The art of cosplay is not the art of getting hit on
Yaya Han, left, cosplaying as Mulan and Riki cosplaying as Snow White.
November 3rd, 2011
04:16 PM ET

The art of cosplay is not the art of getting hit on

Cosplay is a mainstay of the modern fan convention. In popular culture, it is practically a synonym for "fan convention."

Eye-popping, physics-defying costumes thrill and amaze fans of Japanese video games, anime and manga by bringing their favorite characters to life, and is itself the ultimate expression of fandom, according to Yaya Han, an Atlanta-based cosplayer who has had a high profile in the cosplay comunity for the last 12 years.

"To me it's an unlimited creative outlet," Han said. "Before I was a cosplayer, I was a fan artist. I would draw my favorite characters and sell the pieces at art auctions."

"But once I discovered cosplay, it was like, 'I don't have to draw my favorite characters, I can become my favorite characters.'"

The cosplay community, by and large, create their own costumes, she said. Developing sewing, painting, sculpting, jewelry-making and wig-styling skills is part of this fan-base homage to Japanese entertainment.

And yet, when seen outside the context of fandom, cosplay is not always seen as the result of skilled craftsmanship. Han said that many reporters have asked her questions that confuse her practice with LARPing. Recently, cosplay has been portrayed in the media as being more about cleavage and snagging dates with wide-eyed fanboys.

While Han admitted many entertainment companies are hiring "booth babes" - models who are dressed like cosplayers to draw attention at fan conventions - she stressed that true cosplayers see that as a dilution of the art. In stark contrast, today's fan convention organizers respect cosplay to the point that they often set aside money specifically to fly masterful cosplayers to the convention as special guests and panelists.

But articles from New York Post and Men's Fitness, gave Han and fellow cosplayer Riki (who also goes by Riddle1) pause.

"At New York Comic Con, I was interviewed by the New York Post," Han said. "I was wearing Amber from 'Sucker Punch.' It was a costume that I made and spent a lot of time and money on, but the guy just saw me in an outfit where my cleavage was showing and I was wearing bloomers and chaps and my butt was showing."

A New York Post photographer asked to take Han's photo for an upcoming article, and a writer interviewed her on the spot.

“I talked about making costumes, the passion behind it, the calendar, why we’re doing this. That it’s an art form that can really put people on the right paths in their lives - it can put somebody who had no direction before on a path to wanting to pursue a career in fashion or costume design just through cosplay," Han said.

But she was disappointed when the article came out, because, "he was concentrating on quotes about girls getting hit on and girls wearing skimpy outfits. and then there was a big picture of me accompanying the article," Han said.

Riki pointed to a recent article on the Men's Fitness website about New York Comic Con that was as much of a surprise to the cosplay community.

"It starts out by saying New York Comic Con is a place where you can go and not be bullied. Then the article proceeds to post images of people in costume who maybe are not in the best shape and proceeds to make fun of all of them," Riki said.

"What’s a real shame is, I was at New York and there were a lot of amazingly fit people and they didn’t bother to take a picture of them. They just go for the geeks," Riki said. "You see them making fun of geeks because they feel like we’re easy fodder cause we’re not going to fight back."

The Men's Fitness article was taken down after negative reaction. Jordan Burchette, author or the article and digital site director for American Media, which runs the Men's Fitness website, said the article was published October 15 and was taken down October 24 because of the persistent complaints from a "small group determined to make themselves heard," Burchette said.

When CNN asked Burchette to elaborate, he said he always thought costuming and cosplay was cool, but that this was designed to be "a humor piece" and that he didn't feel he was bullying anyone. He addressed the incident on his own website.

The popular portrayal of cosplayers inspired Han and Riki to dress as Disney Princesses at a recent photo shoot at Turner Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. They wanted to show that cosplay includes all kinds of costumes.

"It’s not just that we’re artists and we put our artwork out there," Han said. "We make the outfits, we put it on, we put our bodies out there, we put our faces out there for the world to judge," she said. "We both wanted to show that it doesn’t always have to be about sexy costumes. you don’t always have to have your cleavage out. you can still have a fun time cosplaying and show something you made yourself."

That and the fact that Disney princesses happen to be an immensity popular topic for cosplayers, even though they are not of Japanese descent. Han dressed as "Mulan" and Riki dressed as "Snow White" for the photo shoot.

Disney princeses are their own genre, said Han. "Cosplayers love Disney princesses. We all grew up with them. We identify with one or more princesses."

