Jedi Robes and Football Jerseys

Cara Young, Opinion Editor

I am sure it has come to the attention of more than a few people that the line drawn between the acceptable and unacceptable presentation of a fandom is not always even. For example, consider the differing social implications of wearing an anime t-shirt compared to a football jersey on the wearer’s ability to walk themselves home later that day. 

Fans of anime, fantasy, science fiction or Victorian era entertainment that representing that fandom in public is not easy. If you think it is, I challenge you to wear Jedi robes or Elvish armor on any form of public transit or to any public high school. You will face students staring, glaring, yelling, or throwing things and regin rarely has any effect. Even t-shirts for members of particular fandoms can be cause for abuse.

Many people outside a particular fandom tend to follow the train of thought, that it is unnatural to become so obsessed with a particular entertainment icon that you celebrate that icon by paying outrageous amounts of money to dress in their image and attend events with like-minded peers to celebrate together. Does this sound to anyone else like a football game?

Why is it okay for teammates to meeting in the hallway to yell and chest bump, but it is a reason to stare when two friends “fangirl” over season premieres and finales?

Why is it acceptable to pay up to five grand for a “vintage” sports jersey or a signed sports equipment, yet the thought of spending a five hundred on a Dragon Ball Z characters outfit is nonsensical?

Why is it more realistic that a random fan of a sports team will be chosen to run a play with their heroes than a random fan of a television show acting out a scene beside theirs?

Personally, the mirroring of strong female characters, celebrating roles that value intelligence, and commending the beauty of an artist’s work is a respectful act. Most cosplayers compare the act of dressing and participating in activities while in character, or LARPing, to be a form of performance art. For a society so famous for fighting for equality in almost any respect you would think that they would be more open to self-expression; alas, here we are celebrating the battle of sports athletes by painting our bodies and wearing hats in the shape of cheese wedges while the idea of purple wigs, trench coats, and eyeliner manage to freak out the public.

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