How often do we see these kinds of articles? It never fails after a convention to see posts titled “The Best Cosplay at___ con!”. Who determined that these individuals were the best? It is a very skewed, narrow perception of what makes a cosplay great. Often these photos are merely photos the staff photographer of the outlet took. A simple headline change like “Our favorite cosplays at ___ con” or “Cosplays from ___con” would even suffice. Now don’t get me wrong, it is nice to see your cosplay posted on different outlets and others appreciating and enjoying your hard work and labor.

Too often do we see things like this start to affect people within the community. As I mentioned in my previous article “Why I took a break from cosplay”, It becomes less of a hobby and more of a competition. Cosplayers start to feel as if they must make it into these articles, go viral, and have a lot of likes to be considered a good cosplayer. It begins to affect people mentally, and they seek validation from becoming a popular cosplayer. Media outlets don’t determine if your cosplay is great, or if you are a great cosplayer. These outlets have a jaded perception of what makes a good cosplayer, or what is worth their time. Due to the rise of viral cosplayers who have turned cosplay into a career, and convention fame and appearances− this has been the perception put out on the internet to cosplayers that this is what determines whether you have “made it”.

There are many talented cosplayers that often go unnoticed due to lack of likes or viral content.  Cosplayer Xavier Conley, better known as Ebony Warrior Studios LLC, is one of the many talented cosplayers that often goes overlooked due to lack of likes.

Via: Ebony Warrior Studios LLC

Despite appearing and winning on SYFY cosplay show Cosplay Melee, Xavier has almost 6,000 likes on Facebook, and 10k on Instagram. He has made appearance on a Star Wars video where he met our fav John Boyega as well. Xavier is an extremely talented cosplayer specializing in Armor and Prop making. His creations continue to surprise the community. It is amazing what he can create. Never mind the fact he has an impressive portfolio and background, this was a convention’s reasoning for deciding to pass on a potential guest invite.

Via: Ebony Warrior Studios LLC

We could go into further detail about what makes this statement even more asinine, but I don’t want to go too off topic on what makes those guest examples absolute BS. But we cannot deny that there seems to be some trend on what defines “The Best Cosplay”. Creatives are choosing to not fall victim into these ridiculous requirements of conventions and media outlets. Therefore, many have rejected this way of thinking and go on to just create the content they wish to create. They build their audience by staying true to themselves, and there are outlets out here that while notice and appreciate that.