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Voice of Dissent Part II

My personal interpretation of Ironman: cosplay-08_thumb

111 thoughts on “Voice of Dissent Part II

  1. Here we go again with two sets of equally valid viewpoints at loggerheads. I hate these kinds of situations because we’re all more likely to lose if someone actually wins this argument.

    Course, someone needs to chime in a note for freaking authenticity here. If everyone gets to re-interpret characters as they see fit then what value in the actual character itself? Characters become templates instead of actual characters.

    And I see Pumpkin has mastered the ancient anime art of slowly slinking out of frame. And possibly chibi. I’m getting a note of chibi.

      1. Every time I see that I think of Poochie.

        “I have to go. My home planet needs me.”

        And upward and out of frame he goes, pulled on the cel itself.

    1. I can’t say equally valid here. The alien’s defending cute chicks in cute outfits (a generally good thing) with wrong arguments, which is even worse than not defending a good thing at all. It’s setting the other side up with a free strawman. Sexy IS for somebody else’s benefit, whether the wearer realizes it or not. Winning second place is scarcely being a victim, either… that’s just an uncalled-for attack to take an argument from logic to emotion.

      1. No, the “victim” part there is apparently that someone else finds it sexy. Our alien friend here is suggesting that it’s the viewer’s fault for finding it sexy, as opposed to the costumers’ part for building it that way. Hence “She can’t control what you or anyone else defines as ‘acceptable.'” Though you would think half-missing clothing would be a pretty universal standard of sexy, not everyone agrees.

        1. Though the problem here is that she’s got a point about re-interpreting characters, and how there really should be something said for creativity in all this, not just who can do the best job of approximating the character.

        2. I have to agree with you there, as far as the whole “they wear that for themselves” argument. I cna accept that excuse the very first time you leave the house like that. After that? You know the reaction you’ll get and you know the attention you will receive. If you are not ready/willing/able to handle the criticism/attention/ire then you shouldn’t dress that way(or cosplay in this instance). And on the subject of reinventing characters as you see fit, you see TONS of Rule63 characters done all the time who you are still able to figure out who they are. At first I thought she was doing one of the dancers from the opening of Iron-Man 2.

      2. I have to disagree that dressing in a “sexy” manner is by nature for other people. Plenty of people do dress in a provocative manner to get a reaction from others, yes, but plenty of other people dress in a similar fashion because they enjoy it for themselves and not for how other people see them. That others will see them in a particular light for dressing in a certain way is secondary.

    2. As a man who cosplays regularly and has female friends who also cosplay regularly, I can say the these opinions are not equal. His thoughts come off as kinda elitist.

      But I should go into detail.
      1. Making the most authentic cosplay is an awesome and perfectly valid cosplay. Its can be challenging and its easy for people to recognize and shows your love of a series/book/whatever.
      2. taking an existing character and reinterpreting it in a new way is also a perfectly valid way to also show your love of the series. it is generally more challenging (as you need to be both recognizable as your character and recognizable as a reinterpretation). Generally your get less people who know what you are but it can be much more creative as an artist.
      3. I dont think she was ironman, she was dress exactly as one of the drancing girls from starks little release at the tech show in iron man 2
      ex: http://slotsmarvel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Iron-Man-2-World-Premiere-165.jpg
      4. its worth noting the pumpkin’s cosplay is a interpretation. unless i missed a joke her sailor sensei doesn’t exist and is an original character.

      I say this from some experience, my circle of friends did a large phoenix wright genderbent cosplay, which was fun. (if curious I was Mia Faye)

      1. Sailor Pluto doesn’t exist? I’m only vaguely familiar with the franchise, but I’m pretty sure you missed the joke. Though there are other trans-Neptunian objects, and it’s more… precise? to refer to Pluto as a dwarf planet. i.e. there are way fewer dwarf planets than there are trans-Neptunian objects, though Ceres is the only dwarf planet that isn’t a trans-Neptunian or Kuiper Betl object.

