Strategies to Handle Con Creeps Effectively: Cosplay 101

Strategies to Handle Convention Creeps Effectively Thumbnail

Navigating the exciting realm of cosplay conventions involves not only perfecting your costume but also knowing how to effectively handle convention creeps.

While cosplay community is a safe and supportive space, it might be toxic sometimes. There are some instances of some people inside of the cosplay convention are doing something awful to other cosplayers. Many cosplayers are complaining about these creeps.

Despite of these convention creeps issues, cosplay is still a popular hobby that has a good benefits to every individuals like self expression. Mitigating the risks of encountering a convention creeps can make your experience more better!

What is a convention creeps?

If you are new to the cosplay community and doesn’t familiar on what does con creeps are, I will explain it for you. Convention creeps are the people inside of the convention that do something (sometimes accidentally) awful to a cosplayer. 

These kind of inappropriate actions are but not limited to patting, taking photo without a consent, verbal abuse, touching a cosplayer without their consent, sexual harassment and etc. 

Most of convention creeps are intentional than accidental, so cosplayers should be careful and set a boundary to themselves. It’s very common in crowded conventions. 

Types of Convention Creepers

When attending cosplay conventions, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with different types of convention creeps, recognize their inappropriate behavior, and identify red flags. By understanding these individuals, you can better protect yourself and others within the community.

Accidental Creeps

This person might not be aware that their behavior is making others uncomfortable. They might stand too close, make offhand comments that are unintentionally sexual, or ask overly personal questions. While not necessarily malicious, their actions can still create an unpleasant experience for every cosplayers inside of the venue.

Not everyone has a an intension to do something awful inside of the convention venue. Sometimes, these people are not familiar in the guidelines or etiquettes of the cosplay community. So, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself in the convention guidelines to avoid being an accidental Creeps.

Photographer Creep

Photography is a normal thing in the cosplay convention. This is the common activity con-goers. Doing this form of art is not a crime but sometimes, photographer are not respecting the cosplayer’s boundaries. A lack of boundary respect is on of the most common issue in the cosplay community 

This individual is overly focused on getting the perfect picture, often disregarding the cosplayer’s personal space and comfort. They might demand specific poses, invade personal space, or take photos without asking. Their actions can make cosplayers feel objectified and uncomfortable.

Stalker Creep

Stalking doesn’t always be in social media. Stalking issue might happen inside of the anime convention that makes cosplayer feels like they are in danger.

The creep fixates on a particular cosplayer, following them around the convention, taking unwanted photos, or trying to engage in conversation even when it’s clear that the cosplayer is not interested. Their behavior can be extremely unsettling and make cosplayers feel unsafe.

Touchy Creep

This is the type of creep that I really hate the most. Imagine, someone patting my Wanderer Cosplay Wig, that’s so awful! I cannot imagine someone touching it because synthetic fibers are too fragile and a touch of unknown hand can damage my wig. If you are the one that’s a touchy Creep, go out of my website!

This creep has a habit of touching cosplayers without their consent, whether it’s a hug, touching of cosplay wig, a pat on the back, or even something more invasive. This behavior is not only inappropriate but can also be considered assault.

Comment/Verbal Abuse Creep

Verbal Abuse

As I said before in my previous blog, verbal abuse is one of the common types of cosplay harassment inside of the comic convention. 

This creep makes comments that are sexual, offensive, or discriminatory in nature. They might make remarks about a cosplayer’s body, costume, or the character they are portraying. Their words can be hurtful, degrading, and make cosplayers feel unwelcome.

Verbal abuse can be done by mouth, body actions, shouting and etc. Cosplayers should be aware what’s appropriate or not. 

Clown Creep

Clown
Image by asierromero on Freepik

Humor can uplift the mood of your fellow cosplayers inside of the comic convention. Sometimes, jokes might harm or offense others that ruin someone’s cosplay experience. 

This person makes inappropriate or offensive jokes at the expense of cosplayers, often using humor as a way to mask their discriminatory or harassing behavior. They might make fun of someone’s costume, body, or the character they are portraying. Their “jokes” are often hurtful and can create a toxic environment.

The Following Creep

I’m not talking about your followers in TikTok and Instagram. I’m talking about a person shadows a cosplayer around the convention, trying to engage in conversation or take photos without their permission. 

They might even follow them to other areas of the convention or outside of it. This behavior can be extremely frightening and make cosplayers feel like they are being stalked.

