Cattiness Takes Over HEROES OF COSPLAY – OP/ED
There are a few things I learned about this Heroes of Cosplay fight that still seems to be going on since the airing of the last episode: girls are catty wherever you are, TV skews everything for the sake of entertainment (and sometimes other people do it for them), and SyFy apparently produced the second-day contest and not the Planet Comicon itself. In other worlds, it’s entirely possible that the other contestants claiming to be taken by surprise by group skit element of the competition truly did not know until the very last minute. That’s how reality TV shows operate sometimes. They’re dicks. This should not surprise us.
First, a recap of what started the continued heated conversation online: On the last episode of Heroes of Cosplay, an audience member called out the SyFy cast members. At the event, someone reportedly called the cast “SyFy plants,” referring to the network planting adept cosplayers and pitting them against amateurs. On the show, since you apparently can’t reference the network, “SyFy plants” was changed to “out-of-towners.” This seemed to have sparked a reaction backstage, most notedly with the “Femme 11,” eleven women all dressed as different generations of Dr. Who. A small fight broke out between “Femme 11” and “Team Dragon” (Holly, Jessica, and Becky). Becky started crying and Holly and Jessica stood by to defend her.
Before “Planet Comicon, Part 2” aired, one of the Femme 11 made a preemptive move by giving her side of the story before anyone else (here’s another blog post from an additional Femme as well). Afterward, cast member Jessica Merizan made a statement over Twitter to keep away any hostility towards the Femmes which sprouted into an open dialogue with some of the members. The most vocal person seems to be Chloe Dykstra. Having met Chloe personally, I know her to be a very passionate and loyal friend. In result of some angry posts from the Femme’s side, Chloe posted her own side of the story, defending Team Dragon.
What a mess, right?
Watch an amateur recording of the Planet Comicon Costume Contest here
To the locals complaining that they only get to go to one con a year whereas these “heroes” are able to go to plenty more: if you’re aspiring to be in an industry that, in this case, specializes in fabrication and costuming, how else are you going to advertise your craftsmanship if you don’t go to these type of conventions? This is good point made by Laura Longtine-Rosado, founder of PopCycled Baubles, a small business that sells jewelry and accessories made with upcycled comic books. Laura, as well as other crafters, must go to conventions to not only sell merchandise but to expand her brand amongst the target demo. The same concept can be transferred to cosplayers whose intent is to one day get professional recognition for their work and make a career out of something they love to do.
In any case, I’m just sad that there seems to be a very noticeable rift within our precious community because of this and with the show in general (at least for now). What I personally took away from the show was the inspiration to look deeper into costuming and to work on my incredibly rusty crafting skills. I paid no attention to the drama that was slapped on there. I just wish there was more concentration on the crafting itself and not the drama. The technical sides of cosplay was left up to little excerpts and web exclusive clips on Hulu and SyFy[dot]com.
It’s unfortunate to see people turn on each other like this. It’s especially disheartening when it’s centered around a hobby/culture we all love. The on-camera tearing down of other people’s abilities and passions further solidifies the concerns with how people coping with low self-esteem feel about dressing up at all. Why would they willingly subject themselves to ridicule from not only complete strangers, but from fellow enthusiasts who are supposed to welcome them into the fold? But I guess crap like that really does happen everywhere we go. We just have to remember to be the bigger person and let the whiners have it out. I applaud the HoC cast members who were conscientious enough to try and instill what it truly means to be part of the geek community: inclusion. Everyone and anyone can join the club, or at least that’s how it should be. We all have weird quirks and interests and we as a community generally celebrate that. Hell, that’s what we do right here on Agents of Geek.
I’m a little closer to this particular event than most people because I’m friends with one of the cast members; however, I’m not picking sides. That’s not what this is about. I just want to remind everyone what it means to be a card-carrying member of this crazy, beautiful community we have: we must all accept each other, lend a helping hand, and share each other’s interests and passions – new and old – so we can all geek out together. Lord knows that’s why we joined in the first place.