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March 1, 2022

Cosplay Etiquette

So what are the rules of cosplay etiquette? There are no classes about these rules of etiquette like there would be for normal social etiquette, but a lot of the same principles apply! Now there are tons and tons of rules to follow, and many times these should seem obvious enough. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the case! Here are a few examples of etiquette to get you started, or to share so maybe a new hobbyist can understand good etiquette before heading off to a convention!

Cosplay “Accuracy”
Cosplay should be enjoyable for everyone. Regardless of your body type, race, or ability level. Quite possibly the rudest and cruel thing is when people or trolls menace a cosplayer for not being “exact,” for things like weight, height, age, or skin colour. These things do not matter! Someone may have a very small budget and may have had to DIY a cosplay rather than buy a high quality costume. Regardless, cosplay is a fun hobby and no matter what capacity you have, you can still do it if it makes you happy! So, it goes without saying that if you do not have anything nice to say, don’t say it. Let people have fun! You or someone else are not fun police!

Family Appropriate
Conventions are usually family spaces as well, but don’t let that restrict your choices in costuming. You just have the extra challenge of also being mindful when you are getting ready in your cosplay that you should be aware of the setting you’re in. When cosplaying a character that may be more “spicy,” don’t feel like you can’t cosplay that character in a public space, there just might be better spaces for your wonderful cosplay! Like 18+ events and panels. It also has the extra challenge of ensuring you are very secured and body taped into your costume to avoid unwanted flashing!

Photoshoot Opportunity
You can feel like an absolute superstar when you’re in cosplay! There are so many opportunities with new people and new photographers who want to snap a pic of your cool costume! But it can get tiresome can’t it? When you’re in the middle of taking the first bite of food you’ve had all day, someone comes up to you to ask if you can pose for a photo! That’s where an awareness of proper etiquette comes in. Sometimes new attendees don’t understand in their initial excitement that they may be overstepping what you would think is an obvious social cue. Now let’s look at the reverse, you’re a new attendee and you’ve NEVER been at a convention before. You see your favorite character across the parking lot. Now before you run after that person, STOP and maybe ask yourself “do they look like they are in a rush?” Are they alone? Do they have food or tons of shopping bags with them? Before you run after a cosplayer, you have to think and see if they look like they are approachable enough based on those cues to whether they can stop and take a photo with you. Some people, even in cosplay, are not comfortable with being approached or approached when they are alone by a stranger. Or they may be bogged down by bags and food, so that may not be the best time to ask for a photo! Admire from afar, and remember that there will always be other opportunities!

Request Permission Before Filming or Taking Photographs
While cosplayers are glad that people appreciate their cosplays and are complimented that you need to take pictures, there is an implied rule; ask for permission prior to recording them for a photo or video. You would feel that most people would know this, however, this is really a major issue, especially at cons. There are numerous different guidelines for photography however this is the most essential one. Best rule of thumb for photos or anything at all, simply request consent first and everybody will live it up and you’ll get an adorable photograph with your favorite character, or respect the person’s choice if they do not wish to take a photo!

DO NOT Touch Without Consent
Nobody needs somebody to simply snatch them when they aren’t anticipating it, particularly assuming that they push a camera in your face. Numerous cosplayers have encountered undesirable photographs, remarks, and actual contact at shows and occasions. To embrace or contact a cosplayer, consistently ask consent; in the event that you don’t and you snatch them, that is wrongdoing and would be breaking convention rules. Ask for consent, and respect their choice and you both will have a way better time.

Regarding Others’ Props
Numerous cosplayers make their own props to go with their cosplay. The prop might be a staff, toy, weapon, or different embellishments that make the person pop. These props are typically high quality, fragile, or both. Knowing this, don’t simply snatch a cosplayer’s prop without consent. You don’t have any idea how much work and time went into it and the likelihood that their prop could be broken is upsetting. By and by, request authorization first and they may be comfortable with you handling it for a closer look or a photo!

Do not Mock Beginners
OK, remember when we said that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all? Be that as it may, this is a major issue in some communities. A few people out there have volunteered to let individuals know that they can’t cosplay a specific person since they don’t ‘look like that character’. This cosplayer may have an alternate look from the character or a unique take, and remarks like this are not empowering to cosplayers by any means. This gatekeeping needs to stop and is inadmissible. This sort of conduct is ill bred and terrible and could drive individuals from this amazing hobby- and that is not cool by any stretch of the imagination.

Try not to Insult Other Cosplayers
Following on a comparative vein from past guidelines, this one is essential. Numerous cosplayers are pleased with their work and can be nervous to take it out in the open. It takes courage to pull that off and frightful remarks are stressful enough as is. Some fresher cosplayers might even stop out and out as a result of certain people or groups’ unseemly remarks. The cosplay community can be a strong and healthy place for self expression and self discovery – how about we keep it that way overall so everybody has a good time!

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