And not just straightforward princesses: zombie Disney princesses, superhero Disney princesses, sexy Disney princesses and steampunk Disney princesses are costumes cosplayers dream up and create for conventions.

"A lot of people bring their families to conventions," Riki said, "so the kids might not know 'Earth 2 powergirl' but they’ll know a Disney princess when they see it."

"That’s the thing I enjoy about being Snow White. I can wear the sexy costumes and guys will want photos with me but I still get elated when children come up to me and they think I’m the princess and they talk to me and they tell me about their day, they tell me everything that they’re wearing, and I have a fifteen minute conversation with kids! It’s just a really great feeling."

Another great feeling for Riki is the pride and gratitude she feels for the "Cosplay for a Cause" calendar she spearheaded. It's a 2012 calendar featuring some of the best-known cosplayers in never-before seen photos of Japanese-origin characters.

She had the idea to create a charity cosplay calendar last March when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit parts of Japan.

"It’s sort of the first of its kind. The cosplay community is kind of tight but I haven’t heard of a lot of cosplayers coming together to do something for charity," Riki said. "I first contacted Yaya, she is a well-known name in the cosplay community, and if she were part of it a lot of other people would think, ‘hey, this is legit, on the up-and-up.’" And they did.

Riki and Yaya's calendar features cosplayers from Russia, Singapore, Brazil, Italy, Canada and the US. The collectible value of this kind of calendar is what Riki and Han hoped would make it popular with cosplay and Japanese-origin entertainment fans.

Additionally, comic book artists for Marvel and DC contributed unique illustrations for each page of the calendar, making the finished product truly one-of-a-kind.

Thanks to pre-orders and fan convention sales over the last year, Riki and Han are nearly sold out of the calendars. They're saving two calendars, signed by every cosplayer involved (and which traveled around the world in order to end up that way) to auction off in December. All the proceeds they make from the calendar will go towards the Japan Red Cross.

"So many of us, we love these things that come from Japan. We play the video games every day, we read the manga, people watch the cartoons, they absolutely love it," Han said. "It’s a passion of theirs. And for us to be able to give something back to the country that created all of this, that was the main focus. I think the calendar has been a success because people do want to donate and they want to support this cause."

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Filed under: Otaku
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Cynthia T.

    I actually met her at Anime Expo 2013 at her vendor table. She was modest, sweet and down to earth. Anyone who can make their own costumes and model is an exceptional cosplayer in my book. Craft = Cosplay. Unfortunately, there are way too many models out there that stand behind a staff of unrecognized creative-artists... :(

    August 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
  2. Danelle Contes

    Jewellery may be made from a wide range of materials, but gemstones, precious metals, beads, and shells have been widely used. Depending on the culture and times jewellery may be appreciated as a status symbol, for its material properties, its patterns, or for meaningful symbols. Jewellery has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings.*;-.

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    May 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  3. Theresa

    I met Yaya Han when i was in one of her presentations at a con. She was simply an awful person...there were like 12 of us in the presentation and I'm pretty sure she may be slighly retarded too.

    February 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Health Care

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this website. He was once totally right. This put up truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

    August 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Denna Matton

    Certainly a very interesting theory. I will continue to monitor it.

    December 14, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • Matei

      It's a real pleasure to find soomene who can think like that

      July 3, 2012 at 5:14 am |
  6. Sakura

    Yes cause Yaya han is the person to interview for this artile. Shes one of the biggest prima donnas i ve have ever met. I work the cons she goes to very regualry, and she hates it when she has females helping her out. only males. Talk about attention seeking.

    December 9, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Lucy

      Finally someone who agrees. Everyone is usually oh she's such a cosplay GODDESS. No. Not really. She has giant fakies and is a professional model. Don't whine about everyone staring at your boobs when there hanging out (I ncan say this since I'm a 36F cupped girl)

      October 24, 2012 at 8:11 am |
      • formless

        It's a real shame you just assume that from seeing who works with her. I've met Yaya on several occasions with my girlfriend and she's been a delight each and every time. She's kind, took the time out of her day and stepped out of her booth to have conversations with us, and even invited us out to dinner after a shoot with Marvel. And she doesn't "whine" about people oogling her for her breasts. She playfully mocks them. Grow up, you don't wear green very well.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  7. Jack Kieser

    I remember meeting my girlfriend for the first time: I was running a Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament at Anime Matsuri and she was an attendee cosplaying Falsetto from "Eternal Sonata". A few weeks later, we just happened to be assigned to the same volunteer team at A-kon in Dallas. A month later, we're dating, and two years later, and we're still together, and living together, at that. We've never been happier.

