As cosplayers, we often tell other people how we should be treated when we are in costume. This has especially become a bigger issue as of late with the “Cosplay is not Consent” push that’s been happening (which we completely agree with). However, despite what our characters may be, we are not, in fact, gods (and goddesses) amongst men. As such, we shouldn’t be jerks to the non-cosplay con attendees. To help EVERYONE have the best con experience ever, we’ve created a list of 7 tips on How to Treat Non-Cosplay Con Attendees.
1. Say Yes to the Photo-ess
Whether it’s the first five minutes of con, or the last horrifyingly long hour, where your costume is sweaty, your stomach is grumbling, and your makeup is smearing, you should always accept an invitation for a photo-op if asked. Why? Because a random human saw you, yes you, and liked your costume enough to build up enough courage to come ask a complete stranger for a photograph. Indulge their appreciation and your ego by smiling and saying, “Why yes, of course you may take a photo with/of me.” There is one exception, and that is when you are running to a panel or contest. Just tell them to find you after. However, when having said picture taken, always make sure you are in a proper photo taking area which brings us to…
2. Don’t be a Brick Wall
Conventions become very crowded very quickly, it’s simply in their nature. As such, when asked to take a picture in the middle of a huge walkway, instead of being Moses and parting the sea of people, kindly ask your photo taker to move with you to a side-wall or hallway. People already have to walk around you due to your excessively large cosplay wings; don’t make them change their entire course to simply have a photo taken. Just like you despise people with strollers, other people will come to hate you and your cosplays if you continue to constantly block their path.
3. A Fan Without a Fandom
It is very likely that while cosplaying at a convention, you will run into a few [read: A Lot of] people will love your costume, but have absolutely no idea who you are. Do not be a snob and scoff at their lack of (obvious) nerd knowledge, instead thank them for their compliment and KINDLY and SHORTLY explain who you are. Even if you are Darth Vader, and you think that EVERYONE should know who you are, resist the urge to force-choke them out, and be grateful they noticed you at all.
4. Prevent Accessory Failure
Many cosplayers out there choose characters with rather large builds. And of course you have to make them (mostly) functionable. Although you may think it entirely awesome to flap your Hawk Girl wings or swing your Buster Sword, not everyone around you will agree. In fact, anyone who has ever been hit in the face with a shoulder pauldron, mace, wing, or any other unaware costume piece will agree that it is not something they would enjoy to have happen over and over. Moral of the story: if you have large accessories or costume pieces that stick out, please be aware of their vicinity to other people at all times. Let’s not behead anyone or cause any black eyes.
5. Don’t Deadpool with your Deadpool
I get it. Your character is a complete arrogant jerk who belittles those around him or who possibly is a jokester and pulls pranks left and right. You dress as this character and want to simply BE this character through and through, which means you get to act like your character to unsuspecting strangers! Right? Wrong. Just because you are in costume does not give you the right to harass other con goers. There is a very large chance that those people have no idea who Deadpool is and why you would be honking their noses and other body parts (yes, I have sadly seen this happen). Do not be a nuisance!
6. Don’t be a Joffrey
I can’t tell you how many rude cosplayers I have run into. It’s ridiculous. Whether that be from committing the offenses above, bashing other cosplays, or simply being flat out mean. No one likes a negative Nancy! It’s ok to not talk to people, but it’s not ok to ignore them because you think you are better than them in some way. This should have been something you learned in grade school, but some people still forget…On a related note, unless you are Stan Lee or someone of equal importance, you should not be charging people to take your photo. Simple as that.
7. Make Your Seashells Big Enough
I know you want to be character accurate, which is fine and dandy, but if your character is wearing a too small bikini for their large breasts, you need to be sure that the extra small bikini remains in place covering those large breasts. No one wants to see your private parts, especially the mom and her 3 kids in tow. Guys, wear a properly sized cup or compression shorts. Your package is not a gift that the rest of the world wants to receive, despite what you may think, and spandex really isn’t that flattering. So PLEASE, when sizing your seashells, make sure they are big enough. :/