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Ladies and Cosplay Question on Posing Or rather, posing in a way that doesn't become them.

#1 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:21 PM

I'm issuing this question to the ladies of ACen, and I know there are several men here as well, I'm just not sure on if men have this problem as well, but if they do feel free to comment.

Anyway this might come off as a bit of a touchy subject, so you have been warned. I'll start by saying this question came up to me on Saturday night. Now, let me say I have nothing at all against seeing cleavage, legs, or even a bit of butt if the cosplay calls for it. I have no problem with women wearing whatever cosplay they want, that's up to them, and if they have it well flaunt it. However this subject has been nagging me since the Saturday night of Acen, and I'm sure it probably bothered some others as well at one time or another.

You see while I was heading for the Hilton with some friends I spotted a Felicia cosplayer, which was great she looked good in her cosplay. However as I came closer she was getting her picture taken by a photographer, which was fine, until I noticed that some of the poses she was doing was a bit more provocative. Now I'm not against a sexy pose, that's fine, if the character or the cosplayer wishes to pose like that that's up to them. However it does make me take pause and raise my eyebrows some when, in this case, the cosplayer is sticking her butt out and it seemed like the shot was being taken from an angle that...I guess you could call it a panty shot where you see more than just the glips of the girls undies. Somehow seeing her posed like that, even though I know Felicia is a sexy character, seemed a bit...I guess the term to use is lewd. It didn't become the cosplayer, didn't really show off her costume or the way it fit her, didn't capture the character, it was just there for some fan service. And alright I suppose, but somehow that angle got to me.

So I started to ask myself, given the fact that there are those that do come to cons and try to get up skirt shots, or grope women (or men), is it really okay to pose like that and then get upset if say that picture landed up on, for example 4chan where people made comments about it? Also is the action sexist in a way? And if it is, is it right for someone to pose in that manner for a photographer and then say that photographer finds another person in the same cosplay expecting the same poses or something similar? Does it make sense for cosplayers to, I guess tap into their inner porn stars when posing for pictures in sexy costumes? Or is it better to just pose as the character might? Because I saw at least two other Felicia’s there that posed as the art depicts of her, crouching or scratching, looking cute, but no one was posing the same way as the cosplayer I saw Saturday night.

So again that leads me to my last question, have you ever seen a fellow cosplayer posing in a way that seemed rather unbecoming of them, or maybe a bit on the lewd side, and what were your thoughts on seeing it and reactions?

I'm not trying to upset anyone, I'm just honestly curious about what people react to regarding this sort of behavior when they see it, and does it hurt Cosplayers when others take shots like that in public. In private is a different matter.
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#2 User is offline   GITS SAC Motoko 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:31 PM

I see where you are coming from, and I do agree of what happens when pictures like that are posted on the Internet and the poor person is humiliated for the world to see--especially on 4chan. I'm all for a sexy pose too, but being provocative like that you have to be super careful. At first thought, I think "well, that's the cosplayers choice. It's their own fault they end up being humiliated." But when I really think about it, well...we don't live in a just world where "bad things" happen to "bad people" and that's basically blaming the victim (or the cosplayer in a sense) because we don't know if she was pressured or anything...but my biggest concern is the creeper behind the camera. ESPECIALLY if she did not know the photographer! I mean not EVERY photographer is a creeper, but there are some creepers out there. If I'm suspicious of someone (and I mean very suspicious of them, or I'm uncomfortable with the pose they ask me to do), I will deny them a photo. And I hope that the photographer that was taking pictures of her wasn't a creeper or some horrible person going to post those all over 4chan to humiliate the girl. I feel that if you do have a photographer ask you for poses like that, in a way you should be wondering A: what they plan to do with those photos, B: that most likely they will be posted on the Internet for the world to see and with sexy poses you could be setting yourself up for humiliation. It's a huge grey area to me because you don't want to be like "no, that's wrong you can pose that way" (because I do not think I have the right to judge what other people do) but at the same time it's like "well, it's your decision....." kinda thing.

To answer your last question, I personally have never seen this happen, but if I did I would not be afraid to step in if I see something fishy or going "wrong." If I see a cosplayer posing a sexy pose (and this can be he or she, but I'll use a female in my example) and let's say her breast is REALLLLLLY popping out (from the pose), I will approach her and be like "hey girl, your breast is kinda hanging out a bit" to help a fellow woman. Or, if a cosplayer look uncomfortable, I will jump in and attend to the fellow cosplayer or even approach the photographer. No one deserves to be uncomfortable or do something they don't want to do.

