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Unread 03-19-2015, 06:21 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Cosplay, Private Life, and Public Persona

For those of you with an open, public online presence (for example you have a cosplay Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), how do you maintain what you keep public and private? And how do you deal with people that try to cross that line?

Recently I've had quite a few people inbox me on my cosplay Facebook page, most of whom are curious about idea of a foreigner cosplaying in Japan, or just living in Japan in general. I have no problem answering those questions, even if it does get to be repetitive. They're not full-blown conversations, just a simple Q&A that usually fizzles out on its own.

But then there have been people who try to blow past that. One guy is actually trying to have small chat with me via my page's inbox. He asks too many questions at once, many of which I feel are on a "get-to-know-me-personally" level, which I do not feel comfortable with at all. To make matters worse, he actually tells me details about himself--I've asked him zero questions, by the way--as if this is a dating site and we're getting to know each other. He's already overstepped the line by commenting, "Damn you'd be so perfect for me lol!" which I think is incredibly inappropriate. I portray myself as a cosplayer, not a single woman on a dating site.

I'm not a celebrity by any means, but I categorized my Facebook page as "Public Figure" for a reason, and that's because I put out there what I want to be public. I don't like to list my age or my real name. I don't tell people the exact city that I live in. I'm trying not to come off as a snob, but it's pretty intrusive when someone tries to chit-chat with me online with "How are you?" and telling me their life story when I didn't ask for it. I'm already introverted so I'm pretty selective with my friends and don't like small talk, but I also sometimes feel like I'm obligated to remain as polite as possible. I have much appreciation for the fans on my page and I try to remain friendly, but every once in a while I get that person who tries to acquire more than what I've offered to the public.

Sorry for the long post. Anyway, what do you do? Do you tell people that you're not comfortable disclosing certain info? Do you ignore them? Do you just deal with it and try to come-up with half-assed answers? Do you block them?

(Apologies if I've posted something like this before, since this isn't the first time this kind of thing has happened...I feel like I have, but I even did a search of threads that I've started and a similar topic didn't come up. I have AWFUL memory >_<)
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Unread 03-19-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
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I've had similar experiences where I've been messaged either through my fanpage or twitter and had people tell me stuff like, "You're the perfect girl!" or "I wish I could be with a girl like you!" etc etc. It makes me very uncomfortable. I do not put myself out there to be sexualized and objectified. Usually I just delete the messages and they leave me alone, but I have had instances where someone strikes up a conversation and segues into inappropriate comments. I will usually just ignore the comment, and if it persists I stop talking to that person altogether.

But lately I realized that it's not okay for me to just ignore inappropriate comments, because it allows people to get away with it. So I've been trying to call people on it and say things like, "That isn't appropriate" or "These comments make me uncomfortable, please stop" and if they apologise and move on, great. If they call me a bitch or get mad, I delete their messages and block them (if possible). I dunno. It's a tough situation, but I don't think anyone who projects themselves as a public figure should put up with inappropriate behaviour, nor should they ever feel obligated to give out personal information. The only thing I will tell people is which conventions I will be at. If they want to know what city/area I live in, my phone number or personal email, ask for my personal Facebook page... anything like that, it's a big fat NOPE.
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Unread 03-20-2015, 04:00 AM   #3
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I have no experience handling the notoriety from Cosplay but I do have a bit of experience handling passive, aggressive, and intrusive fans from my other exploits.

1) Understand that your fans are flocking to YOU. Not the other way around. It's important to gauge what your audience wants (or wants to see in this case, being cosplay). If they say nothing specific, that's good still. Your imagination is what they want than!

2) Respond to your fans and constructive criticism. Those people who have an other aim besides warranted criticism may fish for personal info. Disclosing anything about yourself that isn't meant to be public knowledge is done entirely by your discretion.

3) When in doubt about someone's intention, be blunt. Simply ask, "What do you want?" The perception developed by the other person isn't important, but your time is (this might be the opposite if you don't got a large fan base, cater to your first wave of fans). Simple statements are, sometimes, the best way to convey something.

Public image is important, but so is your professionalism. Show people that certain attitudes are encouraged, while others are completely unacceptable.

This applies for both men and women cosplayers. Your ultimately human. You matter. You have respect for yourself, and you shouldn't have to tolerate anyone's negative energy.

Last edited by srsmith332 : 03-20-2015 at 04:03 AM.
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Unread Yesterday, 06:59 PM   #4
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I wouldn't stay with public figure actually. I use private option in settings on facebook (on my regular facebook not my pages). And with that said I wouldn't pick public figure for that reason you gave. I personally go with artist. Nothing wrong with public figure. It's just that some will think you are expected to be public about other things as well. My 2¢
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Last edited by KaiM0n : Yesterday at 08:49 PM.
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Unread Yesterday, 07:25 PM   #5
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Oye. I hear you girl I've got a few, especially on my YouTube Channel, who seem to think I'm looking for a date. Which is NOT the case! I am super familiar with people pouring out their heart and soul, without me asking.

To be honest? I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with it myself. I've sort of found somethings that seem to be working a bit though. Try acting REALLY busy (or just be busy hahahaha!) and wait to respond to their 12+ paragraphs of rambling on about stuff that is irrelevant to cosplay, for a few days. I usually let it go for about a week.

And when you respond? Make sure to STRESS the fact that you've been super busy. (Ex: "Sorry it took me so long to reply, this costume has been eating up all of my free time, I hardly even have time to blink!") Additionally, if they do by chance mention something cosplay-ish in their message, try to feed off of that, and shift the conversation towards that. Basically, answer the creepy-weird stuff with short and vague answers, and go into more depth about the relevant stuff.

If they talk in long broken-up paragraphs (like I am...hahahha!) then try condensing them into a few paragraphs in your reply. Heck, even try shaving off a few sentences by sort of partially answering them, or indirectly answering them. You kind of have to take control of the conversation a bit. ^.^ It feels mean at first... but you get over it! Hehehehe

If they are only bugging you with the intention of scoring a new girlfriend, and have no real interest in cosplay, then they'll get bored eventually. Kind of like a dog begging for a treat...

But good luck!
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Unread Yesterday, 08:10 PM   #6
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I've got some cosplay photos up on my FB, and their privacy's enough of a mess that ocasionally I get strangers or near-strangers trying to get friendly. Sometimes I chat, because hey, attention is nice and sometimes it's fun.

The fucking *second* things get objectifying or creepy, I cut that shit off. Block. Goodbye forever. No further contact, no excuses, no explanation. It isn't necessary. I repeat: IT ISN'T NECESSARY. There are plenty of people in the world; I'm not going to waste my free time on ones who chose to spend theirs making me uncomfortable.
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