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07 October 2003 @ 05:39 am
Cosplay panel subjects  
I'm sure you all know that we run Iron Cosplay regularly at conventions. Some of you may also know that we semi-regularly run general costuming panels.
I ran one at Animefest.. and at the Ushi before that, Ringo and I hosted one together.
I know at this past NDK, Ringo and Mako also hosted one.
Our subjects change a lot depending on what we feel like talking about. Our first one (Ringo&I.. Ushi2) was about fabric choice, fiberglass, petticoats... it was basically a Q&A section to help out cosplayers.
At Animefest, I did a general rundown on how to start a costume and break it into managable peices... and I used my Millenia costume as a step-by-step example of this.
I'm thinking about topics for Ushi3... and so far, the most likely candidate was "Why you need an Emergency Cosplay Kit, and What you should put in it."
I'm thinking about doing somthing else, though..
And I wanted to know what you guys thought.
I really think I want to do a panel on EDs and cosplay. I think that Eating Disorders have a bigger impact on cosplayers than many may think. I think it's somthing that is serious enough to spend 30 minutes addressing. IT's common knowledge that Western society's current view of how a women ought to look is skewed... and I think that this also seriously impacts the cosplay community. Especially when you take into consideration how much SMALLER the ideal anime girl is.. and how many cosplayers have a poor sense of self esteem.
It's a very serious topic, and it's somthing that I would like to address seriously in a panel. It's somthing that's also pretty personal for me.
I know that there are some of you out there who will not be going to Ushicon... or any other Texas convention anytime soon.
But your opinion is appreciated. Do you think this is somthing that people will be interested in? Do you think it will be easy to get attendence at a panel like this? It's a pretty somber topic for the party-weekend atmosphere that you get at conventions, so I'm not sure. This has been shamelessly cross-posted in paperwing.
 
 
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CEO, Air Perv: Kami Doujinshizoi_no_miko on October 7th, 2003 10:08 am (UTC)
I think it's a facinating topic, but I think it would be too somber/uncomfortable to draw a crowd. -_-; Though it might be worth exploring in the printed form? I'd never thought about something like that (being that I don't have enough willpower to have an eating disorder, *lol*). But it would be interesting.
outlawangelstar on October 7th, 2003 10:13 am (UTC)
I'm not a cosplayer, and probably never will be, but here's my two pence:

I personally think that bringing attention to EDs and how they tie into the world of cosplay is a truly educational and beneficial topic to have at a panel. I can say that I've read on the 'net about how girls starve themselves for weeks/months just so they get thin enough to look like the character they're going to cosplay.

I don't think many people understand how harmful EDs are to the body, the spirit, and the mind. You hurt your body by malnourishing it, you harm your spirit by defacing your self-image, and you blow your mind by perpetually worrying about being "thin enough" for that cosplay costume.

I've always admired Paperwings for being on the cutting edge of all things cosplay (or so it seems to the Uninitiated, like moi... ^_~) and I think a discussion like this would only enhance your reputation for being one of the best groups of cosplayers in Texas.

Kudos!
+spacealienmuppetcrackbaby+: let's go kill somethinghoneyblade on October 7th, 2003 10:38 am (UTC)
I think it would be an excellent topic.

However, I am not sure how many people would show. Certainly not the people you are hoping to reach. You might get ridicule, or ignored for it.

If you decide to pursue the panel, I'll show up, and so will ghent, and I'll drag Zoe as well....

But yes, it is a good topic. I think it is certainly deserving of an article, though. It's very sad. I mean, I've thought 'gee, I need to lose weight before I can pull off that costume' but I've never gotten to the point of starving myself...

Anyway.....I think it should be done, just for the good public service portion of it. I just don't know how people will react to it.

Girls who have EDs are likely to get angry at you for even discussing it or suggesting they have a problem. People who don't get it will just consider it more fluff and cosplay whining. The guys won't care. Just a worse case scenario. But it is a worthy topic, and should also be followed up by an article, maybe on your website.
Celineceline on October 7th, 2003 11:15 am (UTC)
Honestly... no, I don't think it's a good idea. I'm not going to deny that eating disorders aren't a scary problem and a serious topic that the world needs to pay attention to, but I don't think that people at an anime con would care. I do not feel that this is a very pertinent issue for most cosplayers. The average cosplayer is just a random person who has put together some often hideous rendition of their favorite character in a spasm of fandom. To the average cosplayer, it's not really about how others view you, it's just about wearing your costume and having other people recognize you. It's the camera-focused cosplayers who put themselves in the spotlight by entering competitions or making websites that could benefit more from a panel like that... and they are mostly cosplay primadonnas who don't want to hear what you have to say. Yes, I'm overgeneralizing, I know.

