Saturday, April 30, 2011

the Protocol and Etiquette Guide of Cosplay Book I - The Comfort Room

^In college, I had this class, that taught us about protocol and etiquette. I really liked it, it was taught by one of my favorite professors, retired Amb. Alfredo Almendrala Jr. In this class, we learned how to conduct ourselves properly so as not to embarrass the home country. It opened my eyes to the fact that if people respected each other more and had more manners, the world would be a better place. The basic principle is to NEVER FORGET YOUR MANNERS. Protocol and etiquette made for better and more harmonious relations. Why am I going on about something that I got in school? Because I think manners matter and it seems that people today, cosplayers in this case, seem to lack a good sense of it.

As Gloria Auth puts it
Etiquette is not for special occasions; it is for everyday use.
Etiquette is not snobbery; it is the art of not being a snob.
Etiquette is not phony; it puts people at ease.
Etiquette is not intimidating; it is user friendly.

In school we study it. What ever it is called, it is basically the same. GMRC - Good manners and right conduct, Values Education, Guide to Social Graces. We study them for a reason, they are important, don't let them go to waste.

Just to clear things up, I am not generalizing. (I cosplay, too, you know hehehheh) I am NOT saying that ALL COSPLAYERS are SLOBS. If some of you get hurt, I am sorry, I did not mean to offend. I simply wish to open your eyes to some reality and give you a wake up call, If you get offended it is probably because you are guilty of some of the things I mentioned. The things I mention here are based from my experiences, my thoughts, observations and the things I get on my lurking expeditions.

So, book one is about Cosplayers and the Comfort room. Comfort room, changing room, powder room, the john, donny, men's or ladies' room, lavatory, toilet, what ever you want to call it, I know you know what I mean. heheehheeh

Ok, let's get on with it.

Go in, change, go out.

Often times, conventions in the Philippines are held inside malls or other public places. These venues are not exclusive for cosplayers, there are kids, office people, mall employees, old people and a lot more. Expect the long line of people. Expect that some will be in a bad mood, the call of nature maybe too strong that they are not thinking properly. Anyway, do not dally inside the cubicle if there are a lot of people waiting for their turn, please understand that they really need to "go".

Here are some tips for faster changing time:

  • Wear some parts of the costume before going to the venue, those that are inconspicous or are not that too out of the ordinary.
  • Change with a friend, 2 people can fit in the cubicle. If you don't have any issues with your body then this may work and cut time even a little bit.
  • If you have a ride, then I suggest that you prep yourself or wear the whole costume at home.
  • Or change and fix yourself up in the car.
  • Or maybe you should just come early and change early to prevent the crowd.
  • Or have your own changing quarters.

Anyway, please DO NOT USE THE C.R. FOR DIFFERENTLY ABLED PEOPLE! Some of you may think it's ok because no one really uses it, I know changing for a cosplay takes some time and there may be people viz. the elderly, expecting mothers, people with little kids or differently abled people that may need to use it. They need it and those C.R.s are made especially for them, you on the other hand, are a different story. You may think that no ones uses those C.R.s, but there are who do. 

NOTE: I learned this the embarrassing way and I do not intend to repeat the same mistake. Be considerate of other peoples' needs.

Yes, of course you need to see yourself before heading out.
Yes, I understand that you need to check if you look presentable. But please do not keep the mirrors to yourself, bathroom mirrors always have sinks under them and the cubicles in front, when there are a lot of people and you linger in front of the mirrors for too long, people would line up behind you to get a chance to use the mirrors or the sink and the lines get all confusing and more people get irritated. Everything snowballs.

So do what you have to do, then get out. Be considerate of other people. But what about make-up and wig and a bunch of other stuff? Feel free to linger IF and ONLY IF THERE IS NOT LIKE A GAZILLION PEOPLE in the C.R.

Here are some things you can do to cut time in front of the mirror:

  • Do your make up or some parts of it at home. That way, all you have to do is retouch when you get to the venue.
  • Wear your contact lens before leaving. I have noticed that a lot of first time cosplayers have not yet mastered the skill of putting on their contact lens and as such, they take a long time in the C.R. It's harder to put on if you're pressured, if you do it at home, you'd have a lot more breathing room, and you wont be so pressured, plus it's one thing off your to do list while you are transforming yourself for your cosplay.
  • Bring a mirror where you can see your whole face / head and find yourself an out of the way area where you can take your time to do your make up and put on your wig. That way, you won't be adding to the long line inside.

Do as much as you can at home. Styling in the C.R. eats up a lot of time and space. It is also can be bothersome to others.


  • Wash your wigs! The fibers can clog the sink and it makes a mess. Plus when you wash it, you'd have to dry it, too.
  • Dry your wigs using the hand dryer! Hand dryers are for drying the hands! Hence the name! It is NOT a wig dryer.
  • Blast hairspray or hair color with out notice, it can go to somebody's eyes or make some sick or deface other people's property.
  • Leave a mess. Just because there is sanitary worker (the one who cleans) doesn't mean you can just leave your trash and what not. Wig / hair fibers, empty canisters, rubber bands should be put properly in the waste basket.

Bring a mirror, find yourself a secluded place you can do your styling with out being a nuisance to others. And be sure to clean as you go.^^

This is pretty much self explanatory. I hope you guys get what it means already.

A lot of people, not only cosplayers are guilty of this. I just can't understand why of all places, some people would prefer the lavatory as a place for excessive picture taking and camwhoring.

People, please! Please do not treat the bathroom as a studio! Everything has its rightful place and taking pictures in the C.R. is simply a bad call. It's unbecoming.

Eli and Nozomi

Am I being to idealistic? Ok, sorry about that. Take pictures as long as you don't bother someone else, take pictures of yourself and not other people minding their own business.

Well, that's about it for bathrooms, if any of you have other bathroom + cosplay related matter that you think should be addressed, just send me a note or something and I'll add it here. You can share stories and experiences, too^^

BTW, thanks so much to ms. Zen. The issue of cosplay etiquette has been bothering me for some time and I've been itching to blog about it. Because of Ms. Zen, I finally did this entry. So, thanks so much^^

thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~