    Cosplay is an amazing way for us to bond (besides the rest of our nerdy pursuits, like D&D and gaming); I'm not artistic at all, but Airious is, and she makes incredible, beautiful costumes. I can't make anything worth looking at, but I act as her support team at cons, carrying her costuming supplies, emergency packs, and swag, just generally facilitating the hundreds of pictures she gets taken of herself. It's an amazing dynamic, and we both love what cosplay brings to our relationship.

    So, in the words of Wil Wheaton (and Jesus): don't be a dick. There's nothing wrong with cosplay; in fact, it's really mostly good.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  8. TrulyGeekyHaley

    My cosplay was shiek from The Legend of Zelda video game series. I looked pretty fine as well. ;) Cosplay is a pretty important part of life for some people and their experiences are truly rewarding.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  9. Ace14

    A hobby that keeps your creative juices flowing, helps a person get out of the house and socialize with like-minded people, and is totally a family-oriented, positive experience! There will always be bullies in the world, whether in the media or the person standing next to you. What a positive example to show the younger (and even adult) members of the audience how to graciously handle being made fun of and still keep your chin up. Kudos!!
    Plus, as a fellow seamstress, there's a great appreciation for the time and talent involved in these extremely difficult outfits.
    Remind us again, media, what's the problem with this hobby?

    November 7, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  10. Random

    I admire anybody who has the balls the cosplay. It takes a lot guts to put themselves on display when so many people are willing to tear them down instead of support them. Plus, the ability and creativity it takes to create some of those costumes is amazing.

    Plus, for anybody who thinks this type of behavior is weird, what is the difference between cosplay and re-enactment? And honestly, i think cosplay makes more sense, but they both have their niches in people's lives.

    November 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  11. asgardshill

    Meh. When "Snow White" is 4 foot nothing and a 200-pound muffintop, she brings on much of the criticism she receives herself. If you're going to cosplay a recognizable figure, your body should at least have a passing resemblance to that figure.

    (And don't even get me started on wide loads wearing Spandex. Should be punishable by jail time.)

    November 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  12. Jonathan

    I don't understand why people have such a hard time understanding this. It's like Halloween anytime you want. Who doesn't like dressing up in costumes on Halloween. Saw a great quote from Michele Boyd the other day: "Ah, Halloween. The day when the cosplayers look at the rest of the world and say, 'Aww. How cute.'"

    November 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Ace14

      Right on!

      November 7, 2011 at 9:44 am |
      • Arkadiya

        Just last week I staged a saence, tarot-reading and bleacher bumming re-enactment of The Craft. A few months prior to that endeavour, I dressed as Winona Ryder and my friend as Jeneane Garofolo and we overdosed on Diet Cokes in her parents' basement. Thank god for the 90s, enthusiastic friends and matte lipstick. 0

        May 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  13. NOT MY CHAIR

    google Yaya Han the lady from the article... some one likes attention. but man she can get it

    November 4, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  14. Huh?

    So this is what becomes of "D&D" geeks.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      hey i play D&D and no one in my group looks nearly as good as yaya han.

      November 4, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  15. guest

    A while back I went to a Star Trek convention for a day because I wanted to see a couple of the speakers (from the original series). I didn't dress up in any costume (it's not for me), but a lot people did and it looked like it made them happy. If that's the case, why condemn or ridicule them for it?

    I see the same thing here; I doubt I'd ever go to a place where people engage in this sort of cosplay, but for those who it makes happy (for whatever reason) keep doing it and have fun. There's all kinds of people in this world, and many never find a true passion; you're lucky you found one of yours.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Thomas

      I agree. Clearly Cosplay is not for everyone, nor should it. They are not harming anyone or anything with their dressing up.

      Some people are just too critical of what others choose to do with their free time.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  16. Bill

    While I empathize with the feelings of wanting to be understood for the reasons you cosplay, and the passion you feel toward your hobby......please don't take offense if you're hot, and you end up channeling my inner Joey Tribbiani, and I utter a "How YOU doin'??" in your general direction.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Yurista

      All ncilpaapes, and All ncilpaapes, and air purifiers with Motors or electronics, produce some minute ozone (TV's, computers, refrigerators included). So the answer is next to zero, and completely safe. Some air purifiers hoever do use Ozone to clean, and produce a lot more ozone. This one doesn't (sorry if I overexplained )

      March 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  17. Anex

    I love Yaya Han, she is so awesome and her costumes are great!

