Managing Fame in Cosplay

In recent news, I’ve stumbled upon some fuss about an incident where a famous cosplayer was “caught” wanting to purchase “any type of costume of any character”. The origins of the debacle seems to have been erased, so I’m operating only secondary sources. It would seem that the famous cosplayer intended to buy a costume for her friend, but was misunderstood by someone else who thought that famous cosplayers should all possess godlike skills in crafting and have unlimited time on their hands to focus solely on their cosplays. The famous cosplayer in question has screenshot a status update of the accuser and despite the accuser not explicitly mentioning the famous cosplayer, as I write this, a bunch of white knights have deployed themselves to the battlefield for a chance to impress the damsel in distress and conquer the evil bitch who called her out.

And that’s for your news today. I’m Ahotaku, reporting for the independent people’s media.

But seriously though, have standards stooped this low in cosplay? It seems that nowadays, anyone with a pretty face and a bunch of selfies can rise up the ladder to become a famous cosplayer and invited to become a guest star. Sometimes, these people are invited as judges, just because they’re famous and pretty/handsome. Cosplay now is more like modeling than actually a hobby.

So in this post, let me question some of the basic assumptions we hold in the cosplay world. This time, regarding guest stars.

What makes a guest star?

It’s finally time someone started thinking on what the term “guest star” actually means and how it has been skewed by the tryhard wannabe pleb-tier events just so they can look cool and on par with AFAID.

Here, the term “guest” is pretty self-explanatory. It means someone you invite over. You host an event, you invite someone over. These people are your guests. This applies to everybody, including the plebs that come to spend their hard-earned parent’s cash on things they’ll probably masturbate to later at home.

Next, the term “star”. Of course I don’t mean a literal star in an astronomic sense. We’d fucking burn. No, the “star” here, in my very humble opinion, should refer to “a person who has at least achieved a significant achievement or is well recognized by the cosplay community as having traits that are exemplary”. And by “achievement” I don’t mean breaking 100K likes on a selfie taken on a low-res camera or even WorldCosplay rank. Of course, there are other traits that can be considered, like:

  • Does the person share a lot of inspirational advice in an attempt to benefit to community?
  • Does the person show passion in the art of crafting their own costume? Because as far as I’ve seen, most of the famous cosplayers craft their own gear either partially or fully.
  • Is the person not a total douchebag on the internet, hiding behind an army of SJWs and white knights? Do they often make a fuss about shit that shouldn’t be a problem in the first place
  • And many more, I bet you can think of some.

To make it easier for the dimwits reading this, I present to you two cosplayers. One cosplayer has a pretty face, the other pretty standard. The first cosplayer is famous on social media, having more than 1 trillion followers and is constantly rank 1 on WorldCos; while the other is mostly unnoticed because they don’t have a large social media following. Yet cosplayer 1 acts like a total douche and is condescending towards their peers; whereas cosplayer 2 takes the time to actually teach and help their friends improve themselves. Who would you think should be granted the title of “star”?

Of course, ideally, the award should be presented to cosplayer number 2. But in this fucked up world we live in, where we perceive the goodness of people solely on much likes and followers they have on social media and the relative beauty of their physical appearances, we would to choose cosplayer number 1 as a “star” despite them not showing traits that are exemplary to the community.

So, the ideal “guest star” would be someone who is actually talented and is a paragon of virtue for the community. Someone who won the WCS tournament should be considered a “star”, and when invited to talk or perform at an event, is then worthy of the title “guest star”. Not some person who posts occasional sexy cosplay pics and gets a gazillion likes.

But nowadays, event organizers just plaster the word around the place. “Guest star” this, “guest star” that… even if the guest star is a total asshole or is just famous on the internet because she posts occasional nudes/he posts occasional abs. And so what should be done about this? Creating a specific agency to carefully certify guest stars is fucking stupid, and we can’t actually rely on the community’s vote. So, maybe it’s up to event organizers to actually get to know the people they’re inviting beforehand. A bit of background research shouldn’t be that hard.

But then again, it’s all about the shekels, folks. It’s financially more plausible to invite a guest star that has a large following, since there’s a higher chance that the event will be full of fat ugly men waiting to see their beloved sex fantasy object in real life. Ah shekels, how you ruin idealism!

Should a guest star be a judge in a cosplay competition?

Now on to this other issue that’s always been nagging me. When I go to cosplay events to watch performances, I would expect the judges to be fair and at least free from collusion or nepotism. But there was one time when I went to an event (it was last year, I think) where a guest star was also a judge for a cosplay competition. Since it was a small competition organized by a small community, I didn’t give a shit back then. But the more you think about it, the more you start seeing events that host cosplay competitions and use guest stars as judges, despite the guest star being a total noob about performance.

The answer to the question above is yes, but only under certain conditions.

First, there should at least be disclosure on the qualities of the guest star that justify granting the title of “judge” to them. Like, fucking tell us if she’s won any competitions before that are not community-based ones and not where she’s judged by a panel of her peers. This is to provide assurance to the cosplayers performing that they are (at least) being assessed by someone who knows what they’re doing. What organizers can do is ask the judge to provide a short summary of their achievements, which will be read to the audience so that they can fact-check it. Hey, I was once an adjudicator for a debate competition, and they requested my debating experiences in print before considering me for the position. They should be doing the same thing for cosplay as well. Standards, people. Standards.

Second, under no circumstances should a guest star be considered for the position of judge solely on the basis of fame. I cannot stress this enough. Just because someone is famous, doesn’t they have the capacity to judge. I don’t care how many followers she has or how many horny fat men are after her, if she doesn’t know the slightest thing about performing, she should not sit on the judge’s panel. She should just stay somewhere else, preferably far away from the stage, and just be pretty for the cameras. Solely famous guest stars should only be used for marketing purposes. If that comes across too harsh, remember that professional models live the same life.

Finally, if the organizer ignores parts 1 and 2, the guest star should only sit on the judge panel to provide commentary and their votes will not be considered in the final decision. At least they can have a say and still be pretty while doing it. A bit of commentary is nice, no?

So, those are my issues regarding guest stars. In the end, to become a “star” shouldn’t be easy work. You can’t just go viral and then automatically become a “star”; you gotta earn it from the community. Even the singers on American Idol have to work hard to get their titles. Also, just because people are famously pretty, doesn’t mean their opinions get to matter. That’s called the halo effect.

Anyway, I guess that’s enough for now. See you assholes later in another post! By the way, if you enjoy my writing, please take a look at my Medium account, where I post stuff from my daily life.

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