I'm sorry, but "damaging publicity" is a bunch of crap.
While it might be an issue in our messed up world, it's an issue because the world is MESSED UP. Sure, it might be easier to try to smash yourself into conformity than to give the world the finger and do what you want anyway.
It's like saying that women need to "cover up" or else they're "asking for it" - it's a bunch of crap and that's not what needs to be "fixed". Showing a little ankle doesn't need to be a cause for a freak-out, we need to freak out over the system that says because of the ankle the rape is justified - because the perpetrators are animalistic with no self control when they see that flash of flesh.
We need to stop buying into this system and perpetuating it because we are afraid for ourselves that these people who are mentally decayed might think bad things about us, or people who happen to like things we like.
We shouldn't be worried about "bad press", but about trying to change our lives and harass and demean others so that they better fit into a "desirable" model that is put forth by a broken system. Nobody needs to be shamed for having the courage to make their own choices just so you don't have to fear someone MAYBE thinking you're a sexual deviant if literally all they know about cosplay comes from one news article or TV show.
It's like people saying that a gay man needs to be less effeminate just so that gay men get more respect. If that's who they truly are, screw you for saying they need to stop just so that you won't get teased by small-minded doodle-butts. The idea that being more "normal" - more "straight" more "heteronormative" confers respect IS the problem. Destroy that system, don't feed into it.
I like furries. Furries are freaking awesome. Making a fursuit is some serious-ass costuming and I have mad respect for that. I'm not going to call furries bad names just so that I can look better in comparison. Spreading the word about how furries are awesome is the answer, not saying, "no, no, we're not like them". You're always going to be "them" in some form or another your whole life unless you manage to become the most normal, most bland and averaged-out thing you can possibly be. Strive for that goal, live the dream - fit in.
Cosplay has been around for a long time. I really doubt one unflattering piece of media is going to make everyone and their grandma's uncle do a one-eighty unless those people were just in it for a bunch of flimsy and superficial reasons, anyway. There are already "bad publicity" articles about cosplay, about fans of Japanese media and et cetera.
Disclaimer : This post written by a Grumpy Old Man
Actually in the pipes:
- Remaking Ser Loras doublet.
- Luke Skywalker, A New Hope
- Wind Waker starter costume in swim material
Eventually: Paul from Dune, Faramir, Harry Sullivan