    November 4, 2011 at 5:23 am |
    • Tayloao

      Yaya Han is a beautiful woman. While I realize that for her and most cosplay individuals the cosplay itself is about dressing up like their favorite characters. However, if she is even the slightest bit shocked that some men may attempt to pick up on her when she's dressed as Psylock, Princess Leah slave costume, or a scantily clad anime character then she's not very bright.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:25 am |
      • Motor

        She isn't shocked she gets hit on. From what could be discerned from this article, she stated that she was disappointed that the article author for New York Post focused just on her physical attributes and nothing about her passion for cosplaying.
        I have read the NYP article and I understand what she means.

        November 4, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  18. maggie sottero wedding dresses

    Women's happiest time is holding beloved person's hands together into marriage hall, the most beauty for women is put on wedding dress on that daymaggie sottero wedding dresses

    November 4, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • Thomas

      I thought a woman's happiest time was when she got access to the groom's banking accounts.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:05 am |
      • Uh Oh

        LOL!! True dat...cha ching!!

        November 4, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  19. wishtoremain incognito

    This is called dressup, or playing dressup, or wearing costumes. Cosplay is a ridiculous made up name – stop using it.
    It's like saying saying fooplay for football, or soplay for soccer, viplay for playing video games. or tenplay for tennis.

    November 4, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • Vic Demise

      Just because YOU don't think it's a "thing" doesn't make you right.
      Cosplay is HUGE, and wont be going away until the Earth crumbles to dust.
      Deal with it.

      November 4, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • Roxanna Meta

      ..... Every word is made up. We have multiple words for plenty of types of things. Cosplay refers to the kind of dressup done recreationally, not just on holidays, usually by fans of pre-existing characters. What's wrong with having a word for that? :P

      November 4, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • Matt the in-incognito

      O.o Of all the things you could have picked out from this article, I'm confused as to why this gained your attention. English has a long history of coming up with new words every year. If the use of that word offends you so, don't use it. However, you can't expect an entire community that has chosen that name for it's own to give it up merely because you disagree with it's use.

      As a further note, it's not just "wearing costumes". Cosplay is more than just putting on a costume, it's also putting on a personality. If I choose to cosplay as, say, Tony Stark from iron man, you can be sure that I will ACT like Tony.

      November 5, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Penny

      ...You mean like how 'soccer' is a made-up word for 'association football', for example?

      November 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  20. Charlotte

    I'd like to see all the people talking smack here make a costume as elaborate as the ones Yaya Han has made. Just take a minute to visit her website and look at all her crazy complex creations

    November 4, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  21. loliamelia

    A lot of people have said really mean comments about cosplayers on here and it is extremely rude. I myself am a cosplayer and yes I will admit it is thrilling to have someone ask to take a picture with you but that doesn't mean we all want to be celebrities. Anyway Cosplay has had so many benefits for me. I have found so many friends that have helped me through tough times and it was all because of cosplay. I have more friends I can turn to then most people out there, Another great thing it has done is brought joy to others. I went to mickey's Halloween Party as Tinkerbell and I made a little girls day because I looked like Tinkerbell and spared a minute to talk to her. This child had been admiring me all day! I was happy that I had made her smile... though I did feel bad that she kept dragging her parents over to me.

    November 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Ace14

      Way to be positive!! It's amazing the people you meet, the friends you make, when you do something like this. And as you said, the joy you bring to others is enough to fill your soul till it's positively bursting : )

      And I bet that little girl chatted nonstop about that experience to all of her friends for the next week : )

      November 7, 2011 at 9:48 am |
      • Edit

        What? Who the eff would terval that long for speed dating? This venture seems doomed before it starts.

        February 1, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  22. Levedi

    I've got to say Riddle1's use of "geek" offends me. Honey, as one geek to another – you are totally a geek and that's not a bad thing. Wear the name with pride and don't join the bullies who think it means "fat, lonely, loser." And cut out the fat hatred while you're at it. We all have different bodies.

    November 3, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • VerbalEssence

      Agreed, Lupe Fiasco is openly a "nerd" and he's about as cool as they get.

      November 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Ridd1e

      Hello Levedi,
      I'd like to address this, I'm sorry if you misunderstood my comments. I'm a geek and I'm proud of it.

      "You see them making fun of geeks because they feel like we’re easy fodder...."
      I normally don't quote myself, but I did say "We"

      And I have no hatred for any body types. I had a problem with one group of people being singled out and made fun of, as being the only type that existed in this fandom. Sorry if comment was confusion, that is not what I ment at all.

