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Being Awesome

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Cosplay Culture and it's implications from an Jungian view.
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  Running Head: BEING AWESOME Being Awesome Dean Coy Prairie State Coege  A!stra"t: A #ost Word War II $a#anese "uture %nown as oa%tu is a s%ew o& se'ua misad(enture and gender re) identi&i"ation* and +as in&used itse& into a t+e ma,or media mar%ets- .+issu! "uture is t+e !asis o& se'ua and so"ia metamor#+osis a&&e"ting unsus#e"ting adoes"ents and seniors ai%e- .+is reaity and gender !ending #seudo reigion +as /ui"%y !e"ome a "utura eader in word a&&airs a&&e"ting e(eryt+ing &rom se'ua i!eration (ia "ostumed su#er +eroine re!eion in Rome and nu"ear #oiti"s !etween Nort+ and Sout+ 0orea- Wit+out a &orma understanding o& t+ese ea#s in +umanities t+is "uture !e"omes a t+reat to t+e esta!is+ed #aradigms o& !ot+ ends o& t+e Ameri"an  #oiti"a s#e"trum- .+e muti)!iion doar "omi" !oo% "on(ention industry e'ists as a resut o& a "uture wit+in it %nown as* 1"os#ay2 or "ostume #ay- In "os#ay indi(iduas eit+er !uy or +and "ra&t sometimes (ery ea!orate and e'#ensi(e "ostumes o& t+eir &a(orite "omi" !oo%* (ideo game or ot+erwise "omi" "uture ins#ired "+ara"ter- .+is is no mere Haoween in $uy* Cos#ay is a (ia!e means o& i(ei+ood &or manyo& t+e #ra"titioners and t+e media t+at su##orts t+em- Cos#ay "uture maintains a so"iety o& non  ,udgment as to &oster an atmos#+ere o& se'ua a""e#tan"e- .+is "uture o& 3ero se'ua !ias !reeds a su!)"uture o& se'uay !i3arre indi(iduas w+o a"t as a &undamentay i!era ort+odo'y- .+is ort+odo'y &un"tions "ounter to most dogmati" ort+odo'y as t+ey do not #romote "onser(ati(e (aues* !e+a(iors or  !eie&s- Rat+er t+is ort+odo'y wit+in t+e "os#ay "ommunity is t+e &oundation &or t+e i!era and  &eminist "annon o& t+e "omi" "on industry- In my &ied wor% o!ser(ing t+ese "os#ayers in t+eir natura +a!itat I &ound a ri"+ness o& sym!os and artistry a##ied to t+e so"ia intera"tions and "ommuni"ations t+at re(eaed !ot+ a +ierar"+y and dei!erate mudding o& gender roes !y "os#ay "uture- Comi" !oo% "on(entions are not anyt+ing new- .+ey date !a"% to t+e se(enties w+en t+ere mig+t !e a &ew (endors seing "omi"s or "omi" #ara#+ernaia out o& +ote rooms- Howe(er* today4s "omi" "ons are s#rawing mega e(ents t+at re"ei(e 5678 media "o(erage on !ot+ so"ia media and &romot+er news sour"es- Ma,or media "or#orations s#end !iions o& doars and "ast de"ades ong s"+eduesaround and t+roug+ t+e in&uen"e o& t+ese "on(entions- I o!ser(ed t+e "os#ay "ommunity at t+e C+i"ago Comi"Con on Saturday* t+e !usiest day o& t+e &our day ong "on(ention- .+e C+i"ago Comi"Con is a arge s#rawing "om#e' o& dis#ay* media and intera"ti(e ser(i"es and te"+noogy +oused wit+in t+e ware+ouse i%e stru"ture and "ar#eted "on"rete &oors o& a Con(ention Center- 9rom t+is #oint &ort+ t+e C+i"ago Comi"Con wi !e re&erred to as the Field   as my a##roa"+ to t+is sur(ey was t+at I was estimating !e+a(ior a"ross a wide o#en s#a"e- The Field was a (isua and audi!e o(eroad t+at too% more t+an a &ew moments to ad,ust to* and ,ust w+en I t+oug+t I +ad ad,usted I woud round a "orner and &ind an ea!oratey dressed "os#ay ent+usiast t+at woud ama3e me again wit+ t+eir "ra&tsmans+i# and dedi"ation- .+e s+eer amount o& media and #ageantry woud ma%e ta%ing a t+is in&ormation into a""ount an im#ossi!e tas% to "om#ete in one day- Sin"e t+at was a t+e time +ad a(aia!e I di(ide t+e s"o#e o& my in(estigation and "on"entrate on smaer grou#s &or in&ormation- I aowed myse& to !e swe#t into t+e "+urning mass o& s+o##ers t+at mied t+roug+ t+e  #erimeter and t+roug+ways o& the Field  - Boot+ a&ter !oot+ o& "omi" and (ideo game #ara#+ernaia ined t+is im#use s+o##er #aradise* and as t+e +ygieni"ay "+aenged "rowd oo#ed #ast a o!!y wit+ a "a&eteria* I du"%ed out o& t+e retai s+u&&e and si##ed u# ne't to a grou# o& "os#ayers to snoo# on t+eir "on(ersation* +o#ing to #i"% u# on somet+ing t+at mig+t ead me to a !etter understanding-W+ie some o& t+e grou# ate* ot+ers "om#ared o&& !rand Harry Potter ego &igurines and  "om#ained a!out t+e e(entua ong wa% !a"% to t+e #ar%ing ot- I %new t+at I needed to s#ea% wit+ one o& t+e indigenous #eo#es* and as su"+* made a gesture towards one answering t+e age od /uestion;2W+y not <oid!erg=2.