      2. Couldn’t the whole argument be summed up as one fan saying a cosplayer is doing rule 63…. and the other saying it’s really just rule 34, and they’re trying to pass it off as rule 63?

  2. As to the new Iron Man…what, is this Tony Stark in his “just bet Stark Industries on purple in roulette in Vegas when he was blasted out of his mind on paint thinner” phase?

    1. That was 3000 dollar a bottle paint thinner. But, no, because there was no pink feather boa. He always had a pink boa, some how.

    2. You can’t make something as complicated as that suit from scratch! You have to work it out on paper first. This guy just opted to wear the paper.

  3. C’mon Pumpkin! Don’t back down now! You were there and she wasn’t! If she wants to jump to conclusions just because it supports the point she’s trying to make, that’s foolish of her. *We* know you beat them down for their attitudes and not their outfits.

    That said, I think Aria had the upper-hand here until the end. Now she just looks like another rabid loon.

    1. Actually, it sounded pretty condescending to me throughout. Along the lines of, “I disagree with you, therefore you are wrong.”
      I don’t know if Rusche was going for that, but that’s what I got out of it. But then , I agree with Pumpkin and her friends. I don’t really see a point in that Iron Man cosplay. Unless she did something amazing with the lights, it’s just another Iron Man wannabe, not something that merits an award (though, I admit, partially it’s the “pew pew and stuff” that’s bothering me. Unless it’s somewhere in canon that I missed, it’s kind of a ditzy thing to say while you’re being given an award for good cosplay. If it IS canon, then I’m completely off base.)

      1. I’m with you on that “pew pew and stuff” business. What is driving this? Why would someone who enjoys the work of those behind Iron Man reduce it to a bikini with props punctuated by “pew pew and stuff”? Is this just a really complex parody, a satire designed to irk the viewer? A commentary on the nature of congoers to inherently question the nature of female cosplay?

        It couldn’t possibly be because someone’s here for the attention. After all, we ALL know there’s no such thing as a “fake geek girl.” We’ve been told as much often and loudly enough.

        1. I call satire, because without the pew pew stuff, its a one sided presentation on her making it a sexy Iron Man only. I think that she owns it with the crazy, sexy and coy wrapped up in one.

      2. I think that Chris might have viewpoints different from his character’s held beliefs. Please refer to his points on having a good web comic. Characters must have differing viewpoints from the author.

    2. I agree with you completely, except that is Liara, not Aria. Aria was more purple and had all those tattoos pained on her face. This cosplayer does not have any of that.

      1. Ahh crap, I’ve been outed as someone who’s never actually played Mass Effect. I saw someone refer to her as Aria on the previous strip and she looked vaguely similar to the person who showed up on a quick Google image search.

        At any rate, I agree that it comes across as condescending throughout but I don’t think that invalidates her point. People should be free to cosplay how they want as long as it doesn’t violate convention rules.

        All this aside though, I just realized that two comics ago (Felt Covered Basketball) one of Pumpkins friends committed one of my pet peeves. The plural form of “anime” is “anime” and not “animes.” This is the true crime, people. Never forget.

      1. Even…Francish…?

        …Thassit. ‘m back on th’ wagon. No more paint thinner for me!


  4. And to be fair, Aria, that skit DID feature a felt-covered basketball devouring two entire human beings. That’s Michael Bay-grade special effects there.

  5. Eh, I’m not going to complain about the outfits….they’re mostly easy on the eyes. But I do think that there is something to be said for sticking to the essence of the character.

  6. Liara is laying some smack down, stop the oppression people! Come on Liara don’t you have a culture to study ;) ha ha. Also pumpkin is too adorable in those last panels haha.

  7. So if that got best skit… then McFatFat got another award for his pile. Ellie is going to run out of room to store them all.

