Because I am kind of drunk right now (brother came home and his girlfriend is over, and we had a few while chatting after dinner), and Jon linked me to this thread, which is bringing out the epic eyerolling and ranting in me. And hey, I haven't bitched a bout cosplay for a while XD
This thread fails on many levels:
1) 'Asians are the most awesome perfect cosplayers ever!' - not actually outright said, but all but one of the 'good' cosplayers they link is Asian (I'm pretty sure that Ivy is Caucasian, but with all the make-up and wig, I can't make a 100% call). This is an attitude I am really sick of seeing in fandom and in the cosplay communities. Yeah, there are some fucking awesome Asian cosplayers. There are also some fucking awesome Western cosplayers too. And related, there are terribad Western cosplayers, and terribad Asian ones as well. Asians do not have a mystical cosplay gene that makes them automatically better at it. I know a lot of it is the weeaboo/Japanophile bullshit that is one of the reasons I've kind of fallen out of anime fandoms - if it comes from Japan, it must be better! (NB: I actually think most of the 'good' cosplayers linked are in fact amazing, it just tripped my pet peeve born of people on Cosplay.com actually outright saying 'Japanese cosplayers are the best evar omg')
2) 'Cosplay is only okay if it's done by hot chicks' - 1) up there is a pet peeve of mine, but this makes me want to find the person and give them the finger while shouting 'Go to hell, you sexist pig'. Newsflash, male nerds: this cosplay is not for you. I think it's a fair estimation to say that most cosplayers like it when other people like their costumes. We're human. We like compliments, we like flattery. But a lot of us? Costume for ourselves, for fun. Your like or dislike of our costume does not somehow validate or invalidate the work we put into it. We are not there for the sole purpose of your sexual gratification. You do not get to decide who cosplays and who doesn't. And you know, this goes for the female nerds too - anyone who says shit like 'ugh, he/she is so fat/ugly/pimply/etc, they should be banned from cosplay for life'.
3) 'I think all the cosplayers I see at cons are losers with no social lives' - I'm not sure whether I should laugh and laugh and laugh or just roll my eyes until they come out of their sockets. Please. You bought a con pass, do not judge the nerdiness of others. Besides, at least cosplay requires creativity. And for all the 'but cosplay is so expensive!' - so are video games, and TCGs, and RPG books (oh god yes T.T) and golf, and going to the movies all the time, and cooking (the net worth of my cooking appliances/utensils/supplies is def worth more than all the cosplays I've done), and, well, most hobbies. It's just that nobody rags one someone for spending hundreds of dollars on golf clubs because it's considered socially acceptable, while making your own really cool clothing and fake weapons and shit is super-nerdy and worthy of mocking.
And I will end this by admitting that yeah, I am hypercritical about cosplay - both my own and others. I'm hypercritical about a lot of things in life (riding public transit a lot really makes me hate humanity), and I know full-well that a lot of it is because I have self-esteem problems. I belittle others to feel better about myself. But you know what? At least I keep all my bitchy criticisms to myself - I don't walk up to the person, or their friends and be like 'you are a godawful cosplayers, now GTFO'. Hell, I don't even post it on the internet. Honestly, this is in part the reason I stopped entering competitions - it made me even more of a massive hypercritical bitch, and I hated that part of me. Judging, on the other hand, actually made me remember why I love cosplaying - talking to people, new and old cosplayers alike, who were just so enthusiastic and excited to be there, and be cosplaying, was really uplifting. Even the discussions among the judges afterwards managed to be constructive in their criticisms - a lot of 'this part was really awesome, but I think if they had done this, it would have made the costume a lot better', which for craftsmanship judging (which is what this is) is the right attitude to have.
(Semi-related hint - cosplay on the internet is all about photography. Crappy construction will look great with a a good photographer, and amazing construction will look lousy with a bad one.)