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Liz Katz and the Cosplay Controversy

I never knew crowdfunding could get so bitter before today. Especially for something like this…

Liz Katz is a model and actress based in LA and is very active in the nerd /gamer community. Petite modeling, booth babe gigs–she’s a perfect pick for an elf or a faerie photoshoot. She recently set up an IndieGogo page for a “Sexy Princess Peach Cosplay.”

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Funds would go to props, lighting, cameras, etc. Her goal was $650, but she managed to raise $4,690 between 52 backers.

It seems like an example of using social media to do a successful project funding. But amazingly enough, people are pissed off about it.

Nerd Reactor has an article titled “Is Fundraising a Cosplay Outfit Wrong?”

The top comment by James Campbell:

Why should we pay to help some wannabe actress/model? Cosplay should be a hobby done for love of the source material, not as a means of income. To many of these “cosplay” girls are using it as a means to get free exposure to further their goal of being an actress/celebrity. If you’re selling posters and prints of yourself donning different costumes you are not a cosplayer and are violating the very spirit of cosplay.

Hah. This sounds like the type of person who would slut-shame someone and then jerk off to them at the same time.

First of all, if you’re getting paid, you’re not a wannabe. If you’re getting paid AND getting press coverage, then you’re definitely not a wannabe. For a model, “free exposure” is a good thing.

Have these people not been to LA? Have they not seen the iconic costume photo hustlers on Hollywood Boulevard?

There is nothing wrong with using an image to make money. Intellectual property can get tricky, but nobody is arresting the guy dressed like Superman for hitting up tourists for a photo op.

There are definitely issues with the videogame industry oversexualizing nearly every female character. Don’t get me wrong. Feminism in videogames is a complex topic. It’s a good discussion topic, and it’s fascinating to watch the dynamics between gamer girls and the so-called “beta males.”

But if the fans start bullying each other’s interpretations of fandom and sexual expression, then they are failing to make an inclusive community.

And that violates the very spirit of cosplay.