  8. In my opinion, I think cosplayers should be able to portray characters as they want, but I believe there should be some limits as to what can me done. I’ve seen some people at conventions wearing almost nothing, and I felt that was a bit much. On top of that, one girl was dressed like… I can’t remember but it was an anime girl who hated fanservice, and she was showing as much skin as possible in her cosplay of said girl. While that is a rare case for me to encounter, I still felt it was shaming the character, especially since said character actually hates showing too much skin. So, I really feel like if there are characters like the sexy iron man or something, that is ok as long as it doesn’t cross a line, or, in some cases, the character being cosplayed is a against fanservice, in which case, the way to properly portray them would be not to show any skin.

  9. This happens in virtually all areas of society, from to firearms (45 vs 9mm), to marriage equality, to geekdom. There’s a handy term I’ve encountered on tabletop RPG forums (i.e. Pathfinder, D&D, etc.) that’s used to describe it:


    Essentially, the act of deriding others for the way in which they engage in a shared activity, chiefly because it differs from how you yourself enjoy it, is referred to as BadWrongFun. The term is invoked to point out when party A is giving party B grief because the latter’s idea of how to play doesn’t conform to what the former’s.

    Party A: “OMG, how dare you inflict critical fumbles on your players, you’re a terrible GM!”
    Party B: “Uh, we use critical fumbles because everyone thinks they’re fun!”
    *Bystander rolling their eyes: “Yes, how dare Party B have BadWrongFun! Don’t you know what you are doing with your friends is totally ruining Party A’s fun even though your paths shall never cross?”
    Party A: “Yeah that’s ri- Heeey…”

    1. I think the problem here is what happens if BadWrongFun becomes standard. It’s the Slippery Slope writ large; what happens to the value of the carefully-crafted Iron Man costume that took months and foam to make if the “alternate” Iron Man in the Iron Bikini back there takes top prize?

      It’s one thing if Iron Bikini becomes house rules; it’s another thing for it to become tourney rules, you know?

      1. Work (competing) and Recreation (attendance) are essentially two different things, so let’s not confuse the matter.

        Not everyone who plays Magic the Gathering, Ping Pong, or CounterStrike is vying for tournament prizes. Nor is everyone who cosplays looking to be professionally judged.

        The nonsense illustrated by calling out someone’s objections as BadWrongFun is that when it’s just a hobby, there’s no harm in doing what you find fun and enjoyable if you’re not hurting anyone else.

        As for competitions, that’s a whole other ball of wax. While the world doesn’t need the ISO declaring what is and is not valid cosplay, a professionally judged event should still have internally consistent judging guidelines. If a shabby yet sexy cosplay is winning over a really well-made, accurate cosplay that’s not sexy then it’s probably the judging criteria/methodology that need scrutiny.

        Outside of judged events though? If you’re not breaking any public decency laws, and people won’t have to drink themselves silly to bleach your image from their mind, then I say rock on with it. The hobby has enough space for all sorts of geeks and passions.

    2. Thanks for the terminology, though now the question is who is accusing whom of having BadWrongFun? Are the anime cosplayers accusing Iron Mangirl of having BadWrongFun? Or is Liara accusing them of having BadWrongFun? Maybe some of us, the commenters, are accusing Liara of having BadWrongFun?

      Also, the only real exposure I have to cosplay has taught me two things:
      1. Cosplayers are praised simultaneously for accuracy and creativity.
      2. Half of cosplaying is apparently complaining about how others are doing it wrong…?

      So maybe they’re all doing exactly what they’re supposed to.

        1. Probably an age difference. When I was a little kid, they used to have a science fiction show on local TV that showed the old Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials, so to me “BadWrongFun” sounds in my head like a “Ming the Merciless” type villain…

        2. Idk, I’m definitely too young to have seen said serials, but it definitely strikes me as a silly villain something like that.