I can see why you're concerned though. It's really a sort of touchy subject since it's hard to choose one way or the other if it's right, since it's the cosplayers choice, but it could be putting them into a bad situation.... At least that's how I interpreted what you said. ^_^ I just hope the photographer wasn't a creeper or anything.

This post has been edited by GITS SAC Motoko: 10 May 2012 - 05:34 PM

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#3 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:04 PM

GITS SAC Motoko, You read my mind, and thank you for that. I wasn't sure how to word the post at all. The thing about the situation was that the woman in question didn't look uncomfortable at all, but at the same time my mind keeps going into the area of, did she dress that way because she likes the character, or was it because the character had little to no clothing on so she knew pictures would be taken. This is something I was grappling with with the costume I had on Saturday night myself, while it wasn't something that was too revealing, I did have a short skirt on and cleavage, more then I normally show, but I figured why not wear the costume since I couldn't wear it for halloween (work wouldn't let me dress up as the skirt was too short). Then I wondered okay well would someone see this as me wearing it to get attention, and that's where the whole thing with the cosplayer came from in a way. Seeing her pose in the way she did made me wonder on the one hand, was she slightly buzzed, or did she want to do this? Then came the question, well was she doing this because she knows that it will get clicks on line if she puts it up on some sights?

On the one hand, okay that's your choice, on the other it brings up the question of does the outfits and actions windup causing cosplayers to get a bad rap at times? Like that women wear provocitive costumes as a means of getting attention rather then, you know, just because she likes the character. Does this lead others to see cosplayers as attention seekers or something worse based on the costumes and the poses of some cosplayers out there? There's all sorts of comments on pictures of girls, and guys, that are like that. And while I wanted to check on things, my thought was, well what if she wants to have her picture taken like that and I go over butting in, dressed as I am, will I seem like I'm judging her and cause issues? I really hate the fact that there is that aspect of cosplay, girls and guys purposely takeing pictures to get attention because they feel they need it, then winding up feeling humiliated or in somecases worse, glad they did it then winding up with people wanting more of the same shots and they don't want to take them. It puts a bad taste in my mouth when I think about it.
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#4 User is offline   Mullenkamp 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:07 PM

My general take on the thing goes like this:

I pose the way I want to. If someone tries to get me to do "sexy" poses or fanservice (except for lulz, like when I was wearing swimsuit Kotetsu and thus we had a bearded dude sticking his butt in the air and making kissy-lips and stuff), I'm just like "hah, no." (Unless it's friends of mine doing it for laughs or an injoke or something. Yeah, lemme tell you all about those Kristoph/Phoenix fanfic illustration shots from ACen 2009... which were taken in a private room and never posted online.)

I let other people pose the way they want to. If someone tries to pressure them and they don't want to but DON'T say no, they need to be more assertive. Or just walk away.

That may sound insensitive, but I find it hard to believe that any cosplayer who's seen cosplay pics online hasn't noticed that the suggestive pictures get an entirely different kind of attention, which may be wanted or unwanted depending on what they're hoping to accomplish with their own pictures. So if they go for suggestive, especially if they don't know the photographer, I'm thinking they know the risk they're taking.

(And that's completely different than the idiots who hide under staircases and wait with their cameras for girls wearing skirts to go above them. In that case, the poor girl doesn't know the picture's being taken, much less posing to give the photographer a better look.)

#5 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:56 PM

Actually, you can pose normally, not be white (or in some cases moe asian,) and still be talked about on 4chan's cosplay section. That's the risk you take for having people take your cosplay picture. It sounds paranoid but you never have any idea, even friends, on what they will do with your cosplay picture or where it will end up. That is how the internet is.

For the second question about sexy poses, no I don't personally do them, but I do see people cosplay sexy characters just as an excuse to get people to take "sexy pictures."

When I pose it depends on the situation, what character I am, etc. I try to make a pose that would reflect the person I am cosplaying or the series in general (such as Swiss from Hetalia posing with his gun.)
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#6 User is offline   myrla 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:22 PM

in all my years on the internet I've never been to 4chan.

