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View Full Version : Not allowed to crossplay the con's mascot? Views and Opinions appreciated.


Nine
07-20-2003, 06:20 AM
I was just was curious of peoples reactions on the following...

At an unnamed convention's message board, there was a topic about cosplaying the mascot of the convention, which is a girl. They talked about giving goodies to the girls who cosplay the mascot. So, being intrigued, I asked, “what would a guy get for crossplaying the mascot?” That apparently the vice chair of the con didn't approve. He replied with, jokingly, but still offensively, something along the lines of that I'd be escorted off the campus by security for that. Being offended, I asked if crossplay was allowed at the con, preparing to not go if the answer was no.

So, the person posted and basically told me not to crossplay their mascot, and they have every right to protect her trademarks, and if they wanted a mascot to look like a man dressed as a women, they would have created her like that. He then said the con has no issues with crossplaying, except for the mascot.

Others started to post, with their opinions on the matter. I posted, wanting to end the matter, that I will not be crossplaying their mascot, and understand that they want to keep the image of their mascot.

Then, the chair of the convention posted, apologizing for the vice-chair's comments, and went on about how they don't want anyone to crossplay the mascot. He said, that they wouldn't be able to do anything about it, but they'd prefer that no one crossplays her. They really never gave an exact reason why.

One person posted, asking what's the difference was between a guy crossplaying the mascot and a girl cosplaying the mascot horribly in costume design and/or attitude.

I'm not trying to gain acceptance to crossplay the mascot, because I don't really like it, and I have no money or time to make it anyway... but what I don't understand is why they don't directly come out and say the truth of why they don't want their mascot to be crossplayed. It's obvious why, they don't want their 'trademarked' character, the image of the convention, to be portrayed as a transexual. :|

Even though the issue is over to them.. it still kind of bugs me a bit. Makes me feel.. I don't know.. that I was treated badly for wanting to show convention spirit. This whole episode wouldn't have been sparked if the first post wasn't made about security escorting me off the con grounds for crossplaying her. I thought I'd share this experience with you to see what your views and opinions are... and I hope this sparks up some interesting discussion! :D

Hikaruchan
07-20-2003, 12:34 PM
Well, I design our conventions mascot. Two ladies dressed up as her last year, I wouldn't have minded a crossplay of her either. Think some of the male staff might not like it seeing it crossplayed, but as long as all public decency laws were followed I would just tell them to deal with it and let it go. Some people are just so uptight.

Lyn
07-20-2003, 01:44 PM
Unfortunantly a lot of people have come to think that when guys crossdress, it's only meant as a joke. This is mostly due to the guys that crossplay only to get attention and to be silly. I seen at least some at every con I've gone to so far. Most of them do a really bad job and do it on purpose so that its obvious that they aren't female. Because this has been done so much, people don't realize that there are REAL male crossplayers that do a really good job and actually put thought into their costumes.

I might be wrong but perhaps that could be a reason why they think that way.

Its sad since I know guys that could pull off a female costume and look a lot better than the majority of girls that do the costume and yet people just assume that when a guy is going to crossdress, he's just doing it to be silly. Heh, I bet if it was a male mascot, they wouldn't have a problem with a girl crossplaying it. I've never really understood that either. I've never really understood why people are a lot more accepting to girls crossdressing than guys. Though I guess I can't really say anything because I am a girl that crossplays. ^^; But I have a lot of male friends that crossplay and I don't see why the should be treated any differently.

Oh and I was looking through your costumes. You're doing a Bible Black costume? LOL Oh, that should be interesting. ^^ And no, I haven't seen it but my friend owns it and tells me ALL about it. x_x; lol I'll definently have to tell her about that. She would probably love to see the finished costume.

Rosiel
07-20-2003, 01:49 PM
> I've never really understood why people are a lot more accepting to girls crossdressing than guys.

To me, it seems like it might stem from the fact that male attire (pants, suits etc.) has evolved in our society to be unisex. You see girls in pants in the street all the time, but how often do you see men in skirts?

Basically, a girl that crossplays will look like a flat-chested girl in pants, which is common and fits in the societal norms. A guy who crossplays is... a guy in a skirt, which has (unless you're wearing a kilt) the connotation of "drag queen" and "alternative lifestyle", i.e. behaviour outside the norms of society. Hence the discomfort many people experience.