        3. BadWrongFun, the scourge of the playground. Teaching assistant to fourth grade latin.

  10. I mostly get annoyed by stuff like this. Not the comic, of course; the behavior being accurately portrayed in it. The hypocrisy of a person claiming X is allowed to express itself , but Y is not allowed to express itself because Y disagrees with X is incredibly annoying.

    I could see someone getting upset if Spike were complaining to the judges or walking up to Iron Maiden and being confrontational with her. That would be a totally different situation. This social justice jackass wouldn’t be thought policing, she’d be taking a side in a fight Spike started. Butting in on a peaceable conversation with his friends, as she did, is an entirely different matter.

    I often wonder how someone can blindly demand that, in the name of free expression, everyone else stop having differing opinions. It baffles me. How do you get your focus so myopic that you don’t notice how entitled you have become, yet still have enough of an attention span to dress yourself correctly?

    1. Well, true, Spike and Chun Li are only expressing their opinions, but then again that’s all Liara is really doing. Everybody’s disagreeing with each other here, but nobody’s trying to restrict each other’s free expression. Liara has every right to voice disapproval of the other two’s opinions, just as they have every right to voice disapproval of the winning cosplayers’ costumes.

      Not much to get worked up over, really. Folks have opinions.

      1. That said, I feel I should add that an initial response to Liara’s disapproval along the lines of, “Excuse me, but who invited you to this conversation?”, would have been completely appropriate. I mean, Spike, Chun Li, and Sailor Trans-Neptunian Object were having a discussion among themselves. Nobody asked for the balance of opinion to be restored, they just want to trash-talk the winner.

        1. I always thought that it was and I know that James will back me up because we’re in the same height class, “Ho ho ho, Green Giant.”

        2. True, it is absolutely a risk. But they aren’t being forced into continuing the discussion with her as a participant.

        3. Not engaging in debate with an opponent means you concede to their argument? Man, there’s a lot of crazy shit I apparently agree with on the Internet then.

        4. I just now got the compilation done for the reply on this. Disengagement from the discussion/argument seems to be conciliatory unless the parties of the first and second part separate from the discussion verbally the third party without conceding nor agreeing/disagreeing the third parties extracurricular addition to the discussion, renders judgement for the third party’s argument as won rather than politely left alone and standing in the rain while the first and second parties have root beer floats while continuing their prior discussions unabated.

          Now let me throw that out there while I think if that was what I was wanting to say.

      2. You are intentionally mischaracterising what I said. I said the Liara cosplayer was a hypocrite and a jackass for what she said, not that she had no right to do so. She has every right to announce herself to the world as a mindlessly entitled reactionary.

        She is also very clearly attempting to restrict the Spike and Chun Li cosplayers’ free expression, by attempting to shame them into shutting up and never speaking with dissent again. This is entirely different from what they were doing: speaking to each other but making no attempt to make their subject change her behavior.

        There is a nearly black-and-white contrast between those two behaviors.

        1. While I assure you that I was not mischaracterizing what you said, intentionally or otherwise, I can say that worded as you have it here (re: shaming them), I can generally agree. She does have the right to speak up, and her voiced disapproval of their opinion is not the same as restricting their rights to have an opinion, but true, as you put it, she is shaming them for their opinion, which is kind of inappropriate (I mean, their opinion isn’t even that terrible).

          Personally, I’m not too upset about one person shaming others because they don’t like their opinions – people do this. That said, had she gathered a posse of friends to shame the group into submission, it might be cause for booting them all out of the convention for being instigators.

          Especially if McFatFat has to get involved again.

        2. I get what you’re saying, but trying to shut people up still counts even if she fails. It comes back to my original point. Spike and Chun Li were talking amongst themselves about something they disliked. Liara started talking at them about how they shouldn’t do what she dislikes.

          It’s not just “folks having opinions” it’s how they act on those opinions that can bother me. It’s a shame, too. There’s something really refreshing about those few times when I get into an argument with a stranger (in person) and it stays purely unemotional. These days everyone (in person) seems to be either afraid to have a disagreement or like a ticking bomb you just clipped the wrong wire on.