Narcissist Creep

By the title by itself, this sounds more like a gatekeeper. These creeps are narcissist in nature and they feel that they are entitled inside of the anime convention venue.

This person believes they are the ultimate authority on cosplay and will belittle or criticize others for not meeting their standards. They might make hurtful comments about someone’s costume, body, or the character they are portraying, creating a hostile environment.

Compliment Creep

There’s nothing wrong about giving a compliment to a cosplayer if you liked their performance. It’s normal that your mind has shocked on how beautiful is the performance of the cosplayer. Remember that compliments must not makes you uncomfortable. Sometimes, bad or flirty compliment makes cosplayers feel treated or harassed. 

This person uses backhanded compliments or suggestive language to make cosplayers feel uneasy. They might say things like, “Your costume would look even better if…” or “You’re almost as attractive as the character you’re cosplaying.” Their words are often thinly veiled attempts at flirting or objectification.

Underage Creep

This type of creep is the most illegal one. Underage Creep  is an adult who shows an inappropriate interest in cosplayers who are minor (depending in your jurisdiction). 

They might make sexual comments, try to engage in conversation that is too mature for the cosplayer’s age, or even try to groom them. This behavior is predatory and might cause jail time. 

“Convention is a Dating App” Creep

This kind of convention creeps treat anime convention as a place to find the right person but they are actually wrong and looking so stupid in their creepy actions.

This person views cosplay conventions as a hunting ground for potential romantic or sexual partners. They might use manipulative tactics like negging or unwanted flirting to try and gain a cosplayer’s attention, disregarding any signals of disinterest or discomfort.

Hey, another reminder from me as a cosplayer that anime convention is not your traditional dating app. It’s a place to have a fun and make friends, not romantic partners!

Networking Creep

If another creeps treat comic convention as dating app, networking convention creep treats conventions as LinkedIn. They just go to the conventions just for professional networking than having fun.

This person uses cosplay conventions solely as an opportunity to further their own career or professional social circle. 

They might try to manipulate cosplayers into helping them gain exposure or connections, offering insincere compliments or promises of future collaboration in exchange for favors.

Leering Creep

This individual stares intently at cosplayers, often focusing on specific body parts or making them feel objectified and uncomfortable. Their lingering gaze can be incredibly unnerving and make cosplayers feel self-conscious and unsafe.

How to Prevent Convention Creeps

Now, you’ve learned various types of convention creepers that might affect your cosplay experience. Take mind that prevention Is better than cure when it comes to your safety as cosplayer. 

Every cosplayers can be a victim of getting harassed. Without further ado, I’m going to show you a detailed guide on how you can minimize the risks of being a target of convention creeps. 

Choose the Right Cosplay

Your character choice might be a factor in risk of being a target by convention creepers. It’s crucial to do a deep research about the costume that you are going to buy or make. You should consider these 2 things in order to minimize the risks of being a target:

Consider the character’s revealing part and potential to attract unwanted attention.

This part is much crucial to underage cosplayers. I suggest to younger cosplayers to avoid characters that has a revealing part especially the sensitive one. This can attract convention creeps to do something awful to them. 

Now the skeptic is that you will ask on how you can figure out if the cosplay costume is minor friendly. The costume must not reveal these following sensitive body parts:

  • Breast
  • Stomach
  • Butt

If the costume reveal one of those body parts especially the breast, it should not be cosplayed by a minor or cosplayers under 18. If you’re still blocked and want some examples of costume that’s kid-friendly, I will give you some examples!

If you’re a male cosplayer, you must avoid costumes that may expose your stomach. One of the family friendly cosplay example for minor male cosplayer is the Wanderer from Genshin Impact.

The costume doesn’t reveal anything from a cosplayer’s body beside from the knees. Even your lice from your head is also covered because of a giant hat, lol! Joke aside, You should opt for these kind of costumes that covered the sensitive part of your body. 

If you’re a female cosplayers, you must avoid costumes that my expose your breast. The one example of a minor friendly cosplay for you is Qiqi from Genshin Impact.

As you can see in the costume, the breast is completely hidden because of the costume’s intentional design. You should opt for these kind of cosplay if you are a minor cosplayer.

In the nutshell, you should avoid cosplay that’s way too revealing. If you are an adult cosplayer and not comfortable to show the revealing parts, you might opt for minor friendly cosplay.