+e o!ersirite wa(ed !a"% to me wit+ one "awed +and* and I +ad my in(itation and made t+e a"/uaintan"e o& ady <oid!erg w+ose gi(en name was <ay* a +umanities Pro&essor wit+ a Masters degree- S+e +ad !een a "os#ayer &or se(en years now sin"e s+e was se(enteen and +as &uy su!merged+erse& into t+e "uture- S+e* as many o& +er &riends* +a(e made t+eir "ostumes using onine tutorias as guides and t+en +a(ing "ostume assem!y7wine tasting #arties wit+ +er "os#ay "ommunity to &inis+ t+eir #ro,e"ts- <ay4s &riends were dressed in a (ariety o& "ostumes- .+ere was a gender)!ent S#iderman and a Su#er Mario aong wit+ a &ew more ea!orate "ostumes &rom $a#anese (ideo games- At+oug+ I didn4t re"ogni3e t+em* some #ain "ot+s #arti"i#ants did and as%ed &or some #+otos wit+ t+e "os#ayers- It was t+en t+at I noted one o& t+e &irst #+enomena o& di"tated !e+a(ior and +ierar"+y in the Field  -1Ho(er Hands2 <ay remar%ed* as s+e !ro%e o&& a ong draw &rom +er o&& !rand sur#ee- Ho(er Hands is a !e+a(ior t+at I o!ser(ed in t+e 9ied t+at o""urred w+en "os#ayers too% #+otos wit+ eit+er ea"+ ot+er or wit+ #ain "ot+es indi(iduas- Ho(er +ands is t+e a"t o& simuating a one arm em!ra"e w+ie ta%ing a #+oto- .+e +ands do not tou"+ t+e ot+er #erson instead t+ey +o(er o(er t+e #erson so as to not ma%e "onta"t- <ay #ointed out t+at Ho(er Hands is #art o& t+e #oi"y o& "omi" "on(entions wordwide and is #osted a o(er t+e "on(ention +a aong wit+ ot+er more "ommon rues a!out  !e+a(ior- As it was e'#ained to me* +o(er +ands "reates a situation in w+i"+ so"ia intera"tion is sti aowed to +a##en* !ut t+e &emaes o& t+e "ommunity do not +a(e to worry a!out !eing gro#ed- A##arenty t+e a&orementioned +ygiene #ro!em t+at some o& t+e #arti"i#ants +a(e +ad !e"ome su"+ anissue t+at +a(er +ands #re"udes any a""identa e'"+ange o& !ody odor- <ay &inis+ed +er un"+ and o&&ered to !e my guide around t+e 9ied &or an +our or so- Reai3ing my u"% at +a(ing somet+ing o& a  s+er#a* I t+an%ed +er and a&ter +e#ing +er wit+ +er !ags o& "omi" &ree!ies and #ur"+ases* set out  !e+ind +er ead- Our &irst sto# was !a"% to t+e entran"e o& t+e "on(ention &oor- We re"ei(ed our in% stam#s &or readmittan"e* and <ay ed me to somet+ing I +ad "om#etey missed on my way in- An entire #ageant was on #arade &or onoo%ers and #+otogs ai%e- Hoywood e(e "ostumes were !eing modeed on a red "ar#et- I ad,usted my eyes to t+e &as+ o& #ro&essiona "ameras and smart #+ones and istened to <ay e'#ain t+at t+ese e'#ensi(e "ostumes were sometimes "reated !y s+o#s and modeed  !y #ro&essionas &or t+e &ree ad(ertisement at+oug+ o&ten s+e4d see t+e modes at t+e a&ter #arties in t+e +ote so s+e sus#e"ted t+at it "oudn>t !e a wor% and no &un- I sto##ed +er and as%ed +er to wa% me t+roug+ t+e +ote #arty s"ene- <ay in(ited me aong wit+out missing a !eat- I as%ed i& I woud !e aowed to ,oin t+e #arty as I +ad ony "amou&aged myse& wit+ a "+ea# Batman t s+irt &rom .arget- S+e tod me t+at I woud need a "ostume- I as%ed i& s+e +ad e(er  !een to a "os#ay +ote #arty !e&ore and s+e +ad- S+e t+en !egan to detai t+e most im#ortant as#e"ts o& "os#ay t+at ie in two sim#e rues "onsent re/uired and !e awesome- ?#on &urt+er ea!oration* s+e e'#ained t+at t+ere "annot !e dis"rimination in "os#ay "ommunity* t+at not "reating o&&ense is t+e +eart o& w+at ma%es t+is en(ironment a""essi!e to e(eryone- S+e reated t+at as s+e was (enturing intot+e "os#ay "ommunity* s+e was wary o& !e"oming in(o(ed in a t+en* mae) dominated en(ironment- It+as !een t+roug+ t+e e&&orts o& "os#ayer and t+e attenti(eness o& "on(ention e(ents t+at &emaes were a!e to &ee "om&orta!e enoug+ to &uy #arti"i#ate in t+e "ommunity and "uture- .o +er* t+is is w+at e(entuay aowed ot+er minorities su"+ as GB. "os#ayers to &ee t+e sa&ety and "om&ort t+at t+e "uture o& the Field   now #ro(ides- So to +er*"onsent &rom !ot+ #arties means t+at any a"ti(ity* se'ua or ot+erwise* is mutua and t+erein &ree &rom t+e ,udgments o& ot+ers- I as%ed +er i& t+is ty#e o& &reedom is w+at ena!ed +er to dress as a traditionay mae "+ara"ter- 1He4s a s#a"e inse"t* neit+er gender-2 Was +er ony res#onse- We wandered away &rom t+e s"antiy "ad trio o& Stormtroo#ers t+at were "reating a &urry o& attention and !a"% towards the Field   itse&- A grou# o& midde aged and o(erweig+t men #assed us- I turned and remar%ed to <ay a!out
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