        3. Fair enough. Like I said, one person doesn’t bother me so much (like I said, people do this – my solution usually is not to take them very seriously), but different things bother different people, and I can understand why it’d still frustrate you.

          And I agree it is sad that people invest their emotions into every little opinion they have to the point that simple debate can’t NOT turn into name-calling and finger-pointing.

    1. Yes. There is that. And I believe that Pumpkin presented her argument beautifully. However, I don’t think that she was fully jumping on her groups band wagon. I think she was sassing Francis a bit while getting back at him for his opening montage of blowing this joint. But I don’t think she was all into it. I mean, Pumpkin has been given the advantage of the here and now, a glimpse into the future, the opposing base of presentation for cos play, and some one who might object to the restricting of a representation of fictional representation of an individual vs groupthink.

      How 1984 was shoved in must have been as an afterthought.

      I think that the Iron Maiden was not only cos playing, but acting rather hammilly as well. But that’s another thought.

  11. I don’t much get into cosplay myself so my opinion is probably not very well-informed (yet every bit as invalid as everyone else’s), but as I see it cosplay is not roleplay. She only has to recreate (or in this case, reinvent?) the character’s appearance, not the character himself. Yes Iron Man wears armor that protects his vital organs. But she’s not Iron Man. She’s a girl in a costume.

    I could, however, understand if Spike and Chun Li’s complaint was more centered around the judges awarding the hottie in the costume, and not the costume itself. It seemed to start that way, but devolved into whining about character inaccuracy. Still, as a solution I say, bring on the scantily-clad superhero cosplayers! If they were plentiful, the judges would likely become jaded with the concept and aware that these hot babes are winning on hotness alone, not creativity, and maybe award someone more original.

    Like some girl dressed as Harley Quinn.

    1. I think it’d help if we knew what things the competition was supposed to be judged on. Then we’d have a better idea if this was a totally subjective thing or if there’s a legitimate beef to be had. If accuracy was supposed to be one of the key scoring points, I could see Spike feeling cheated for losing to someone who passed off a bikini with lights on it as Iron Man’s armor.

      As a side note, I fully support your endorsement of Harley Quinns.

    2. If there was a lousy Harley Quinn who sounded like Arlene Sorkin, she’d have my vote. And the janitors would have to be called en masse for the Pavlovian responses.

    3. I have done a bit of cosplay that wasn’t for me. I did it for my girlfriend. That being said I’ve heard almost every side of the Authentic vs Original argument. The best I’ve been able to come up with is that the real problem comes down to the sexy and how it’s taboo to say that the sexy is the problem. Naysayers have to come up with every other reason under the son to say what is wrong because if they say it’s the sexy then they are being sexist/racist/biased.

  12. Cosplayers cosplay for themselves yes, but also almost always for others at the con. They want to be seen, and recognized for their work. Now whether they want to be recognized for their work in making a sexy or modified version of character or staying true to looking as much as the usual model for their character is up to the individual cosplayer. Neither version is bad cause it’s all in the name of fun. You don’t have to like someone else cosplay, but whenever a cosplayer goes out to the con they’re hoping someone else will notice them, and their character for what it is in the light they, want, whether that’s, sexy, ironic, comedic, or something in between! That being said. Yeah this girl should butt out. The group is obviously just complaining for the sake of it/ a minor vent that they themselves or an old school cosplay like theirs didn’t win. Not every conversation is or needs to be a giant political event!

    Still I wish sexy Iron Girl didn’t win, but that’s just cause I’d prefer an anime cosplay! Ironman’s getting overplayed these days! ha!

  13. Here’s the thing: There can never be a perfect cosplay. Every costume deviates from the source material. Every depiction, no matter how detail-perfect it seems, will have some variation from the original.

    This is especially true for depictions of non-live-action media, like anime, comic books, or computer games. Many times it is physically impossible to even visually approximate some of the features of a character’s appearance in the real meatspace world.

