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Unread 07-14-2002, 01:45 AM   #1
Ayaka
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miss cosplay universe ?

I was gonna wait until they bothered to put their site up, but hey, I can't wait. People who were at AX have probably seen this already - in the preview issue of Raijin Comics they were handing out, there's an ad for "Miss Cosplay Universe 2002 - the Very First Cosplayer Beauty Contest Online". The contest is international, open to women or male crossplayers. Other than that, there's not much solid info yet. The winner(s) will be presented on Fujin Magazine's website, there will be a special feature story done on them, a photography book, and trading cards, plus a prize of character goods. You'll also get an invitation to a Japanese con(s). I can scan the ad if anyone wants, there's a picture in it of someone who's posted her (ACK! can't remember name!) - the gal who did the really nice Ayane at A-Kon. She and her sister won a prize, I think. The URL for "more information", for future reference when it's up is - http://www.fujin.jp/cos

What do you guys think of this? There is an award that is for "best dress makers and craft workers", but it's not the main award. Like they said, it's a beauty contest; obviously you can't win on looks alone, but looks, I'm sensing, are a very big part of it. Personally . . . I'm not sure. But I'm bothered to some extent by the concept. It's not that there's not already a (natural?) bias out there; if you're wearing a high-cut outfit and look really good in it, chances are you're going to get stopped a LOT, maybe more than a person with a fantastic costume who's not exactly a beauty queen (how many people are?) . . . but I felt at AX, the competition was so high, that there was a lot of pressure maybe and not as much fun. And if it's not fun, for me there's no point in cosplay. Very hard to manage that, that competition is okay but you have to keep your purpose in mind.

Well, I don't know, I'm not super coherent tonight and I have very mixed feelings. Anyone have thoughts? Think they might enter?
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Unread 07-14-2002, 01:57 AM   #2
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O.o I think i need to think more about it tonight and i'm too tired to think completely, but i know a friend of mine and I both spoke about this earlier. I'm not completely sure what to think of it, because, not to say this as an isult or anything to anybody, but Cosplay has kinda lost it's oomph that is had a couple years ago. Now it seems that everybody is at each others throats and claiming characters, and trying to outdo each other, it really is loosing it's fun. -.-* This competition is just for fun, but i really hope it doesn't just add another issue that turns into something bad and so competitive that it will have some people ready to kill each other. Bleh, i dunno if that made sense, but yea... -.-* Maybe i'll reply again later. As for entering...I dunno if I want to enter -.-* I dunno how to describe the contest.....I know one friend described it as "caddy~". what are some other opinions???
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Unread 07-14-2002, 10:07 AM   #3
Rosiel
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> What do you guys think of this?

I will attempt not to rant *lol* but I have nothing but utmost /contempt/ for beauty contests. Just like Miss America and the "talent" categorie *snort* I have a feeling this will be more about who looks best with less clothes on than any real assessment of skill.

I mean, face it, I've seen costumes that look great on pictures that were hot-glued together at the last minute. You can't tell craftmanship from a picture (or, actually, from people moving around on a stage - my issues with Akon craftmanship judging.), you just can tell how good a person looks - and it might even be with a little photoshopped help.

Hence comes the inequalities.

+ There is no way to tell if you made your own costume how well you made it.
+ Those who can shell out $$$ to have pro shoots will have an edge on the others.
+ There is no proof photos won't be retouched.

So not only is it an old, ugly, custom of judging women by their looks, it's also unfair. At least when you run for Miss America all the judges get to stare at your butt from the same distance.

> Personally . . . I'm not sure. But I'm bothered to some extent by the concept.

As you can see, so I am.

Except bothered is not the word I'd use. Maybe 'disgusted'. Or even 'insulted'. Half-naked girls already get so much more attention than others in the con circles, why encourage it?

Seriously this just goes to shove down women to their role as sex objects. As the old French saying went "Sois belle et tais toi" (Be beautiful and shut up). I don't see a Mr. Cosplay anywhere, do you?

This goes back to the essence of why I crossplay.
I want people to look at my craftmanship, not down my shirt.

> It's not that there's not already a (natural?) bias out there; if you're wearing a high-cut outfit and look really good in it, chances are you're going to get stopped a LOT, maybe more than a person with a fantastic costume who's not exactly a beauty queen (how many people are?) . . .

Amen to that.

