Cosplaying gives the cosplayers a chance to dress up as their favorite characters. And if we are being honest with ourselves, there’s an expression of sexuality that goes along with it. Females in comic books, video games, and anime tend to look fairly sexy. A number of male characters also look quite sexy, but not to the extent of female characters.
There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all adults here and there’s nothing wrong with having fun with it, right?
Sadly, stories like this are common. One of my facebook friends who is a female cosplayer told me that she regularly receives stalkers on her page and strange comments. I remember reading something by Meagan Marie (I can’t find where she wrote this sadly) where she talked about being the object of sexuality with her cosplaying. I’m betting if any of us talks to any female cosplayer, we’ll find them being objectified.
Objectification happens when a cosplayer isn’t treated like a human being but as an object. I’ve said before that cosplaying is a hell of a lot of fun and that cosplayers tend to be the friendliest and most helpful people I’ve ever met… and I’m standing by it. It’s what so frustrating for me. These are cool people who have a lot of talent. They express this talent by making incredible costumes. Not only that, they dress up in those costumes and have a lot of fun modeling that costume. All they are doing is having fun and being friendly. But there’s a group of guys who thinks that these people are objects to be lusted after and will treat them as things. These people over-react when they discover that the cosplayers that thing of as objects are real people who get pissed off and hurt when they are treated like things rather than people.
There is a flipside to objectifying cosplayers.
These people aren’t paying attention to the beauty of the costume nor how happy the cosplayer looks. They don’t see a person. They see something to criticize. Something to objectify. It must be easy for them to criticize someone when they don’t see a person.
Yes, Phoenix Wright doesn’t care for all of this objectification going on. Neither do I. Maybe the public shaming of people like Christopher Jason Ross will discourage others from pulling the same sort of crap. I mean…. there’s nothing wrong with having fun with the fantasy as long as we keep in mind that everyone involved is a human being. And all human beings should be treated with a degree of respect rather than as an object.