    Every costume is going to have divergence from the ideal, and where to put the dividing line between sufficiently authentic and insufficiently authentic is a subjective value choice that every person will make differently–not only from costume to costume, but also from viewing to viewing and moment to moment.

    You may lament that the local and present community consensus has placed the line in a different place than you wished it would, but lamenting is all you can reasonably do. And if you lament too long, you’ll forget to have fun, like that young lady in the Iron Man bikini is having.

      1. The 501 Legion do not have working blasters. Imperfect replica of the canon generic Stormtrooper.

        As I said, perfect reproduction of the source material is almost always impossible. The closest you could get is if the actual actor in costume walks directly off the set and onto the convention floor, and that would work only if the character didn’t have any part of the costume that required post-production work to create on screen. *That* might be an authentic costume, but that is an awfully high bar to clear.

        1. Soo.. Grant Imahara in a c-3po suit? He played him in like SW events, which I suppose is not the same as being the movie actor, and the physical suit itself did appear in the movie as TC-14, before gold-coating. Lots of caveats here, but i’d say it’s closer than the 501st: as I understand, they make their own suits.

  14. Wait a second. Any thing in public becomes a possible forum because of it being brought forth by an individual making a statement either vocal or nonverbal. The presenter is automatically opening a forum by stepping into the limelight. The only thing this Laria seems to be offering is, ‘haters gonna hate. So shut it.’ But that only shuts down possible legitimate viewpoints based on facts, opposing viewpoints against the position offered by the presenter, or even jilted viewpoints based on emotional response.

    And with the possibility of rebute not being rebuked, no one learns because no just platform was allowed for discussion and argumentation of viewpoints allowed. Just a trite smackdown on making people bite their tongues and swallow emotions and create yes men. I mean, allowing butt heads to rebute meat hewds is what made Archie Bunker’s character in “All in the Family” so radical. He learned from right from wrong because of his vocalizations of his wrong viewpoints in order to lead him to the truth of his erroneous viewpoints and thus changed his ways. And it not only made the show enjoyable but educational.

    1. But then, her argument is just an example of what I said because when turned around, she can’t believe that the sexy vs. Cosplay won best skit.

      But then I think with that revelation, we got meta inside the strip itself and not just the comments as well.

    2. BAH! Public places are forums?! Keep your accurate interpretations of the meaning of words out of this, Mr. Blue! Just shut your mouth! Don’t you get it? It’s about everyone being free to express how they want in any manner [which I approve of] they choose to!

  15. …Liara is comparing their complaint of the lack of cosplay authenticity to blaming a woman for being raped? Wow. Reaching for that one, isn’t she.

  16. Interesting to see this discussion popping up in the comic, can’t wait to see what comes of it. It’s definitely a hot topic when cosplay comes up, and we may never get a general consensus that most people agree with. :U

    1. I strongly suspect it’s “will never” as opposed to “may never”. We’re talking art, which is opinions and taste and emotion and generally things that can easily differ from one viewpoint to the next and have no requirement to hold to any common set of axioms or laws of reason. Broad consensus seems extraordinarily unlikely.

  17. To be sure, there are some good points in there but to be honest, The Asari is just being a spoiled brat hiding behind grand phrases. Her argument boils down to “We can do whatever we want when we cosplay, and we should be supported no matter what we do”. But being able to do whatever you want ends the moment someone else is involved, even if it’s simply as the audience, and the Asari needs to grow up and understand this.

    As to why the sexy cosplay winning (even second place) can be offensive, I think the most obvious reason is that it takes little effort or skill compared to some other costumes (see the one portrayed as taking first place in the comic for an example, or even Pumpkin’s) and it can be strongly suspected she got her award for having a sexy body rather than the cosplay itself (does anyone seriously think the girl would have won anything with that if she was fat and ugly?).