Actually, while I am at it, that's why I have issues with ACP. The meat market mentality. At cons, girls are encouraged to wear less and less to get attention. I for one aren't interested in seeing people in glorified bikinis at cons (that's what the beach is for), I want to see /costumes/. And why would people bother with all the work to make a complex costume if they can get more attention as Lum?

> but I felt at AX, the competition was so high, that there was a lot of pressure maybe and not as much fun.

I think cosplay is starting to be too competitive, too political.
Which I why I prefer to cosplay in the halls and not compete.

> Think they might enter?

At gunpoint, maybe.
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Unread 07-14-2002, 11:40 AM   #4
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Very wisely said, Rosiel ^_^ Anyway, Cosplay Beauty Contest? Might as well scratch off the 'cosplay' bit, with some of the turnout. Personally, it sounds kind of boring. If I wanted a fashion show, I'd go for the hall - not the stage, as Rosiel said. Chances are you'll see more of the beautiful costumes there - where some people have no interest in the stage ( or are afraid of it as I am o_O;; )
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Unread 07-14-2002, 12:54 PM   #5
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A cosplay BEAUTY contest? I wouldn't even pay attention to this contest, let alone THINK of entering it. IMO that's not the spirit of cosplay. Obviously, it's not going to be other cosplayers that judge the entries -- it's going to be a bunch of men. Sorry, guys, but you know what will win in that situation ^^;;. I would say more, but I think Rosiel pretty much summed it up ^_^.
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Unread 07-14-2002, 02:01 PM   #6
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No... No... No... *hangs head in disgust*
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Unread 07-14-2002, 02:16 PM   #7
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Yay Rosiel! Sorry, okay, I was sneaky; I tried to stay neutral in my first post because I was worried about offending people, and wanted to see how people would react anyway. Personally if someone wants to compete in it, I'm not going to try to talk them out of it, it's their choice. If you happen to be gorgeous and a talented cosplayer, then hey! There ARE prizes.

At AX there was a lot of talk about further fusion kind of stuff, since we are getting two Japanese manga anthologies now, as well as the English-language Newtype. But I have a problem with what we're getting, if this is it; manga magazines blindingly obviously targeted at guys (we get Mamotte Shugogetten in Raijin, which nevertheless is a "shy guy and his volunteer love slave" type story; I've read and liked them, but they ARE sexist), even though the Shueisha one is the only one who admits it. So if even the Japanese are now going to reinforce the "comics are for men" idea, and throw in the "cosplay is for women in skimpy outfits" concept as a bonus, I'm not liking this.

I never thought when I started out that I'd crossplay; but I've really come to like it. It's liberating. I was comfortable in Sanzo's outfit at AX; in Faye I felt like I was walking through an x-ray machine. I wanted to cosplay her because I like the character, not because I wanted to wear hot pants; I'd never wear something like that in normal life. But a lot of the gals were really hamming it up, they knew they were wearing a skimpy outfit and they were doing some photo poses that looked like soft porn. I think it's only natural that some cosplayers have an exhibitionist streak (we DO get jollies from wearing freaky outfits in public, after all, lol). But when it's encouraged too much, I could see it quickly outstripping (no pun intended, oy vey) people who are in it for the challenge of costuming.

I have a VERY serious problem with beauty contests and have for quite a while. I had a friend when I was about 10 who was working as a model. I'll never forget what she said to me - "You could model, too! But you should get contacts." That's what I hate more than the idea of women being sex objects; the idea that from the very beginning you feel pressured to change something about yourself. Get contacts, go on a diet, get plastic surgery, whatever, it's this chain of stuff that makes you super insecure about yourself. You're never fine the way you are; you have to change. My brother's girlfriend was a prima ballerina (she quit), and I saw what that did to her. I'd hate to see cosplay, in any tiny way, become like that. I don't want it to start out kids playing around and wind up being a cut-throat, antagonistic community. And it definitely COULD. So I'm glad that I know some people who don't want it to be like that.

Yeah. Okay and the semi-incoherent rant ends. oO;;; I better go eat something, lol. But I'm glad I brought this up, actually, I got really down at one point at AX; "everyone's better than me! I have to do something harder!". And as soon as it went through my head, I couldn't believe I was thinking that way. Gotta keep it FUN.
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Unread 07-14-2002, 03:55 PM   #8
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What everyone else said here. This is really a bad, bad idea. Escpecially if non experienced people who really don't know cosplay are judging this thing. And also, its a Beauty Contest. In itself, one has to realize that at the end of the day, looks do matter and matter a lot. What if in the finals we have someone who may not be a beauty queen, but has a great costume, and then we have a woman with a great body and is "dressed" (an I use the term loosely) as a DoA charcter (great craftsmaship it aint) who would inexperienced eyes choose?

