Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why parents forbid you to cosplay

Almost a week ago, I got a reply from one of my old blog entries in DeviantArt which talks about the choices in cosplay.  To fully understand this, I refer you a link to that old 2008 blog entry reprinted here (may still be considered useful by today's standards).  In her reply she mentioned if I have anything good to say about cosplay so that she may show it to her parents to convince them to let her cosplay, as she has been forbidden to do so.

Now this is a pretty tricky situation. First is that I have no idea of what had happened that led to that situation.  Based on her profile, she's probably in upper grade school or high school depending on what region she is in, and a huge chance she is dependent on her parents for practically quite everything a 15 year old would need.  So I wrote her a reply that ended up looking like a blog entry in itself.

So below was my attempt in explaining to her the reason why parents may have forbidden her to cosplay, and including advise that may help her convince them to allow her in the near future, provided she would satisfy their standards on handling a hobby responsibly.

  1. They fear that cosplay is a negative influence to their children. And with good reason! It all boils down to how a person manages their time and priorities. Often their lack of interests in academics and helping around the house may give them good reason not to like cosplay, or any other hobby for that matter.
  2. They think cosplaying is expensive. This is of course very relative. You can be creative with whatever scraps you have at home, or using very inexpensive items around. But I have witnessed some cosplayers who keep asking their parents to pay for their materials or commissions, which is a huge burden to their pockets if their children wanted to cosplay a different costume once a month or so. I had the good luck of already having a part time job while I was in school when cosplay was introduced to me, so there was not so much financial burden to my parents or relatives. But of course, I would always be careful with my priorities, even when I have the means to pay for my own hobby.
  3. Keeping your costumes. Having a huge closet full of costumes that you used only a few times can be a nasty eyesore to your parents. Sometimes I choose costumes that I can make and then sell/rent so I can have some money on the side. Its the best compromise I can have with my parents then. And sometimes since I do mecha, I often would recycle by destroying them (yes, I have willingly destroyed several of my past costumes!) so I can use the materials to make a new one. This solves my space problem at the same time, saving enough money to make new ones. 
[[ Update ]]
    I actually got a whole lot of extra suggested reasons on my FB page that had this link (although I encourage peeps to do it here for the benefit of other readers).  Thanks Luie for the extra thoughts!
    • Parents dont like your reason for cosplaying. When conservative folks find out you want to crossdress as a guy or girl, they would find it embarrassing or scandalous. Also adding the fact that they may not like you cosplaying because all you want is attention and fame (although I highly doubt majority of these parents are against this. Some even encourage their kids to cosplay so that they can get the attention of some variety show talent scout).
    • Parents who dont like your choice of character. Face it, being a multi-tentacled Shikima Demon virgin-raper isnt exactly what your parents want you going around in public. Also applies to uber-revealing male or female characters (plenty in the gaming genre). Or even maybe Hitler.


    It really took me a while to think of the best reply for her question and request. And my best advise is to be able to compromise with your parents, and to assure them that you'd still hold on to your family and schoolwork responsibilities despite having this unusual hobby on the side. Like any other hobby, cosplaying should never be the top priority until you graduate, get a job and provide for your own, where you can finally decide as a responsible adult if you want cosplay to be the center of your life of not.

    One day in the future, we will someday decide to be parents/guardians too.  And the kid/s may take up a hobby that may be beyond the reach of our understanding as well.


    1. Very well explained Kuya Robert. :)

      When I was introduced to cosplay back in 2000, I was a Freshman. And I did experience the same thing the girl went through. But I proved my parents that it wouldn't cost them anything because I'm the one who's gonna make my own costume.

      I looked for cloths available at home (We had a few left from what we used for our pillow cases), I used the textile paints available and searched for other things that can be used to finish my Kaouru Kamiya ( of Rorouni Kenshin) Kimono. When I was done, I showed it to my mom and I said that I'll got to Anime Explosion. My mom had this expression like she was awe-strucked and didn't said a thing about not letting me go to the convention.

      I also saved up money for the transportation and entrance fee.

      So there. :)
      I wanted it badly, so I did my best to make it possible. And this love for arts led me to being a Fashion Designer. Thanks to cosplay, I found out what I really wanted to become.

    2. For some parents(at least nowadays) it's now just a fad, which I can't say whether if it's a good thing or a bad thing.

    3. One other thing cosplayers should be wary of, and hopefully mature enough to know and handle, would be the kind of public exposure cosplay involves.

      We've seen issues arise regarding minors and sexy cosplay, and you can't blame parents for being protective in that sense, too. Being responsible for your costume goes beyond sexy cosplay, of course. (I could say the same for oversized weapons/costumes.)
      I learned a few things cosplaying Motoko, and I'm glad I was past 18 when I finally got to do that dream cosplay, and knew what I was getting into and what precautions to take. I wonder sometimes whether younger cosplayers realize what kind of attention they're asking for when they put on an ultra-short skirt or a bikini top.

      Btw, I love your evandroid. :)

    4. I actually got a whole lot of extra suggested reasons on my FB page that had this link (although I encourage peeps to do it here for the benefit of other readers).

      Have added this to the list. Thanks Luie for the inputs!

    5. I think it's not only for cosplayer, but people whom attend cosplay event as visitor, sometimes their parent also forbid them. Like, it's useless, wasting time, etc.

      And yeah, show it to parent, that you can maintain your life with cosplay or any other hobbies. Maintain a balance time spent between study/works, social life, family, friends, and hobbies. =)

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