I’m still unsure if I was in the wrong here, perhaps the Ehellions can enlighten me.
I’m a cosplayer. Cosplay is an activity in which one dresses up as a fictional character from a video game, movie, animated series or tv series. There are events in which cosplay is expected and even encouraged (such as comic conventions or other media events), I attend those often and my hometown happens to host many events every year.
As far as I know, there isn’t a particular set of etiquette rules on cosplay and cosplayers other than things that would be common sense: don’t touch people without their permission, ask before taking a picture, etc. Cosplayers in particular are expected (and expect) to have their picture taken, after all it is a very visual activity.
In the last event I attended I’m afraid I may have committed a faux pas.
It was the end of a long day and I was sitting along with some friends in the rest area. I had taken off my high heels and given my props (a pair of toy pistols) to some other friends to play with. As we conversed, a young man came over and asked for my picture. The following conversation ensued:
Me: I’m sorry but I’d rather not, I’m tired…
Him: But you’re cosplaying.
Him: Cosplayers always say yes to pictures.
I can’t properly express his tone in writing, but it was as if I should be honored to have my picture taken by him so I should immediately step into my heels and chase down my props.
Annoyed, I stood my ground that I did not want my picture taken at the moment. He left grumbling that I was so ungrateful and my cosplay was ugly anyway. My friends and I could only laugh at his ridiculous flounce and continued our conversation with anecdotes of people trying to take pictures at inappropriate times.
The next day as I’m tagging pictures of the same event, I find one of myself in particular with a note from I assume the guy I had jilted.
“This gurls a bitch!!1 tried to take hr pic and she and hr friends told me of!!!!!!”
I chuckled and moved on, but the seed has been planted in my mind. Are we cosplayers in the wrong for refusing to take pictures? Part of the point of cosplaying in public is to be seen so refusing to be photographed kind of defeats the purpose, but at the same time we are people, not objects. 0529-12
Interesting question. Since you preface your story with the affirmation that asking to take a photo of a cosplayer is expected etiquette, then the young man’s question is not out of line. However, just because someone asks for a favor does not mean the person being asked has a mandatory obligation to honor that request. Upon being told, “I’d rather not,” your admirer reveals his true stripes in that there was no other option in his mind other than you complying with his request so he throws a tantrum.
This kind of behavior is not limited to the scenario of cosplay but shows up in many situations. I’ve lately seen more attitudes such as this in real life. There seems to be this mindset that says, “As long as I ask politely, anything I ask should be given to me”. When that request cannot be accommodated, the inquiring individual doesn’t receive that negative response well. For them, graciousness only applies to the person expected to give them what has been asked for. It’s using a warped version of etiquette to bully people with the threat they will behave IF you cater to their demands and wants stated oh so politely. What this does is place an expectation on the person being asked that there is no possible answer to that question other than “yes” because “no” will set off the drama fireworks.
Back to the OP, everything in your story was fine up until the part Young Man has a meltdown because you would not give him what he requested. Your story hints at you and your friends possibly mocking him as he wandered away and if that is the case, I think you could have been more gracious by waiting until he was completely out of sight and earshot before you and your friends talked about him.