Cosplay and Culture at SDCC 2017

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It’s that time of year again! San Diego Comic Con has come and gone, and the Collective bloggers were there for all the best in current pop culture news and events—and yes, that includes cosplay! We’ve participated in all aspects of cosplay, from construction to photoshoot, and love documenting the amazing costuming we see at conventions. If you see yourself in the gallery below, please let us know so that we can tag you properly!

If you’ve read our cosplay posts in the past, you know that it isn’t all sunshine and puppies. We’ve discussed sore feet, outfit mishaps, harassment, and less-than-ideal situations, particularly at SDCC. But this year, we had an all-around better time because we were determined to be prepared. Of course, there are a**holes and surprises and things out of your control no matter where you are, but it helps if you know what to expect and how to best avoid potential mishaps.

1.) Plan around shoes. If you’re planning on doing a lot of walking, don’t wear uncomfortable shoes. Just don’t. Especially at an enormous convention like SDCC. We walked about 10 miles over the four days, and that was just around the convention center, the nearby hotels, and surrounding outdoor activities. We wore flats, came prepared with inserts and band-aids, and our feet thanked us for it. (Even the best cosplayers, like wonderwomanisreal, never wear heels.)

2.) Creeper? Just walk away. Someone making you uncomfortable? Just leave. There are tons of crowds, and it will be easy to lose the person you’d like to get away from. Don’t engage. And if you feel like they might be threat of any kind, there are lots of police officers around who are there to help. Let them know the situation, and they will take care of it for you.

3.) Don’t want your photo taken? Turn away. I learned this the hard way last year—people don’t like it if you tell them not to take your picture. This year, I just looked the other way, walked away, or made sure I was making a stupid face so that the unwanted photo was unusable. It was much easier and much less stressful at the end of the day.

4.) Make time for yourself. Attending a convention can be overwhelming, especially if you’re cosplaying. You will get a lot of attention from fans and photographers, not to mention the fact that there’s a TON of people at this event. If you’re like us and need time to recharge, take it! We set aside time each day to distance ourselves from the crowds. I recommend the upstairs bar at the Hilton. No one will ask for your photo, and you can have a drink in peace.

5.) Be confident. This is the key to having a good time in so many situations, conventions included. Cosplay is super fun and rewarding, but it can also make you second guess yourself…especially if you’ve dealt with harassment and consent issues in the past. This year, the Collectress and I attended on Friday as Offred and Ofglen (from The Handmaid’s Tale) and I’ll admit, I was a little worried about how things would go. I wasn’t feeling confident at the beginning of the day. After all, the bright red outfit is symbolic of oppression, subjugation, and fertility in Margaret Atwood’s dystopic society. And I’d learned last year that it doesn’t matter how much or how little you are covered—creepers don’t care. But the very first person who stopped me for a photo was a woman like me; small, brunette, shy. She told me that she loves the book and the show, and felt very emotional seeing me dressed that way. She looked at me and didn’t see a symbol of sexism—she saw courage, determination, and power. I took that cue from her, and decided then and there that I would change my attitude about my cosplay. The red no longer made me ashamed. It made me confident. And you know what? Both the Collectress and I had incredible experiences.

If you missed our coverage of SDCC, please check out the latest fan news right here on The Collective. And if you’d like to see the cosplays worn and constructed by the Collectress and yours truly, check out our Instagrams!

xo,

The Collected Mutineer

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