As you can see in the video above, I attended the second day of Thoughtbubble decked out in my Poison Ivy cosplay. Like I mention above, I still cannot believe the amount of attention that I had gotten today from attendees and cosplayers alike! It was incredibly humbling to have so many people come up to me and say that they loved my costume; and due to that I can completely understand the addictiveness of feeling that way as a cosplayer would. I felt as though wearing the poison ivy costume really put me out there in terms of being noticed as she is such an iconic character and so naturally I was bound to get recognised by many. Strangely enough, what I would have thought would make me feel more self-conscious actually made me feel less so; because my outfit was so OTT it was almost like a form of shock therapy in which you simply have to embody the character; and I really quite liked that about it.
And a full shot of my costume!
I would say that the cosplay today was a lot more Super-Hero oriented as opposed to yesterday which was mostly Anime or Manga; which was a refreshing change. The type of material that was used to each form of cosplay really ranged from fabric to more hardware of which I personally felt showcased each cosplayers strength in such a diverse way. Like yesterday, there seemed to be a lot of cosplayers who chose to portray a character of the opposite sex also and I felt as though this was helping promote a more real sense of creative freedom within the cosplay world. From all the research that I have been doing it seemed like those who chose to cosplay a character who was a boy/girl and vice/versa had more authentic ideas than opposed to simply copying a character picture perfectly.
Another trend that seemed be fairly popular at Thoughtbubble today was the ‘variant’ style of a character; and most notable the Steampunk versions of characters. My favourite of these was hands down the Steampunk Iron Man that is pictured above who I find fits this ever-popular trend perfectly .
While I was Thoughtbubble, I thought it would be wise to interview its attendees as I felt that I was in an environment where cosplayers were in the masses and so I could get as many opinions on the matter of sex appeal vs craftsmanship as possible. To me, it was interesting as many of the cosplayers there seemed to not have a problem at all with the idea of wearing something revealing as a costume as they defended this by implying that it was staying true to the character. Although this was true, I reminded them that there are often sexualised variations of characters, such as with pokemon and often with gender-play. For which is seemed that many even then were very laid back about the subject, and felt that it was almost like this underlying rule but no one really quite understood why it was there as a law and regulation. What was also interesting was that many of the cosplayers there were quite open about the fact that they didn’t make the costumes themselves or they had only altered them ever so slightly or even simply collected pieces of clothing that resembled the characters they were portraying. From what I have read about for my reflective report, this seemed completely out of character for the cosplay community as I have been lead to believe that craftsmanship was the only way that was acceptable; but clearly not. What I have gathered over this weekend is that the cosplayers, at Thoughtbubble anyway were relaxed in their views to these underlying matter within the community; and that they all ultimately felt that these unspoken laws and regulations seemed boarder-lining on dictatorship and that it shouldn’t be about that. They all seemed to agree that cosplay is a very social hobby where people are supposed to share a sense of like-minded attitudes to something that they love; and that those who took it to heart simply cannot enjoy it through their own limitations.
To me, its amazing that something like that could make someone feel so much more confident; and so I feel as though there shouldn’t be a right or wrong way to cosplay. From my research I have noticed that there are these certain unspoken but probably quite obvious laws and regulations to the cosplay world; for example, its more acceptable to cosplay in something you have made yourself to make it look more authentic and so on. However, I feel as this ultimately shouldn’t matter if you feel as though you are having fun; whether its through making the costume or simply meeting other fans of something you enjoy as well and I find that this goes for the sexy cosplayers as well. Today I was experimenting with how much attention I could get by cosplaying as a more sexual character and the results were almost exactly as how I predicted. This is not to say that this was necessarily a bad or good result, as in myself I did not feel hounded or uncomfortable with the attention; but I can see how others would feel this way if put in my place. I think that as long as the more sexually charged cosplay is tasteful then it shouldn’t be accused of giving the cosplay world a bad name; although obviously there are those who over-step that mark. Ultimately as I have mentioned before it should be a form of expressing and relishing in something that you enjoy among others who are like-minded, and there should not be any right or wrong answer to that.