This coulddo a lot of damage the cred of Cosplay.
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Unread 07-14-2002, 05:50 PM   #9
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SARU! I saw you too! Actually I think I talked to you briefly . . . lol I can't remember. You looked really cool in your costumes though, I saw you a bunch actually. Just took me a while to be sure it was you! ^^

In a pathetic attempt to make my post on topic - see, that's what cosplay is about! Community! (And the people who ran the ACen cosplay panel who said that there's no such thing as a cosplay community and anyone who says there is, is bsing need an attitude adjustment.)
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Unread 07-15-2002, 03:46 AM   #10
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Stud, Saru... AGREED!
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Unread 07-15-2002, 10:26 AM   #11
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> manga magazines blindingly obviously targeted at guys

Amen to that.

Was I the only one who saw red when I was given the US Newtype? (I still have to email them about their bad English, their factual errors, and their apparent misogyny.)

Seriously. That wasn't Newtype, that was anime playboy.
Why would I want erect nipples and half-naked animated women in a centerfold? Why would I want ads that claims more or less "You're not reading this add, you're staring at their huge boobs"?

I have the feeling they are trying to market anime to horny adolescent boys. Which IMO will turn off a lot of people. I for one would never even think of picking up an anime which was marketed with boob shots. And yet, no matter what that misleading ad said, Plastic Little was more than bouncy breasts.

> Get contacts, go on a diet, get plastic surgery, whatever, it's this chain of stuff that makes you super insecure about yourself.

It makes me think of cosplayers who panic saying they need to lose weight before a con. -___-;;;;; And I'm talking about itsy-bitsy things who only feel compelled to lose the weight because they are not as skinny as anime characters (let's face it, who is?).

This is unhealthy, I agree, as it encourages people to be dissatisfied with their bodies instead of accepting them.

> "everyone's better than me! I have to do something harder!".

Don't think that way! Although I will admit I have throught like that too. I try to stop myself, though, because I don't want to get swept up in the competition and the ego-trip.

But it's hard sometimes.


NB: I should mention I am very touchy about the portrayal of women because I had to struggle to fit in the world of engineering, being a slender blonde girl that most people would associate with the word "bimbo" faster than "engineer". It's hard to be taken seriously in a men-dominated world when you're a woman, and even more when you look a certain way.
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Unread 07-15-2002, 01:12 PM   #12
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Wow, nothing but negative opinions here! I didn't check out the Newtype, but that certainly is an interesting-sounding magazine. I'm not going to comment on the portrayal of anime women or women in general, just give my 2 cents on this contest.

I totally support this. No, I wouldn't enter, because I know I couldn't win. But, everyone has seen the types of girls who *will* enter. They like displaying their bodies, they seem to be comfortable with how they look, and they are swarmed by photgraphers everywhere they go. Now they are being offered a large prize to do more of what they already enjoy for even more attention. I'm sure we all have our opinions on these scantily-clad cosplay divas, but as they are still cosplaying (regardless of how talented they might be), there is no reason to discourage them. Cosplay is something we choose to do, and entering this contest is another choice. Should you choose to not enter, and simply ignore it, you are no worse off than right now.

There is already a lot of tension and competition in the cosplay community should you choose/end up being involved with it. While this might escalate the competition among its entrants, I don't see how it will affect the casual cosplayer. Cosplayers in general will continue trying to improve their costumes- entrants in this competition may try harder to improve their looks instead. You are only in competition with whom you feel you are in competition with.
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Unread 07-15-2002, 01:43 PM   #13
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I think this may actually hurt cosplay a little. It seems to back up the unfortunate prejudice see among a lot of fans that only 'babes' should cosplay. By looking at face and figure instead of craft, totally shafting a large portion of the cosplay community. Its bad enough now being a plus-sized cosplayer, and having people (including judges) blow you off because you don't look like centerfold material. This is just reinforcing those attitudes.
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Unread 07-15-2002, 02:12 PM   #14
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Arrow

When I wrote my first post, I looked back on it, and I feel I wasn't as clear as I should've been when I posted my opinion. And an AIM conservation made me really want to post it, so here it goes.

When I mean, by that it could be really bad idea, I mean you have to think about is the people who make up this community of cosplay.