      November 4, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  23. VerbalEssence

    welcome to America, stereotyping and marginalizing elitists come standard

    November 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • zombie kid

      I like turtles.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
      • I like turtle soup

        yummy

        November 3, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  24. sunny

    dates? really? all the people i know who do this know they'll never get dates. it's why they do this. there are no other social outlets.
    they kinda remind me of the scrawny 4 yr old boy dressing as superman. it's why they dress that way, nothing more than a fantasy. trying to look the furthest thing from what they are. at least the 4 yr old boy does it on halloween. and outgrows it.
    sad people. annoying as hell, but sad. and who the hell ever found them attractive? ew.

    November 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • too bad you are so hateful

      your name is complete opposite to your soul

      November 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • loudlyshy

      I am a model so I imagine I'm considered "attractive," and I cosplay. I have a great dating life and a great social life. I enjoy taking the time to try a new challenge and make a new costume, and I enjoy going to conventions to show off my hard work.

      Your ignorance makes you look foolish. Not me.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Roxanna Meta

      Really? I have plenty of other social outlets, dressing up is one of them. I also went on plenty of dates before I found my lovely boyfriend. Not sure why you feel the need to generalize about a community you obviously know nothing about.

      Also not sure what's wrong with living out a fantasy. I feel lucky that I get to live out my fantasy of, say, being a Disney Princess. If my fantasy were to go to the moon, I'd never realize it. Like I said, that makes me feel lucky : ).

      As for attractiveness, I'm surprised you don't find either of the lovely ladies pictured attractive, but then some people are only attracted to, say, gorillas, so...

      November 4, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • Ann Onnimus

      My handsome, washboard-abb'ed husband and I would beg to differ, and together we will be proud to raise our geek-bred children to enjoy this hobby too (if they want).

      Plus, besides the obviously-hot ladies pictured here, there's also, as an example, a whole group of guys who cosplay from 300 at Dragon*Con every year so that we gals can gawk over their nicely chiseled and oiled bodies... I've heard that many of them train for months so they'll look at their best for it! And from an aesthetic perspective, the accuracy and quality of their costume pieces is indeed impressive!!

      Just like anywhere, there are ugly people and there are beautiful people... both inside and out. I don't know what you look like in person, but you sure don't seem like an attractive person to me, inwardly, and it makes me wonder if you're putting down people who have a fun hobby that they enjoy that you think is a bit weird, because you don't have any friends or a hobby of your own, or if it's just because you're one of those insecure jock types that never mentally made it past high school and are still trying to point and laugh at the "nerds" doing stuff you don't understand. Either way, you're a pretty sad case.

      November 4, 2011 at 3:05 am |
    • Mochi

      How awful... =/ I feel blessed to have met my boyfriend through cosplay, it's something we both enjoy and yeah, okay, so no I don't act like that character all the time. So what? It's fun. And that's what it all boils down to, I think. Cosplay is just... fun.

      November 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  25. curious

    the comments here seem to reflect the average high school experience. kids unthinkingly passing negative judgment on anyone that dares stand out. anyone who is against making clothing, like movies and hanging out with like-minded people please list your hobbies and share with us why they are better?

    hobbies are hobbies, most of them are dumb when you think about it.

    November 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • xxsevensxx

      They send text messages and watch American Idol and DWTS. On the weekends they go out and drink themselves stupid and pretend to be famous. Apparently that's what people with "lives" do.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  26. annfluence

    So sad, pathetic, elitist. These people need some meaning in their empty lives. Rich kids playing dress up. Get an education, get a job, have a family. ior – grow up!

    November 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Actually, many of the people are not rich elitists. They simply are fans who enjoy a fun story line. I know several college students who have jobs, come from middle class families, and are very intelligent people who craft an outfit from a simple budget. Please don't stereotype people simply because you don't appreciate they same things. I find it utterly frustrating that you would be so quick to cast these people in such a role since it is quite far from the truth. We simply like our form of entertainment

      November 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
      • Thomas

        well said.

        November 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • AGeek

      @ann .. you mean like the morons who paint their faces, spend ridiculous amounts of money on "branded" clothes and even MORE on tickets for colossally inane sporting events where they pay grown men obscene amounts of money to play children's games? .. right. Thought so. Step the f–k off, b–ch.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
      • Response

        I don't usually respond to these things... but well said. Especially your closing argument.