Lyn
07-20-2003, 02:27 PM
Rosiel - Hm, good point. Makes a lot of sense too. Though sometimes there are guys that do such a good job that you can't even tell they're a guy from first glance. And I guess my confusion on that is just because a lot of my family doesn't like the fact that I don't wear dresses so they kind of look down on me for that. So, as growing up with that, I guess I'm just still surprised in cases where people see it as normal since my whole family made me feel like I wasn't accepted. And yeah, I was a very sheltered kid. x_x;

Society in general just sucks in my opinion. I remember once hearing in the newspaper how two guys that were crossdressing were brutally murdered. It was really depressing.

RHIshida
07-20-2003, 05:04 PM
I'm one of those guys that crossplays because I enjoy it. Simply put, it's fun and it's nice to know that I created a very good costume. I like to create an illusion that I am the character I am cosplaying/crossplaying. Basically, I try to become the character. I think it would be perfectly fine if a guy crossplayed a female con mascot, as long as they were serious about it and put effort into looking female, (Man-Faye is brought to mind. No offense to the guy who did it but X_x; </offtopic>) I don't see what's wrong with a guy crossplaying a con mascot.

Nine
07-20-2003, 08:13 PM
It's people like the Man-Faye's, and Sailor Bubba's that give those who try to do decent crossplays a bad name. ~_~

Merle-kun
07-20-2003, 08:18 PM
I can relate to this discussion... I was forbode from dressing as a convention mascot -I- created! I didn't get the same type of harsh response as you did, but the reasoning behind it seemed very much the same. I tried to debate it a little bit with the con chair, but he was pretty firmly rooted in his decision.

To be honest, I'm not sure they can really remove you from a con for anything like that. I mean... if it were a skimpy costume that's different. But say it's something very covering. The defence of 'It's our character, and we can police it how ever we like!' doesn't really hold any water in my mind. If that were true, anime companies would be enforcing the right to pick and choose who could represent their characters. But instead, they see it as what it truely is, free advertising.

Personally, I love seeing people dress as the characters I've created, regardless of gender. To me, that's a high form of compliment to my art, that someone would take the time, and money, to make something I put onto paper. That's far more of a commitment than a single drawing can take (sometimes ^^;) but definately more from the pocket book, drawing is mostly free.

In my opinion, they should let people do what they want to do as long as it truely hurts no one. And by hurt, I don't mean that someone on staff simply doesn't want to see it. That's abuse of power in my book. Saying who can and can't dress as what they want to. And it's pretty bad that the contest is pretty sexist as it stands. To me, it sounds as if that contest was tailored to please the guys on staff at the con by coaxing girls to dress up as a character they like. I mean... offering goodies? Sheesh... that's kinda like eye-candy prostitution ^^;;;;

I better get off the soap box before I keep rambling... ^^; I'll probably say more later =3

Nine
07-20-2003, 09:41 PM
You weren't allowed to cosplay a mascot you created??? That's really.. weird!

It's really sad that this kind of discrimination happens, especially with con-chairs/vice chairs... and at more that one convention (assuming we're talking about different cons, heh).

Mizuno Tenshi
07-20-2003, 10:53 PM
Ya know, it's making tempted to crossplay as the Nekocon mascot now... :D

P-chan

Karisu-sama
07-21-2003, 12:23 AM
I think it is sad, prejudicial and short-sighted of con staff to ban or at least try to discourage sincere crossplaying of their mascot. They might as well ban girls who are too tall or overweight or whatever too; then it wouldn't look so singly arbitrary.

If I ever run a con :p (I really DON'T need that kind of stress!!! :p ), I personally would never even consider such a ban. It's stupid and discriinatory - if some people can cosplay a character at all, why try to limit which types of people are "allowed" to? Legally they may be able to do this - if it's their copyrighted character - oh well - but it's still not an ETHICAL thing to do, IMO.

Alielle
07-21-2003, 03:48 PM
Two things come to mind. Either he was truly concerned about minimizing a disturbance / crowd control....or much more likely, being a testosterone laden thicknecked homophobic neanderthal, who if given his choice would limit weight,height, and age chacteristics of the women donning their rendition of said mascot, as mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, he is probably within his legal bounds since most cons I'm aware of are held on private property. I agree that he should have been more professional in his remarks. The only recourse I can think of, would be a boycott of the con.....though, this would probably be an exercise in futility. Welcome to the real world....
On the lighter side, however......there are still plenty of cons and other events that would make you feel welcome. I doubt this helps you in the immediate sense, but, at least you have firm support in the forum....and from what I've read, I think you even have overall support from the board admin :o)

Nine
07-22-2003, 02:45 AM
Oh, I was planning to boycot the con times infinity if the guy said crossplay wasn't allowed. I asked him if it was, because that's the message I got when he said I'd be escorted off the campus for crossplaying her. ^^; I have connections too! XD (really, i do. XD)

I'm not willing to boycot a con that just won't let me crossplay THEIR mascot.. but still, it's pretty stupid. Oh well, I'll have fun at the con crossplay other characters! :D

FallenAngelII
07-22-2003, 05:36 AM
Wow... people can be shortsighted.

