Thursday, 24 February 2011
When Parents Won't Allow It
I've been thinking about it for a while, and I finally came to the conclusion to just 'go ahead and write it!' this blog is currently and primarily here for people of the age where they are still under the ruling of parents or guardians, those who still live at home and don't have the right to say, 'I'm an adult! Get out of my life!!' Without getting grounded and their privileges forcibly removed.
I shared a reasonably brief conversation with a girl on youtube a while ago, who wanted to "crossplay", that is, she wanted to cosplay a boy. She'd been fighting her parents over it for months and they'd been telling her that a) no, she could not bind her chest, it was unnatural, and b) she was a girl, and it was strange for her to want to wear boys clothes.
Something I would like to ask the parents is this; 'when you were little, and you played pretend games with your friends or siblings, did you not at some point pretend to be a prince, a princess... or a knight? A little pickpocket boy? Or a flower girl?' if they answered no, then I'm almost positive they'd be lying. Who hasn't wondered what it would be like to be the other gender in their lifetime? some people feel so strongly that they should have been born the opposite gender that they decide to undergo hormone therapy and have varying surgeries. I suppose these parents that ban their children from cosplaying a character of the opposite gender are the same people who are averse to FTM or MTF transitioning as well?
Getting back to cosplayers... my own personal take on this is that it's only dressing up, just a little more elaborate. Like putting on a costume to appear in a play, you wouldn't stop a man playing the part of Juliet if it was a traditional production of Romeo and Juliet would you?
Personally I don't know what I'd do if my parents wouldn't let me cosplay boys, because of my height, and natural flat chestedness I find it a WHOLE lot easier to don the garb of a male character. That's not to say I don't enjoy being a girl, because I wouldn't give that up for the world, but cosplay is different.
My parents and family are quite open, the only people who have ever seemed to have a problem understanding the things I'm interested in are my Nan and Grandad on my mother's side. They (oh so stereo typically) watch a ton of television, and there fore go along with a lot of common misconceptions.
Which brings me to the many things people think cosplay means.
Really, there's only one HUGE biggie that parents have MAJOR trouble with... "cosplay is dressing up in slutty kitty maid outfits and saying 'nya' all the time whilst bending over in a suggestive manner for photographs taken by older, badly dressed men with hygiene issues". Toooootally wrong there oh dear adults who govern our lives!!!
Just to confirm, if there are any research driven parents reading this, no, it is most certainly NOT like that!!! Cosplay, is the portrayal of a character from a manga, anime, tv show, book, film or video game. An no, not all anime is full of sluts, and big breasted, innocent, confused, young girls. Not in reality. You wanna see what real cosplay and anime are like? Go search Fullmetal Alchemist (cosplay), or perhpaps Naruto Shippuden (cosplay)! That should give you some idea of what some of the most famous anime in the world is like.
Moving on. Other parents may think that cosplay is a way to draw attention, and is just a plea for someone to look at you. But truth is, many cosplayers were nerds and losers in school and they had always admired the people who had the courage to dress up as their favorite characters, and then one day decided that they had that courage as well. Others just naturally arrived at the decision, such as myself. It seemed fun, plus I needed a Halloween costume ^-^
(Note, this was not my first cosplay!! It was my 3rd, and the second male cosplay I had done. My first was terrible so no one shall see evidence >_>)
Another thing parents associate with cosplay, is lolita. Because of lolita being abused in anime and manga throughout the years it has come to be viewed by those on "the outside" - as it were - as something sexual, and something girls wear to attract the attention of pedophiles. Mostly because of the novel 'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov. Thus, parents associate anime with pedophiles, and cosplay with pedophiles, and conventions with dark corners for said pedophiles to lurk in.
Now, doesn't it seem that all of these misconceptions have been just about cosplay as a whole? Well yes, they all are. It's only made a little more confusing for parents or grandparents when you say, 'oh yeah, and I need to find some good heels for this cosplay as well' just after you've explained that it's a boy you're cosplaying. My nan's reaction was, 'so.... this is a boy... who wears heals?... Is he a heshe or something?' awkward much? It's hard to explain that you're not cross dressing (because that is basically what it is, nothing wrong in that though XD) as a boy who's cross dressing as a girl? >_<
And thus, I am done with my rant. I truly hope that if you're reading this, parents, you will reconsider your decision about not letting your child cosplay or crossplay. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them!
All the cosplayers featured in this article are girls cosplaying as male characters.
Pictures from top to bottom:
NajoKoji as Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII
Cvy as her own Steampunk version of The White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
ChirucupcakeChan (AKA me) as Ciel Phantomhive from Kuroshitsuji
OzTheNekoMaster as Oz Vasselius from Pandora Hearts
Photos (c) of their rightful owners. I'm fine with taking them down if requested to!!