        November 4, 2011 at 8:19 am |
      • reem

        You could pick a random shocol uniform from an anime, or do a pokemon team grunt. Those don't require any specific features for you, just a general outfit. Princess Zelda would work, especially from Twilight Princess. or curl your hair and do a temp dye to blonde for a princess peach.

        May 24, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • Ani

      The stereotype that all cosplayers are nothing but bored rich geeks is horrendously idiotic. Many of my college friends–most on scholarships or student aid–devote months saving up and handcrafting their own costumes to enjoy DragonCon or other conventions. I can't think of a single one of these people–myself included–who doesn't actively date or is planning a wedding and receiving an education while working their way through college. How is this any different than someone painting themselves their favorite team's colors and yelling at a football game all night? The only difference is, these cosplayers spend a lot of their waning spare time researching and designing their costumes. So please stop being an uninformed, stereotyping loudmouth.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Saith

      I work 55hrs a week, I pay my bills and don't have a whole lot left over. I save all year so I can make my big costume for the year and fly to Atlanta for my big once a year convention.

      I am not rich. I have a life. I have a job. I'm sure you have NO hobbies whatsoever, right?

      November 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Roxanna Meta

      Great education – check.
      Great job – check.
      Great family – check.
      Rich – not monetarily, no.

      Read what you wrote, and you're calling us elitist? Weird.

      November 4, 2011 at 2:50 am |
      • Nabila

        We have smiliar tastes, Reeder!What did you think of Berg's book? I can't wait to read it. I enjoy her.

        February 1, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  27. Brian

    I think the adult children that still do this aren't really getting many dating opportunities.

    November 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • HomeyDontPlayDat

      Amen. "Adult children" is exactly right. I see 30 year old men walking to classes on campus with beards and a tiny little kids' backpack. Women wear neko (cat) ears and have cartoon lunchboxes for purses.

      November 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
      • Lyra

        And grown men wear stupid beer hats to ball games and show off jerseys when they've never successfully played a sport in their life. Stop looking down on people just because they like to show a little individuality

        November 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
      • Mike

        Damn those childish beards! You'd think they would have shaved them off for good once they turned 12!

        November 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
      • VerbalEssence

        Quit rocking the "hip-hop street slang" homie.
        1) Hip-Hop promotes open-minded unity and understanding not the narrow minded idiocy that is painfully apparent in your dismissive comment. You're making us more intelligent hip-hop heads look bad.
        2) This is a CNN article, please utilize diction that is not reminiscent of an asinine fool.

        November 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • yes, and you hobbies are soooooo grown up

      stfu

      November 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • eeks

      they give me the creeps. like they are trying to attract little children, not grownups.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Jackie

      Actually they date A LOT! My boyfriend & I cosplay & so do a few of my friends. I'm in my early 30's & he's in his late 20's. We both are college educated & have good jobs. And before you ask, no we're not overweight or ugly.! We're just having fun showing of our creative costuming skills & enjoying life

      November 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Saith

      I am asked out all the time. I have dated several men I met at conventions. Stop being ignorant.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Levedi

      And you base this on what? Evidence? Most of the cosplayers I know are happily married and a number have kids. My cosplaying roommate has more dates than I do. Just because you wouldn't date someone, doesn't mean they are undateable. I don't cosplay because it doesn't interest me, but I don't golf or needle point either. Doesn't mean the people who do these things are wrong or unfit for society.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  28. Patiat

    I don't think I could get either of them to even say hi to me.

    November 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • HomeyDontPlayDat

      Why would you want them to?

      November 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
      • how about because they are hot

        and they are

        November 3, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  29. station wagon

    Wanna ride them both....

    November 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • people miss the point

      they are hot... is there any other reason to look at them?

      November 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  30. GnatB

    It's not a costume, it's a culture. They're being offensive to all those disney characters!

    November 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • ohho

      So we need to worry about offending primarily-fictional cartoon characters now?

      ROFLMFAO.

      November 4, 2011 at 3:11 am |
  31. Hidinginthemist

    Glad to see a good article on cosplayers finally. The Mens Fitness article was horrible, and really bummed me and a lot of others out.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  32. joe

    The one question nobody is asking....who gives a crap?

    November 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Crissi

      Then why did you read it? I don't understand people like you. If you don't think any one cares and if YOU don't care then why did you even bother clicking on this article. I'm serious. I'm not just being a smart ass. I want a real answer. Why did you read this article?