I have posed with non-sexy characters doing sexy poses (Abby from NCIS in normal goth gear isn't the 'sexiest' thing). I've also done Inara, from Firefly, a companion, making faces at someone completely non sexy.. it works both ways.
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#7 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:33 AM

Personally I think it's their choice but they do need to be careful. I was wearing a "sexy" cosplay I guess. It was a skirt and a strapless bra essentially. But my poses were a simple hand on my waist with my other hand holding a my prop, a giant lollipop. So nothing provocative really. If someone had asked me for a particular pose that was a little more sexy, I probably wouldn't have objected so long as I felt comfortable doing it and it wasn't over the top or5 going to clearly be showing me in a way I wouldn't like (ie, panty shots or things along those lines) I worked with a photographer friend while at Acen who had me like squat down where I was basically sitting on my ankles with my legs together. And he specifically told me "I'm not trying to upskirt you, and if it happens I won't post those pictures" and I trusted him. Even if some random person had asked me to get into that pose, I'd probably be ok with it (I was also wearing these big fluffy feet that came up to my knees, so when my legs were together all the extra fabric pretty much made a panty shot impossible)

Anyways, long story short, I think it's ok IF the person is comfortable with it. You ask me to do something I'm not comfortable with, I'm going to tell you. And if you refuse to take a different pose, then I'm refusing to allow you to take my picture. I'd like to say if I saw someone looking uncomfortable I'd stop it...but in all honesty I probably wouldn't. I don't know what those people's intentions are. Maybe the girl is just posing like she's uncomfortable. It's really not my place to step in unless it's REALLY obvious one party doesn't want to be there (for example, if a girl said no and the guy like grabbed her arm or something and was like 'You HAVE to do it')

As for cases I've seen. I think it was either my first or second year at Acen, meaning it was my first or second con and I was 15 or 16. There was this booth in the dealers room that had like..sheets? Fabric posters? of anime women in sexy poses (like those sexy pillows that are popular right now) And there was this girl dressed as Zakuro from Tokyo Mew Mew, which is a pretty revealing cosplay for someone who looked around 16 herself. Some guy asked for her photo and placed her between two of those sheets. She looked really uncomfortable. I just kept thinking if it was me I'd say no, but I was too shocked to go attempt to help her out or anything...and I was a young con newbie myself so I felt I had no right interfering. But that's the only time I've really noticed someone being uncomfortable posing. (And she didn't pose sexy, she just did a generic hand on hip, stand up straight pose)
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#8 User is offline   den 

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:51 AM

View Postmyrla, on 10 May 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

in all my years on the internet I've never been to 4chan.

I have posed with non-sexy characters doing sexy poses (Abby from NCIS in normal goth gear isn't the 'sexiest' thing). I've also done Inara, from Firefly, a companion, making faces at someone completely non sexy.. it works both ways.


If you haven't been to 4chan I urge you to stay away from it. I have been desensitized by years of internet surfing and it is something I can never get back, plus it will really make you question the Japanese society as a whole and as an anime fan that can be a negative.

I agree with your words both ways, but even more on that sexy is in the eye of the beholder. 4chan will show you that anything from nudity to scrap pieces of fabric on the floor can be a fetish and turn on for anyone. these are the risks of posing for strangers in general.
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#9 User is offline   den 

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:01 AM

people need to be aware that any picture they pose for when it comes to strangers and even friends has the potential to end up anywhere on the internet. so as long as they are aware of that, pose away. a sexy pose that irritates an onlooker is the offensive only to the looker and they have the ability to turn away rather then complain about what others are doing, but unwanted groping, forcing someone to make a certain pose, or making someone in the picture feel uncomfortable is wrong and I would hope people remember this from first grade when we are taught about personal space and stranger danger. if not your fault for someone lacking intelligence and common sense.
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#10 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:41 PM

View Postden, on 11 May 2012 - 09:51 AM, said:

If you haven't been to 4chan I urge you to stay away from it. I have been desensitized by years of internet surfing and it is something I can never get back, plus it will really make you question the Japanese society as a whole and as an anime fan that can be a negative.

I agree with your words both ways, but even more on that sexy is in the eye of the beholder. 4chan will show you that anything from nudity to scrap pieces of fabric on the floor can be a fetish and turn on for anyone. these are the risks of posing for strangers in general.


Actually it's not really japanese society on 4chan; it's a majority of United Kingdom/Americans, with a few from other countries, who post there on a daily basis and are the general stupidity of 4chan, especially on /cgl/. I used to go there years ago when I was in college, (mostly on /cm/ and /y/) which is why I used it as an example. I went to /cgl/ for a hot minute to get cosplay information, got nothing but rumor and gossip threads and no help, left, and never looked back. I tried again recently and got no results other than one person asking me out of "concern."