I crossplayed as Yuna on my first animecon (Ok, so the costume wasn't perfect, but it was really easy to see who I was supposed to be) and everybody loved it. Maybe I should crossplay as their mascot next time... ¬_¬ XD

Rosiel
07-22-2003, 08:40 AM
> that were true, anime companies would be enforcing the right to pick and choose who could represent their characters.

Ah, but they /could/ if they wanted. Just like they could police fanart and some artists, like Clamp, actually do. So yes it holds water legally. It's their mascot and they can enforce their copyrights. It's just that most anime companies don't, because the scale is too big and it would not bring them anything worthwhile. This is a con, which makes it a lot easier for them to declare their copyrighted character off-limits.

(Before I get flamed to a crisp, I'm not saying they should, I'm saying they can.)

> You weren't allowed to cosplay a mascot you created??? That's really.. weird!

Actually, if he sold the rights to the character to the convention, then it's the same situation as yours. He drew it, yes, but it does not belong to him.

Nine
07-22-2003, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Rosiel
> that were true, anime companies would be enforcing the right to pick and choose who could represent their characters.

Ah, but they /could/ if they wanted. Just like they could police fanart and some artists, like Clamp, actually do. So yes it holds water legally. It's their mascot and they can enforce their copyrights. It's just that most anime companies don't, because the scale is too big and it would not bring them anything worthwhile. This is a con, which makes it a lot easier for them to declare their copyrighted character off-limits.


You do have a big point, and that's a point they made.. "We will do anything to protect her trademarks." That's why I'm not rebelling by arriving as the mascot. ^^;;;

Rethul
07-22-2003, 04:50 PM
Personally I believe what the chair peoples said is justified given his situation. Now hear me out first before I get charred to ash.

The reason they're avoiding this is because of the "sailor-bubba" factor. If they let people crossplay this character, someone may come dressed as the character really badly, and the chair people believe it might affect the image of their con negatively. Also, think of the amount of staff it would take to police the con to make sure that nobody is intentionally misportraying their character. Sadly it's just easier for them to do this.

That's my theory at least.

Of course if you still wanna crossplay as the mascot, just play it safe by looking as convincing as possible ^_^

Mizuno Tenshi
07-22-2003, 05:12 PM
I can think of a LOT of girls I've seen that shouldn't cosplay con mascots either, but likely would. Cellulite=no!
It would be better for them to say "Please, if you wish to cosplay our mascot, do so in the most flattering manner possible. Any person who intentionally disrespects our character will be asked to change."

P-chan

Sailor Naboo
07-22-2003, 07:03 PM
Grrrrrrrr....

Nine, I'm behind you being able to crossplay the mascot 100% as long as females are allowed to as well.

If the con is run by a group that has non-profit status, IRS 501(c)(3), I'd highly suggest that the group's legal person ltake a look into the consequences of having different policies at group santioned events above and beyond what is allowed by law. (for example, in most of the US, women can't go topless, but men can)

IRS Publication 571 only seems to mention racial discrimination, but it looks like it is only covering hiring and membership, it doesn't have information on events sponsored by non-profits.

This could potentially be a big legal can of worms, but the advice of an attorney would be needed.

Nine
07-22-2003, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Rethul
Personally I believe what the chair peoples said is justified given his situation. Now hear me out first before I get charred to ash.

The reason they're avoiding this is because of the "sailor-bubba" factor. If they let people crossplay this character, someone may come dressed as the character really badly, and the chair people believe it might affect the image of their con negatively. Also, think of the amount of staff it would take to police the con to make sure that nobody is intentionally misportraying their character. Sadly it's just easier for them to do this.

That's my theory at least.

Of course if you still wanna crossplay as the mascot, just play it safe by looking as convincing as possible ^_^

Like I said in one of my earlier posts.. apart of the discrimination is because of those like "Sailor Bubba" and "Man-Faye" who gives ALL male crossplayers a bad name... ;_;

Mizuno Tenshi
07-22-2003, 10:02 PM
Man-Faye should be dealt with appropriately... I'd suggest a Black Mage style Hadoken. I wouldn't want touch that! Even if it doesn't do damage, at least the hair would be gone...

Tenshi