      November 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  33. Bert Bigdongle

    How come the girls dont look like that at the last convention I went to? They had a lot more facial hair and weighed more than your average youth hippo.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Crissi

      Serious question. I really need to know. In all honesty. Do men really really only care about what a woman looks like? Do you evaluate every woman who crosses your path? Are you only giving value to women who meet a certain physical standard? I'm not trying to be a smart ass. I really want to know. Its kind of a study I'm working on. Strictly research.

      November 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
      • nfl

        No, we also care about how they are in bed.

        November 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
      • annfluence

        Obese women have difficulty with self-image and personal hygiene. Fat is not attractive on either gender. First impressions are telling. If you don't get that, you don't reproduce, unless it's with someone equally unattractive.

        November 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
      • for research

        no, we care about their personality... behaw haw haw

        November 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
      • Ben

        Crissi,

        Well, I suppose the answer to your questions depends on the man in question.

        For myself, do I think most men ONLY care what a woman looks like? No, I don't. But I will admit, an attractive woman will elicit attention just on her looks alone and unattractive women do tend to be overlooked. That being said, I think men who've never actually dated or been with an attractive woman tend to idealize beauty, but once a man has had real romantic experience with a physically attractive woman, he usually realizes appearance is only a small part of what makes a woman appealing. And I suspect the men who put the greatest emphasis on beauty tend to fall into one of two groups: either they are men who themselves are very attractive and so can easily attract a beautiful woman, or they are men who feel they are unattractive and beautiful women are forever out of their reach.

        Also, I'd like to add, women also use certain features to disqualify men from consideration. Height is an important one. Most women will automatically eliminate from consideration any man who is shorter than a certain height. And they don't lose any sleep over it either. Many women also will reject men based on their socioeconomic level or choice of career.

        November 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
      • I would like to add

        that Ben is actually a gay lesbian woman (needed to phrase it that way for emphasis – I am not long winded like Ms. Ben)

        November 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
      • Mike

        Men don't only care about looks, just like women don't only care about looks. But for both men and women, looks are always at least part of the equation. Think of it like a visual resume... with a resume, if you don't have the keywords your potential employer is looking for, they don't even bother calling you in for an interview unless yours is about the only resume submitted (i.e. they're desperate). Same thing with looks. Looks are good for starting a conversation, and that's about as far as it usually goes. Once the conversation starts, and the possible subsequent dating, it becomes largely about the personality of the person involved. But without the looks, you don't generally get far enough to get into the personality. Of course, in the same way that different employers look at your resume for different things, different people find different aspects of a person attractive. The question is, how willing are you to tailor your body to catch the kind of guy (or girl) that you like? How willing are you to do a bit of physical maintenance to improve your "visual resume" and attract a significant other? If you're setting your standards high, you have to realize that the person you're looking for has probably set theirs pretty high as well.

        November 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  34. mighty7

    Cos-Play is the Burning Man for nerds.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • NotMyDayJob

      Well Burning Man is nerd as well.

      November 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
      • over used word

        really, does nerd carry any meaning any more?

        November 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  35. fiefdom

    What ever turns people on ... love making is better when there's some kind of fantasy role playing anyhow.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  36. Krista

    What kind of mentally deficient fully grown adults feel the need to dress up like cartoon characters? Grow up.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Travis

      The kind who enjoys life without worrying what others think.

      November 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • mbOP

      you ask this just a few days after Halloween....proving to all of us that you lack substantial analytical skills

      November 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
      • lacks many skills

        just the tip of the iceberg for Krista

        November 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Papa Smurf

      What kind of mentally deficient fully grown adults care what you think?

      November 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Chris

      Says the women that wears makeup everyday....
      As if the heels that make you taller aren't trying to be something your not. YOU need to grow up. I've never dressed up like them, but they have more then every right to do it and not be made fun of.

      November 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
      • cdog

        Eh, heels are for the behind , not so much the height :)!

        November 3, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Jackie

      The kind that aren't boring, uptight nobodies that care what society thinks! That's who! You really should work on your insecurity issues! ;)

      November 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • JA

      Krista sounds angry. She sounds like the kind of person who as a kid would walk up to the best artist in her class and yank away a just-finished drawing and rip it up for no other reason than to be a d-bag.

      November 4, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Dioxazine

      What kind of mentally deficient fully grown adults feel the need to insult people who enjoy dressing up like cartoon characters? Get your own hobby.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Sadham

      Good qitseuon.. . Good qitseuon.. . and I get your point about A/c's . The easiest way to keep allergens out with A/c on is to put a small cloth filter on the inside of the A/c cover (My a/c unit has one). I still use an airpurifier even though the A/C may be letting more stuff in. A/C does another thing: It actually removes a lot of the healthy negative ions So I use the smaller unit ( The MT2 is on sale less than $119 search for alive air mini as it's called that as well on another site).