When you're talking about cosplay, you're talking about people, who are dressing up in 95% of the cases, as Anime, Videogame, Manga, Sci-Fi, Comics and J-Pop charcters over various conventions and competitions....And we all know that "popular society" looks down on this stuff as geekish, and it attracts most people who are considered "geeks." Also consider the people who are cosplaying. A lot of these people (hell most of them) are not considered "Beauty Contest Material" by society.

Hell, almost all of society is not "BCM". Thanks to our media, society now has very warped views of beauty. And to tell you the truth its not really worth it to even try to subscribe to this as it seems to cause many problems in a lot of these people.

Now here's where the alarm goes off. Cosplay as we all know is about the costumes and the work that go into them. A Beauty Contest, in the end is about the persons looks. There may be talent and interview portions, but we've all seen contests where the better looking win over the more talented. Now to add those points, the question has to be raised. What will take precedent? The Cosplay or the Beauty Contest? That's something that'll have to be answered.

And another note.....The Cosplay community as a whole (escpeically the elites and here nonwithstanding) seem to bitch and moan about the credibility of Cosplay as whole, but not a lot is done to help bring more crediblity in the end. This may only fuel the fire for the cliques and elitists to only make things worse for everyone who does enjoy it just to have fun.



However, I feel I have to touch on Celine's post too, since she was the person I had the IM with. And while she is playing devil's adovcate, its the best way to play it, as I cannot really disagree with anything she has said and bought up in her post. In fact when she says that some people do have "it", and can win, that's good for them, and I feel if they wish to, they should, that's there right and more power to you. If you win then congrats to you.

There, I feel I have cleared the air personally. Sorry if its ranting, but when I have a lot to say, I feel I should just go for it.
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Unread 07-15-2002, 03:45 PM   #15
Ayaka
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You're not ranting, Studmaster; or if you are, so are the rest of us making long posts. ^^

Quote:
Originally posted by Celine

I totally support this. No, I wouldn't enter, because I know I couldn't win.
Yeah, see, this is what I was talking about. That's the same thing *I* said. While it may be true, from the point of view of self-esteem, that's not a good sign . . . and, I don't like the idea of competitions being based on something you're born with (though I know there's a lot of work and money that goes into being "beautiful"), as opposed to something you genuinely work to acheive.

Did anyone here have the first costume they made alone be totally amazing? Sure, everyone comes into it with different resources; budgets, access to fabric stores, relatives with sewing experience, friends who can help make props, etc. But if someone wins an award for construction, they've usually made many other costumes, learned lessons the hard way, and put that experience and a great deal of time and effort (and blood and tears and love!) into their current costume. I don't think there's anything wrong with competition among cosplayers, I'm just going to take issue with certain KINDS of competition. Personally I don't think "healthy competition" is an impossible concept to acheive. It's a question of whether it motivates you to work harder, or makes you feel bad about yourself, I guess.

I'm not going to say that this contest is wrong, because, well, it wouldn't make any difference even if I do. The way to not encourage it is to not enter. People will, yeah, but I think the majority of the cosplay community (I'd like to think anyway) WON'T enter and DOES have some fundamental problems with the concepts the contest is based upon.

I think I have to think some more but . . . personally I'm into action. Conversations like this tend to make me want to do something. And it does seem like there should be a way to encourage cosplayers to keep it fun, to help beginner cosplayers see the non-competition side (so that like me they don't get overwhelmed by a different image of what cosplay is). Just since we are sitting here talking at cosplay.com, which has got to be coming up real high in search results . . . since cosplay seems to be exploding in popularity, it seems the appropriate time. But I haven't come up with any brilliant ideas yet.

Rosiel - I was also bothered by the "centerfold" section of Newtype, although the idea of having Newtype in English is too strong for that (well and the typos . . . geez) to totally sour my enthusiasm. They'll certainly be getting a letter from me though. I can say, however, that as a member of an all-female manga studio, the bias in the American comics community against women (creators and readers), and the idea that those concepts are seeping into the way Japanese companies are marketing their stuff in the US, is very distressing. Don't even get me started on the Cardcaptors rant, lol. But I DO have an idea about that problem; for some time I've been planning a US creators manga anthology magazine, since before the Raijin announcement. I think now that I'm going to really move ahead with it, and that I may do at least part of it as female creators only. (Ambitious, I know, but it IS possible, and I'll certainly do my best to get it off the ground.) Okay, I'll shut up now and let other people talk some more.
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