Concealed Weapons

Wednesday, 7 October 2009, 18:00 | Author : Kricket
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There was a crowd gathering on a Saturday afternoon in the hallways of the San Jose Convention Center.  At the center of the attention was a cosplayer wearing an outfit that must have been incredibly easy to make considering the girl was only wearing a hat and a pair of overalls, which she strategically placed to cover her chest.  I won’t deny that she was well endowed and obviously craving attention; however, I was certain she was going to fall out of her outfit any second.  I looked over and saw my boyfriend staring, just like everyone else, at her strikingly simplistic nude-glory.  Even as I chastised him for looking, I couldn’t keep my own eyes off her.  In retrospect, I’m fairly certain she is the reason that Fanime started enforcing strict cosplay regulations.

Conventions are making themselves clear that revealing too much flesh is almost as  bad as carrying around a weapon that looks authentic.  So I raise the question, are our body parts actually concealed weapons?  The argument against such strict rules is that too much flesh is not actually harmful to one’s health and can at most only harm our eyes.  Yet, as a family-friendly gathering, I guess we must also consider the psychological impact partial nudity will have on a child’s mind.

We actually had our own run-in with con security for wearing “inadequate” cosplay costumes.  Amitie, Janet, and myself wore Suikoden V costumes to Fanime’08.  As the Prince, I attempted to check-in my three-section staff with a hidden chain (similar to a nunchuck) which is explicitly against the rules.  Upon deeming my prop safe for a con, the security staff turned to Janet who was cosplaying Zerase and told her she was not allowed to walk around the convention in that particular costume.  Although we tried to explain all the precautions we had taken with the costume (double sided tape, invisible elastic, and chest stickers) this particular staff member could not be swayed.  We had to speak with the head of Con Ops and prove – by demonstrating the stability of the outfit – that this costume was never going to reveal more skin than we wanted it to show.

I understand that con staff must put a lot of thought and effort into creating and enforcing the cosplay rules in order to create a safe and friendly environment for everyone.  However, when the rules become so strict that cosplayers cannot even carry around Nerf guns with orange tips, or wear costumes that show a little skin, they are taking away any rights that the cosplayer has as an artist and as a fan.

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