So, I've been watching Heroes of Cosplay lately...
Not only does the show itself feel exploitative (of both the geek/cosplay community in general, and the largely female, half-undressed cast in specific), but it also contains quite a lot of cute girls grossly exploiting nerdy young men and claiming credit.

All in all, it just doesn't seem like it's the kind of coverage cosplay really needs.
 
You get the seasoned cosplay pro telling a young cosplayer not to lower herself to just going for the slutty outfit...meanwhile her own gigantic boobs are practically falling out of almost every costume we see her in.
Yaya sez: Don't do slutty cosplay, kids!

(image creidt: alphacounter.com & angelicstar.net)



In fact, most of the cast is female and while they don't all dress slutty all the time, it does seem to be a pretty popular theme (which, granted, is pretty common in real life cosplay). The only male cosplayer featured in the show goes for really cool, incredibly intricate full suits of armor...when they bother showing him at all. Which is a shame, because he's very talented and I'd love to see how he makes some of the stuff he does.

Meanwhile at least one of the regular cast members has her husband build 98% of her costumes while she berates him, demands he work harder to fix her mistakes, and then takes full credit for everything...or at least attempts to. For some reason she always freezes up when a judge asks her what pieces she made, almost as if she didn't make a damned thing. The one time she is left on her own to finish a costume (that was already 90% done, just needed some details sewn on) she goes out and parties all night, sleeps in and then ends up missing the contest because she's trying to sew by herself...and she calls her husband and cries about how hard it was without him there to help. And he puts up with it because she's a little geeky, has a good body and is willing to wear slutty costumes...and he's a talented nerd with self esteem issues.

Generally speaking, whenever male partners are shown, they're usually the ones doing most of the fabrication work, and/or paying for everything. The one male cosplayer they show once in a while seems content to do his own work, but we don't really know because they'd rather focus on the cute girls in the skimpy costumes.
"OMG, just make it work!" "Yes, dear..."
(image credit: tvguide.com)
The two more talented, least-exploitative cosplayers on the show are a pair of severely dysfunctional girls with massive self esteem and codependency issues.

So the show tends to keep hammering home the following:
Slutty cosplay sells.
People who don't go for slutty cosplay are either dudes (who gives a shit about them, right?) or else completely neurotic nerdettes that play into the stereotypes.
People who do go for slutty cosplay make a living off their bodies alone while making more talented people do the work they take the credit for...or else they're also talented (like the veteran cosplayer), but hypocritical when it comes to other cosplayers wanting to cash in on their bodies.

Also, the show itself exploits the community by either coercing photographers into giving up the rights to their pictures and footage for a song (or nothing at all), or just outright stealing pics off the net to feature on the show and its website.

All that said...it is a really interesting look into the world of cosplay, and seeing all the work that goes into things, picking up the odd tip or trick...it's interesting to watch...I just feel like I need a shower afterwards.

I would have loved for the show to feature a broader array of cosplayers, talked about how their families feel about it, or how it speaks to them emotionally, and of course, a lot more focus on how all this amazing shit gets made. Maybe even a simple tutorial segment now and then about how to make certain things.

Instead it's just tits, drama and exploitation.
 
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