Convention season has come around again, and I have noticed a troubling trend among some of the attendees. Con-goers see hundreds of superheroes and supervillains on any given convention day, from the steampunk Batman to retro Wonder Woman. Dressing as these characters not only gives us the ability to show our support but also grants us the feeling of being powerful in a sometimes uncertain world, whether you are playing good or evil. However, at conventions something seems to get lost in the execution of some of these costumes due to the convention-goers who are wearing them. The stress caused by con or the large crowds causes some conventioneers to forget who they really are. Yes, I know that is sometimes the point, but I mean that they not only forget their own values but also the values of the characters they are cosplaying. It’s a strange thing to see Captain America push past an elderly woman walking with a cane, tripping her, and Red Skull catching her arm to stop her fall. At con, sometimes instead of lifting the bus away from someone, Wonder Woman is more likely to throw you under it and walk away like she just saved the world.
Conventions have not only brought out the worst in some cosplayers, but also have created the perfect storm for the creation of all new supervillains who seem to think they are superheroes. Creeper Guy has the power to make even a fully armored Stormtrooper feel scantily clothed. Super Bizich with the overdeveloped feeling of power and entitlement; this could be someone who was irradiated with the element run-a-track or something else that lets her believe she is somehow more important than us lowly run-of-the-mill congoers. Super Bizich may have staff that she treats like expendable evil minions and acts as though the fans who are helping are beneath her. Lady Skell is another common fixture at conventions, and she seems to think that “con” is an acronym that stands for “Clothing Optional Nerd”; Lady Skell is the largest reason most parents cannot, or refuse to, take the next generation of nerds to conventions. The last villain con seems to produce is The Judge. Male or female, this con attendee has decided that he or she is judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to a costume’s correctness.
We have all run into these people at con: the person who cuts in a line, the person who pushes past you on the street cursing you, or even the friend who blows off helping you with a costume or prop emergency. Some people seem to be so wrapped up in the goings on at con that they seem to forget what it is all about: Nerds, Geeks, Whovians, Trekies, and even Dungeon Masters coming together to celebrate the things that they love the most, without judgment, hate, or disgrace. Con isn’t about getting ahead of one another in life or in line; it’s about being who we are: NERDS, and being damn proud of it. Conventions, big or small, are about forgetting all the things that make us different outside of con. One thing all our fandoms, whatever they may be, agree on is that we all have the innate right to be who we really are. Con is supposed to give us a safe place to have fun, celebrate our nerdiness, and be who we truly see ourselves as; these things should not only be respected but celebrated.
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