    1. To a degree you’re right, but half of cosplay is choosing a character/costume that compliments/fits your body. That’s to say you can’t try and pull it off, but very few can.

      1. Ok. But what if the person did not do the character to body match up, and still got a professionally hand made by their hands 98% reproduction costume to near Hollywood quslity?

    1. Bump?

      I’m hopping they can make a return appearance. They were interesting, and I’d hate to think Pumpkin really had the cat kill them.

      (To quote Cinnamon Bun, “Too dark!” Yeah, I’m a softy.)

  18. Gosh I hope this is just a lead in to a joke and not the start of Rusche’s descent into his comic being a forum for the current hot topics and political statements. Once the funny gives way to preachiness, you’re dead to me, you hear! DEAD!! Right out of the will. I’ll take my zero contribution elsewhere, good sir! I said GOOD DAY.

    1. Hahaha. Hardly being preachy. I tried my utmost to give both arguments a fair representation. I only got on this topic out of Pumpkin’s interest. Not my own.

  19. well, its hard to respect someone who can’t get their facts straight. Liara here, she hasn’t even got it right – the two that pumpkin dealt with started all the shit, and pumpkin retaliated in kind. However, lets face it. Ironman… the concept was essentially an individual, male or female, in a set of body armor, designed in such a way as to protect them almost completely from harm. A bare midriff and exposed head would result in certain death for anyone that goes through what ironman does. further, the armor is strength enhancing. Guess what – bare midriff means that when you pick something up with your augmented strength arms and legs, you have a weak point right about your center, and despite lifting with your legs? stress does proceed to that weak point. Pick up car, get shorter. The ironman armor does the work and takes the stress instead of the body.

  20. The third party brings up a lot of good points … If there wasn’t a contest involved. The issue with the sexy iron man costume is that it isn’t really good. It’s not creative, (the exact costumes being in the movies even) it’s not impressive, and by any metric other than sexy it’s a bad costume. She should not have placed with it. Don’t get me wrong; she has every right to wear it, and even to enter a contest with it.

    Our characters aren’t in the right though. They aren’t complaining because she won. They’re complaining because they lost. They complained first place only soon because of an accessory … when the character being codplayed seems to have been designed around that accessory.

    Neither side really has a moral high ground here. The blue girl really just seems to want to express her views on current hot topics. She’s of course chosen the wrong group, because there is not one, but two Buckingham girls there. This isn’t going to end well … for anyone.

  21. Blue and I broke this down in the chat, and here’s how I wound up thinking about it:

    The primary person/people at fault here are the judges for not listing/qualifying what the contest would be judged on. Spike, Chun-Li, and Pumpkin are more than welcome to have an opinion of what Iron Hotpants’ costume is, but they shouldn’t put the blame on her for winning second place.

    However. Liara’s argument about “victim blaming” is interesting because up until the three were criticizing her for winning with that costume, nobody was victimizing her. Nobody was making crude comments towards her, nobody started to try to feel her up in a crowd and then argue she was “asking for it by dressing that way,” she won a contest, and that’s all we know.

    However, the moment the three start blaming her for winning because of her costume, she becomes a victim, so instead of “victim blaming” she becomes a “blaming victim” because winning second place, again, wasn’t her fault.

    So Liara’s argument isn’t really valid. She’s right, people can wear whatever they want. However, there are probably people who just wear provocative costumes for attention. There are people who spend countless hours getting every minutiae of a costume correct. But all of these things (accuracy, performance, personality, originality) are things for the judges to take into consideration, not the other contestants.

    If we’re going to nit-pick about how “accurate” a costume is, someone could argue that Chun-Li is not that hefty, therefore her costume is inaccurate because it isn’t a size six. There do need to be clearly drawn lines as to what qualifies as “actual” cosplay so you don’t get someone showing up in jeans and a t-shirt claiming to be Hawkeye in his civvies minus his equipment, but again, that’s where the judges and the rules of the competition should step in.

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