One of the many panels held at the Long Beach Comic Expo 2014 was one title “Cosplay Doesn’t Equal Consent” and it featured several professional cosplayers including Constantine in Tokyo, Vegas Power Girl and Ani-Mia.
The panel was partially about how to cosplay in a safe manner and what to do when people are getting too personal or are rude. If you are being harassed at any time while you are cosplaying, you have a right to stand up for yourself and say that an interview is over or that you won’t take a photo with a person. If you see others being harassed, you have the right to step in and ask if the cosplayer needs help.
Panelist told stories of their experiences at the different conventions that they have been to across the country, some funny, some creepy. They also offered excellent advice for those who want to get into cosplay.
One of their biggest pieces of advice was if you’re going to start cosplaying, make sure you pick a character/ outfit that you are comfortable in. If the character you want to be has a costume that might be too revealing for you, you can modify the outfit so you are more comfortable. When deciding to make your own cosplay, you should know your own skills, but you should feel free to ask other cosplayers how they made theirs. Many cosplayers will be happy to share their knowledge and pass along any advice they have about building an outfit.
The panel also mentioned how if you hear negative comments about your outfit you should remember that you are cosplaying for yourself and not for other people, so you should try to not let their comments bring you down. You also have the right to call the commenters out about their opinion and often they will apologize for it.
No matter if you are doing your first cosplay or your 100th, as Vegas Power Girl said during the panel “as long as you’re happy, you’re doing it right”