When the season premiere started, I noticed that there was only one male in the entire cast of people on the show. At first I was thinking, "Cool, I'm glad girls are getting some spotlight" but I quickly realized that some of these girls were not the kind of ladies that I wanted to see representing cosplay. They had the typical "booth babe" look and I didn't know enough about them outside the show to judge whether or not they actually put time and effort into their costumes. Secondly, I realized that the only guy on the show didn't really strike me as a typical guy costumer. His costumes seemed to be all about looking cool and not really accurate to a specific screen or comic book accurate character. Either way, this gave me mixed feelings right from the start.
As the show progressed, I picked out which contestants I did and did not like. Victoria AKA Scruffy Rebel turned into a huge disappointment for me. I know that these people are not portrayed as their true selves on TV. I mean, of course no one is going to look and act like what they really do in real life on a television program. However, I thought that Victoria didn't qualify as a real cosplayer for this show. Her costumes would be nothing without the help of her boyfriend, Jinyo. I'm glad that he made a few appearances on the show so viewers could see where the genuine talent comes from, but he should have been on the show in his own costumes...not Victoria modeling the outfits that he does most of the work on. I've met Victoria in person before and she seems like a very sweet, down to earth girl, but I don't think she's fit for this show. My 2 favorite people on the first episode were Jessica and Holly. I don't know anything about DND so I can't comment on their costumes, but I thought that they had good personalities and motives for cosplaying. Holly was conscious about keeping the costume less sexy and more detailed. As a chick who appreciates more modest costumes, I really liked that. Becky also had a fun personality and overall good attitude towards the competition. Her costume may not have been the best Merida ever, but it was pretty close to accurate and she looked adorable on stage! She also really summed up the true joy in cosplaying when she met a little girl dressed like a princess who thought Becky was the real Merida.
At one point during the season premiere, Yaya Han was talking about how she turned her love for cosplay into a business by selling small props and prints of herself. Jesse, the only male cosplayer featured on the show, also mentioned that he would like to make a business out of cosplayer. When he said this, I literally blurted out, "Yeah but you don't have boobs." As harsh as it may sound, I'm sure most of these girls are only making money off overly sexualized photos of themselves in very revealing costumes. I think it would be much more difficult for an average looking guy to make money off his love for cosplaying too.
The second episode introduced a few new cosplayers but also kept Victoria, Jesse, and Yaya Han on the show. Again, Victoria let me down by pulling out one of her older costumes and playing it off like it was made just for Emerald City Comic Con. That was probably the show's fault for doing that, but I still wish she and Jinyo made something new for this convention. I was really excited to see Chloe Dykstra on this show. I've seen a few of her "Just Cos" videos on Youtube and was looking forward to seeing more about her on this episode. I was pleasantly surprised and she turned out to be a hilarious, sort of goofy girl that made the cosplay competition all about having fun. While Yaya Han and a few others considered her a "newbie" for saying that people should cosplay as whatever they want, I agree with Chloe. If you are overweight and decide to wear a costume made fully out of spandex, yeah you should expect some negative comments coming your way at the convention and on the internet. But if wearing that costume makes you happy, go for it! You shouldn't let someone else tell you what you can and cannot wear for fun. Monika was a disgrace to young cosplay girls. She was not setting a good example by rebelling against her mother's wishes and Yaya Han's advice by wearing her tight and skimpy Steampunk Poison Ivy costume. Her bottom was hardly covered and she looked too young to be wearing something clearly made for attention from gawking men. Riki seemed like a very cool and nice lady that made quality costumes that suited her smaller frame. I'm not a Hellboy fan but her Hellgirl costume turned out pretty cool and I don't blame her for wearing a body suit instead of doing red body paint all over her legs, stomach, and arms. Jesse's Steamtrooper concept was interesting but he needed forearm and bicep armor for it to look complete.
Now I am by no means saying that I am a cosplayer. In fact, I am the furthest thing from that! I've nevermade a complete costume by myself and without the help of my mom and brother, I wouldn't have any costumes to wear at conventions. However, I do think that I know what "real" cosplaying is, because I would consider some of my friends a part of that category. My brother for example is a true example of what a cosplayer is. He's fabricated his own costumes from Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi all the way to Captain Jack Sparrow. Sure, Chase does purchase some part of his costumes so not everything is 100% handmade, but for the majority he does a lot of work himself on his costumes and does a fantastic job. On top of that, he chooses characters that suit his facial features and body, which really makes the costumes even more accurate.
To me, the real heroes of cosplay are the ones who put so much hard work into their costume and then wear them for the benefit of others, especially children. Seeing a smile light up on a child's face at a charity event or hospital visit from superheros and other characters is the most rewarding part to costuming.
I won't say that there is a right or wrong way to portray the people who love cosplay. But I will say that I have very mixed feelings about this show in general. It's over dramatized (as expected) and I wish it was more about the fun side to costuming. Either way, I will keep watching to see if it gets any better. What do you think about the show? Good? Bad? Little bit of both? Leave a comment below!