American Cosplay Paradise: Supportive and Comunity-Based

By Gina Magnuson

American Cosplay Paradise is a feminist, of-color space. This space is supportive and community-based, centering on a positive and creative activity. It incorporates women of many nationalities and ethnic backgrounds while providing a nonjudgmental platform for women to vet their opinions, questions, and concerns. In comparing my presentation to Hyemin’s Soshified presentation, I have found a way to compare one fan-base to another. Hyemin calls her site anti-feminist because it objectifies the female, yet I consider my site feminist, mostly because I believe the site’s feminist outlook revolves around the activity the site expands upon and builds community around. Initially, I began my thread posts with a preconception in mind, believing the gaze of white, male teenagers objectified women. However, now that I understand the inner-workings of the site as ultimately pro-fem, I plan on immersing myself in the forum and the cosplay community rather than approaching the space from an outsider’s perspective. I will try to affirm feminism within the space by assessing what aspects of cosplay and the site’s architecture allow for positive, pro-feminist, and non-racist community building. A question I plan on asking is: Why do we cosplay?