The Cosplay Creep

Ah, the cosplay creep: staple of pop culture conventions and nuisance to fans everywhere. Where did they come from? Why are they here? We may never know. We do, however, know how to stop them.

[visual_alert]Part 1— The Cosplay Creep
Part 2The Cosplay Creep: Electric Boogaloo
Part 3Return of the Creep[/visual_alert]

The cosplay creep is a rare breed of convention-goer that delights in making cosplayers uncomfortable, whether that be through unwarranted physical contact, inappropriate sexual innuendos, sneaky photography or other equally unsavory means. These individuals often do not understand that what they are doing is not only socially unacceptable, but also morally horrible. They use the excuse that they were only behaving in jest, that the people (usually women) they offended did not verbally object to what they were doing, or that anyone who dresses in a revealing costume is “asking for it.” While it is usually very easy to identify this special breed of creep by the close-up photographs of breasts and backsides on their cameras, sometimes they can attempt to blend into the general population through humor and troll sympathy.

Cosplay creeps can also come in many forms. Since making the video below, I was informed of a group on Facebook (thankfully defunct after several reports) that collected curvier cosplayers’ photos without permission and posted them for its members to judge alongside other models’ nudes. This was incredibly disrespectful to the featured women in costume; they did not have their pictures taken for this purpose. The owner of the group was female.

Today, I outline a few different scenarios so that you– yes, you!– can better understand the identification process and arm yourself in case of a Creep Attack. I sincerely hope you never have to put this knowledge to actual use.

6 Comments

  1. Miser August 8, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Thanks for sharing, I completely agree!

    Reply
  2. Russ Rogers October 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Well done. I found your blog through the “CosPlay is Not Consent” facebook page.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Return of the Creep - ilikecomicstoo

  4. Pingback: The Cosplay Creep, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo - ilikecomicstoo

  5. Eliot August 22, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    There is one point I do think needs to be made:

    Cosplayers need to be aware that when you appear in public, there’s a fine line regarding who can take photos and what they can do with those photos.

    I don’t know what various con’s rules are, but if a con doesn’t explicitly state a rule for photography or video, then it is typically considered public. And, if you’re in a public place, people can take photos of you. You can’t control what they might do with those photos.

    Laws in some cities and states have added rules that don’t allow for, say, upskirt photos to fall under this rule, which is appropriate. Unless you’re on a public street nude, that stuff doesn’t fly.

    However, it would, I think, be very difficult to prevent people from taking photos of you in public and then using them in any way they see fit. Witness paparazzi, etc.

    Looking at the SDCC terms, I find this:

    “By attending Comic-Con or any part of Comic-Con, you agree to allow San Diego Comic Convention/Comic-Con International (SDCC), its agents, licensees or assignees, the right to use your image and/or likeness by media now known or hereafter devised for advertising and/or other promotional purposes. You also agree not to take pictures or videos where posted or announced as prohibited and agree that any permitted photos or videos will not be used for any commercial purposes and will not be made publicly available or generally displayed without prior written consent of SDCC.”

    – See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/cci/terms-and-conditions#sthash.4c1h4OnP.dpuf

    (interestingly, this link was automatically appended to my copy/paste. Technology!)

    Now, I’m not sure exactly how this interprets, but I’m reasonably sure that “permitted photos” means locations in the con where there are signs saying photos are allowed.

    This leaves the rest of the con basically open to anyone taking photos however they want.

    However…

    It might be worth exploring whether or not ComiCon would be willing to address the issue of photos of cosplayers in their terms. Something to the effect of:

    “All photos of attendees used in commercial products or commentary must obtain the attendee’s written or video permission prior to use. ComiCon is a private event, and public access rules do not apply. Fan use of photography is on a privileged basis, and that privilege may be revoked by ComiCon at any time, for any reason. Fan photographers may obtain an affirmative rights pass from ComiCon, allowing other attendees to note their identity for later contact. Note that photographers’ inappropriate use of such rights will subject them to losing photography privileges or possibly expulsion from the Con. Repeat offenders will be subject to banning from all ComiCon events. This is in addition to any civil or criminal charges that they may be subject to.”

    The affirmative rights idea basically would be a way for the Con to promote people identifying themselves to the subjects of their photos. Some cosplayers could then decide to only allow fan photos with people who have those badges, and could take an opportunity to obtain their contact info with some kind of QR code.

    Reply

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