Imagine you are a thin girl who does have a serious health issue like this. Would you really attend the panel? Then people might know about your problem. And would even hearing the horrible facts of what you're doing to yourself really change you? I doubt it.

Basically, I worry that you won't get the reaction you'd like from something like that. People who have disorders usually know about it unless they're young and ignorant. People who don't suffer from them are usualy aware of them and honestly... if it's not affecting your life, you tend to not care that much. I would be personally hesitant to attend a panel focused on it because I've never felt the need to really look like an anime character or put my health on the line to do so.

It's a worthy topic, I just feel it would be out of place at an anime con. ^^
megumicat on October 7th, 2003 11:56 am (UTC)
I agree with the cookie queen. I think it wouldn't get a good reaction as we would hope it too...Someone who concentrates on the look and the body to fit that look of their costume so much that they will starve themselves is going to spend the short time at a convention enjoying what they had felt would be the benefits of their starvation, and I think most who are in need of help wouldn't attend at all. I think others might find it ridiculous to have such a panel at a convention. I also think that the person previously who said you could put it into print had a great suggestion.

Personally, although I recognize the definite and extreme hazards of eating disorders, if I saw that as a panel at a convention I would find it out of place. However, I do not know someone who has a cosplay related eating disorder. the best case i can imagine is that friends of those with disorders who have concern for the person they know who is affected would find the panel helpful, but not being someone in that situation and not having explored it before I can't imagine how much of that audience exists.
President Evil: ..::Reki::..deis on October 7th, 2003 01:28 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry guys,but I'm going to have to say that it needs to be done.
Eating disorders and unhealthy life styles result from a lot of things. And I used to be a cosplayer who was so worried about my weight that I would make myself sick before a convention.
Why? Because Otaku can be mean sons of bitches like anyone else.

In this world we have nine year olds, read it again, nine year olds with eating disorders.
Cosplaying is about self image to some people. When you look around you see all these rail thin women in small costumes, and you know that they are going to get the most attention. Why? Because that is just how society is. Less is more.

It should be pulled to people's attention that eating disorders are a problem, even in our little subculture.
Ringo: workingapplcheeks on October 7th, 2003 08:40 pm (UTC)
Hey girl! We did a cosplay emergency panel at NDK and it went really well. We brought our kits and talked about our stories and everyone shared their secrets and tips. It was great because we helped introduce many new people to the wonders of Fabritac. =D

As far as the ED and Cosplay panel would go, I have to say that I would disagree to a specifice panel on that. I would want to include more issues like stalkers, and sexual harrasment and not just ED's. It is a very important topic that needs to be addressed but in my opinion should be done by a professional who can really give advice to people who are suffering. If you had just and ED panel the people less likely to show up are probably to ones who need the help. However if it's a panel that disscusses a variety of issues of health and well being in general it might do better.
If you do really want to do one I would try to get a professional there to answer questions.
There was a panel at NDK called the Women's room that was a serious discussion for women only (not strictly inforced but no guys came) where we dicussed issues that effect female anime fans in general especially at a convention. There is even a very active mailng list to disscuss the issues further. It's definatly been a step in the right direction for female fandom.
Masakorasenyuugi on October 7th, 2003 09:37 pm (UTC)
I don't really think it's just Western society's problem, but that's another topic. I'm not really sure how well received something like that be, but it probably is the kind of thing that should be done regardless. I'm in favor of the idea myself. I'd just recommend thinking about the things that are most likely to go wrong. If you're still willing to do it despite the possibility of getting a bad reception then go for it. I agree that you should probably do an article on it anyway as it will get more exposure that way, but don't ditch the idea of doing a panel just because of that. A live presentation can be more meaningful than just a text based one and it could be just the thing someone present in the area at that time needs to hear.
j_koei on October 8th, 2003 04:30 pm (UTC)
My opinion?
That would be an excellent, and very well thought out topic.
If anime fans can say "Yeah, they have big eyes." without being critical to the actual development or design of the character, then what about the rest of the body proportions?
Take Fujiko, for example.
I don't think there could be a woman alive that could even stand up with her bust, but, hey, it's anime.
And that's a reason I respect cosplayers so much... no matter if you're too short to be Ryoko, or you want to cosplay as a black Vash the Stampede... point is, they do it, and they enjoy it.