That's part of the risk you take when you take pictures; you have no idea where they will end up at. It's best not to pose in really stupid ways (like dry humping,) if you don't want them to be seen by someone important down the line.

This post has been edited by The Fujoshi: 11 May 2012 - 05:42 PM

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#11 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:22 AM

So a friend of mine brought this up to me. More recently there have been complaints about female superheros and their costumes. A few changes have been made in regard to the designs of the female superhero, and she brought up something intersting, which I had no answer for. As cosplayers who sometimes strike poses that could be seen as risque or sexy by various people, are we perpetuating a sterotype regarding female characters in anime, games, and comics? For example, you have the character of Captain Marvel who's mantel was taken on by Carol Danvers, who was Warbird and Ms. Marvel. Her new look is a full body suite that makes her look both strong and well womanly without showing cleavage. Same thing can be said of Jean Gray's Pheonix costume, and Batgirl's full body suit. On the other hand we have stronge females like Wonderwoman, and say scarlet Witch, who's costumes, while traditional in some people's views can be seen as sexist or a sterotype that women in costume must have something showing off more skin then men.

In Anime that's not allways the case, but it does ask the question, as cosplayers then, do we have a job to make sure that the characters we represent are seen in the best light possible?
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#12 User is offline   Mullenkamp 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:00 AM

Thing is, if you say that no women should ever wear costumes that show a lot of skin, or ever be willing to do suggestive poses, it starts sounding like sl*t-shaming (hope that avoids the board censors). For those who like the attention, or like characters whose costumes were designed to be sexy (for example, one of my cosplays is an exotic dancer/priestess and wears little more than a gold bikini - I didn't cosplay her to put myself on display, but because even though we don't know much about her in canon, I think she's really an interesting figure from a storyline perspective), they should be permitted to take whatever angle they want with the posing. They just should keep in mind the potential reactions they're going to get when the pictures inevitably show up online.

Another friend of mine did the same character I mentioned above, and though the poses weren't "sexy" in a fanservicey way, just doing the dancing that the character does in canon, she still got crap on cosplay mockery sites for having worn a costume that shows a lot of skin and daring to move her hips while wearing it. We just shrug it off because those people will complain about anything, and we're happy with the pictures.

#13 User is offline   XenoBlade 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:15 AM

I think i seen a lil worse. Lol while i was in my friends room at the double tree, we seen 3 ppl outside doing some highly questionable stuff. (pretty much pornographic stuff) the guy had a camera, and the two girls were doing "things" to each other. all in cosplay at that. true story

Also me and my roomies plus like 30 other ppl witness these ppl have "fun times" in their room. They had their shades all open and apparently wanted people to watch. Apparently girl made passes at two of my roomies. Male and female.


Quite a weird acen indeed.
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#14 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 13 May 2012 - 12:22 AM, said:

So a friend of mine brought this up to me. More recently there have been complaints about female superheros and their costumes. A few changes have been made in regard to the designs of the female superhero, and she brought up something intersting, which I had no answer for. As cosplayers who sometimes strike poses that could be seen as risque or sexy by various people, are we perpetuating a sterotype regarding female characters in anime, games, and comics? For example, you have the character of Captain Marvel who's mantel was taken on by Carol Danvers, who was Warbird and Ms. Marvel. Her new look is a full body suite that makes her look both strong and well womanly without showing cleavage. Same thing can be said of Jean Gray's Pheonix costume, and Batgirl's full body suit. On the other hand we have stronge females like Wonderwoman, and say scarlet Witch, who's costumes, while traditional in some people's views can be seen as sexist or a sterotype that women in costume must have something showing off more skin then men. In Anime that's not allways the case, but it does ask the question, as cosplayers then, do we have a job to make sure that the characters we represent are seen in the best light possible?


In my opinion, since the comic industry is mostly male-dominated (like most industries...) we're going to have undressed women with giant breasts everywhere (or less extreme versions but still very sexualized) And in reality there's nothing we can do about it besides encourage more women to get into the industry. And I'd have to argue that provocative costumes and whatnot can also be empowering and show a strong female character. It's not necessary, but I don't really see an issue with it. As to how cosplayers should portray the characters...that's up to them really. If you're, say, Wonder Woman, who has some revealing costumes but still is a strong character who never really shows off a naughty side (as far as I know...I don't follow comics like, at all, basing this on Justice League knowledge) it's your choice if you want to portray her as a wh*re. And on the flipside, you could have a really provocative character tone her down when you cosplay her. Acting s3xy can be empowering to a woman. The only thing I'd argue against is going too far with it. If you're out in public during a con where there are bound to be young children walking around, you shouldn't pull out some super-sexy crotch shot or something. You need to play to your audience. If you want to go beyond PG-13, go get a room and have a shoot there where you're not going to scar some innocent child for life.