      March 7, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  37. Mike "Talien" Tresca

    Go Han and Riki! Cosplayers have long memories: http://www.examiner.com/rpg-in-national/men-s-fitness-digital-site-director-responds-to-comic-con-geeks

    November 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  38. peppyturtle

    Many of these cosplayers like the popularity that cosplaying gives them. They know that by going to these popular conventions they will be photographed by many people and end up in newspapers, magazines and websites giving them exposure. Some will call themselves "pseudo-celebrities" since it's the next best thing to being a real celebrity. It's a little harder nowadays to discern which cosplayers are REAL fans of comics. I can attest that many are real fans, but the ones that run around conventions in constant circles all day give one pause to think.

    November 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Saith

      When I spend 500 hours making an Ashlotte costume I darn sure want to find plenty of photographs of the difficult to wear and hard to make costume after the convention.

      November 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  39. V.C.

    Actually COSPLAYING and LARPING *ARE* the same thing. For those that make their own costumes and model them, that is called "COSTUMING".

    November 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Noah

      That's not true at all. LARPING is taking on the role of the character and acting out a story as that character. Cosplay is dressing up as a character and hanging out with other people who dress as characters which may or may not include acting like them. I cosplayed a Half-Life zombie at a convention recently, but I didn't wander around screeching and moaning.

      Learn your terms before you act like a know it all.

      November 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
      • didn't know that

        thank you

        CNN could have put that in the article... they really cut corners

        November 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
      • Mike

        Actually, even then, that's just acting. LARP'ing is taking a character and acting their part out according to a set of rules which govern what your character can and can't do. LARP'ing does, in a sense, involve acting... but it also involves a ruleset and usually judges. That said, they all contain one aspect that binds them together in similarity, and that is taking on the guise of another person (fictional or not). It's a question of how far into that guise you wish to go, and whether you're doing it as part of a game or not.

        Take Legend of the Five Rings, for example. Costume Contests (Cosplay) are a staple of the game, and there are rewards for coming to an event with the best costume. However, there's also Winter Court which, while it largely takes place online, can and has also involved scripted costumed events (Acting). And then, there are also those who participate in these events as costumed ancillary characters using a variant of the L5R roleplay system (LARP'ing).

        November 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
      • Mike

        It should, I guess, also be pointed out that LARP'ing does not necessarily involve costumes. I know a bunch of people that do Vampire/Werewolf LARP (from White Wolf), and only a few are ever costumed.

        November 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
      • Camilo

        2 riltefs are 2 riltefs are washeable and make the HEPA last longer. The negative ion, UV, and Tio2 do not get cleaned as they work to eradicate germs, viruses, etc.

        March 7, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  40. Marcus

    Then why does she have giant fake ta-tas?

    November 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Mark

      Probably the same reason a lot of models who aren't high fashion models do. It's almost a business expense at this point if you really want get hired. We can pretend all we want that it isn't, but it is.

      November 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  41. Mijan

    I've done different sorts of cosplay – everything from Frodo to Captain Kirk to Donkey (from Shrek). I've even worn a body suit with... uh... a *PADDED* chest, a long red wig, and drag-worthy makeup for a cosplay skit on stage (hey, don't knock it – I won Best Performance).

    But nothing compares with when I used to cosplay as Harry Potter, and little kids would come up to me and ask to take my picture with them. One kid was absolutely convinced I was "the REAL Harry Potter, mommy, LOOK!" and he asked me to autograph his book. So some kid out there has his book autographed by the "real" Harry Potter. The funny thing is that I remember the way JK Rowling has Harry's handwriting in the books (there are "script" samples, including Harry's signature) so I was able to mimic it.

    Costumes are fantastic, but the joy is about bringing the character to life and making someone's day.

    November 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Thomas

      You made some kid happy. Does not sound like a bad hobby to me. :)

      November 4, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • Ace14

      Being positive and supporting a healthy self image. Wholesome family fun. What's not to like?

      Your experience made me smile : )

      November 7, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  42. T3chsupport

    Dude was in the wrong, plain and simple. You'd have to be really thick in the head to not be able to see how that article was being offensive to people who hadn't done anything to anyone.

    If he's so fond of stereotyping people, then he won't mind being called out for being a meathead.

    November 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm |