one of the big three or five or whatever now, it isnt going to happen).
It does seem that more and more young women (and men) are getting the idea that talent, skill and looks become synonymous with the number of likes on their fan pages. More and more, I see a lack of actually showing the work and proving the talent, but sure enough, the final product is there, overly photo-shopped into digital scenery and background ( to the point of taking away from the subject matter; *this is personal preference. A little embellishment is just fine so put down the pitchforks and torches*) and people gobble this up, not for the quality of the talent, but more for the end result. It also does not help overall, when the costumes shown, whether bought or not, are focused mainly on the attributes of the body in half portrait based shots, leading to the conclusion that the ONLY real asset said artist has is what can be capitalized easily on. Sex sells. It always has, it always will, and like it or not, it has come to cosplay to grow.
There is no stopping this, nor is there any way to stop the monster that “fans” have created, and if there’s an outlet for someone to showcase the goods, and people who pay for prints or a gander to look see in person, there will always be those looking to pad the ego and send in requests like this to various conventions, thinking that their time and talent is valuable, when, in many cases, it really isn’t.
Granted, I did go off on a bit of a tangent there, but it all does apply, and can apply to any sort of skill set named, but as it relates to the business of cosplay, I will keep it focused on such.
The Business of Cosplay. Remember when it was just about the build and having fun?
Those were good times.
Interested individuals may also want to give this a listen.