View PostXenoBlade, on 13 May 2012 - 08:15 AM, said:

I think i seen a lil worse. Lol while i was in my friends room at the double tree, we seen 3 ppl outside doing some highly questionable stuff. (pretty much pornographic stuff) the guy had a camera, and the two girls were doing "things" to each other. all in cosplay at that. true story

I think I know who you're talking about xD I saw them in the entrance to the con center hanging on each other and making out. I do think there should be a limit to that in public since we're a "family friendly" con, but they were cool with so...whatever floats your boat I guess lol.
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#15 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:14 PM

Washu Takahashi said:

In my opinion, since the comic industry is mostly male-dominated (like most industries...) we're going to have undressed women with giant breasts everywhere (or less extreme versions but still very sexualized) And in reality there's nothing we can do about it besides encourage more women to get into the industry.


As a comic book fan, I was always mixed heads about this. I personally enjoyed the old school costumes compared to now, mainly because it seems that the artist now makes more emphasize on the boobs/other areas or make them lesbians or do anything to appeal to the male fanbase

Like Supergirl's outfit was simple, abit skimpy, but I read an issue currently and I seen more upskirts than I needed. I don't know what's wrong with the comic book series now a days. It's like they do a lot of fanservice or they go old school. If I see Iron man in the bucket outfit and Marvel girl with less clothing.....

(On an unrelated note, I wanted to go into the comic book industry until I discovered that I couldn't draw/write/ink my own stories. I would have to do one or the other.)

So it's not really the outfit per say, but the person behind it. Another example: Yoko from Gurren. Now she has on very little but some people can do her cosplay well, others will use it as a method of getting free things with their sex appeal or as an excuse to stick out their boobs.
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Hero from SMT: DS2, Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon Black and White, Roppi Izaya from Durarara, Hitoshura human form from SMT.

All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


Currently into and playing: All Megaten games, Blazblue series, and P4MU. Waiting for: Pokemon BW2 and BB3.

#16 User is offline   MasterHavik 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:37 PM

Well for the POV of the guy that likes to snap pics of cosplay. I just take a pic of whatever pose they wanted. I did asked for specific poses for three characters.(Ryu, Felicia, and Demi-Fiend). I don't try to force the cosplay into uncomfortable positions. They already went the mile to dress up as my favorite character.

This the Fefe's ocsplay Dark Spellmaster? http://mastermorisu....031672#/d4ywa67
Ummm....I'm going to take you to court!

#17 User is offline   tfcreate 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:39 PM

I'm going to let some of the younger photographers weigh in on this before I offer an opinion on the photography end since sensibilities have changed greatly since I first started doing cosplay photography in the 80's.
Yes, that long.

I'm not about drama in which many like to engage, therefore I and no one else is in a position to impose values on anyone, but I have a question about the subject itself:
If everyone is ok with this, then why is this even being brought up? Based on the amount of drama I've seen among many cosplayers, especially at ACen, the "nobility of man" (or woman) motive doesn't
hold much water as far as I can see.

This thread seems to be little more than a backdoor way of passing judgment on those who have made a choice to do what they want to do.
Frankly this is exactly the kind of subject that thrives on 4chan with the only purpose being to either target individuals or to try to suppress those who aren't
ashamed of who they are or how they look.

This post has been edited by tfcreate: 13 May 2012 - 09:43 PM

Decide on your masters, people, for you cannot serve both. Either be an anime con or be a 3-day frat party. (I'm Done with ACen.)
Those who can't be bothered with the little things can't be trusted with the big ones.... ~Larry Bell-Founder of the Bell Aircraft Co.
Any fool can learn from his own mistakes. The wise learn from the mistakes of others....~ Democritus
Posers worry about how they look when they take pictures, shooters worry about the how you look when they shoot.
ACen and cosplay photos
How I Spent ACen 04' Making these.....
(2012)
Next Photoshoot~ Anime Iowa

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