It sounds like opting for a family friendly cosplay are expensive, but the reality it’s absolutely affordable! Cosplay is a cheap hobby by itself. If your budget cannot afford costumes but you’re dying to cosplay.

RoleCosplay is the answer in your problem! Use my discount code “fandangoblogs” to get a 12% off upon checkout of your purchase in RoleCosplay. Buy now before your next con so you can have an ability to brag it down to your friendsđź’Ş.

Opt for comfortable cosplays that allow for easy movement and escape if needed.

In case of creep attack, fleeing the anime convention venue is the best choice if you feel unsafe for your own well-being. Having a comfortable cosplay costume that can helps you to escape as soon as possible might save your life.

Buddy System

Not having a cosplay friends beside you inside of the convention venue is actually boring. It’s a boring experience to not have a cosplay buddy beside you and it might also increase the risk of being a target. 

Convention Creeps are targeting cosplayers that doesn’t have a friend so no one can witness the incident. It’s like a crime scene, criminals will do something bad when there’s no witness! 

By having a cosplay friends beside you, this is a signal to the convention creeps that it’s a bad idea to target you because someone can witness their wrongdoings. 

In case that a convention creeps attack you, your friend might be your ally to defend yourself from them. It’s crucial to have a friends beside you to mitigate the risk of convention creeps attack.

Set a Boundary

Boundary is the key when it comes to avoiding convention creeps. If you can plan about your next cosplay, you should also plan for your boundary to safe guard yourself from predators.

By setting up a boundary, you will be aware which action is good or bad. You can analyze if the con-goers are doing right or they doing something below the belt or offensive.

It involves clearly communicating what you are and aren’t comfortable with, both verbally and non-verbally. This can range from politely declining an unwanted photo request to firmly stating “No” to an inappropriate advance. 

It’s about establishing a clear line that others shouldn’t cross, respecting your personal space, and ensuring you feel safe and comfortable in your cosplay.

Remember, it’s perfectly okay to say “No” and prioritize your own well-being. Having a confident demeanor and using direct language can often discourage unwanted attention. 

If someone disregards your boundaries, don’t hesitate to seek help from friends, convention staff, or security personnel. 

Setting boundaries empowers you to take control of your interactions and enjoy your convention experience without feeling harassed or threatened.

So, these are some ways to prevent convention creeps. If you want to learn more about preventing harassments from creeps, check out my blog on how to deal with cosplay harassments.

Strategies to handle Convention Creeps

Avoid

Avoiding con creeps can be a key strategy at conventions. This might involve steering clear of individuals known for inappropriate behavior, choosing less crowded areas, or simply trusting your instincts and moving away from someone who makes you uncomfortable.

If you notice someone repeatedly loitering near you or your group, consider relocating to a different area or seeking the company of friends. Be mindful of your surroundings and try to attend panels or events with trusted companions.

While avoiding might be an ideal solution, sometimes it can be a backfire. Here are some situations that avoiding or ignoring might be appropriate:

  • Minor or fleeting comments: If someone makes a quick, offhand remark that’s mildly uncomfortable but not overtly threatening, ignoring it can sometimes be the best course of action.
  • Attention-seeking behavior: Some con creeps thrive on the attention they get, even negative reactions. Ignoring them can remove their reward and potentially discourage further interaction.
  • Overt photography without consent: If someone tries to take your picture without asking, turning away and ignoring them can be a clear nonverbal signal of disapproval.
  • Brief encounters in passing: In crowded spaces, a quick brush-by or unintentional bump might not warrant a confrontation. Ignoring it and moving on can be the safest and most efficient response.
  • Situations where engaging could escalate: If you sense that engaging with a con creep could make them more aggressive or persistent, ignoring and distancing yourself might be the wiser choice.

Verbal Response/Open Communication

Deciding whether to ignore the convention creeps are appropriate or not is a case to case basis. Sometimes, an open verbal communication especially for accidental Creeps might solve the problem. 

Franking these convention creeps show a sign to them that you are not comfortable to be treated badly. Open communication might be a good choice if you feel that the creep doesn’t have a strong bad intention to you.

Before the convention, you might want to memorize these samples of verbal Response to convention creeps in order to be safe:

  • “Excuse me, you bumped into me.” (Simple and direct, highlighting the accidental nature of the contact.)
  • “I think you might have stepped on my foot. Could you please be more careful?” (Polite but firm, reminding them to be mindful of their surroundings.)
  • “I understand it’s crowded, but could you give me a little more space, please?” (Acknowledging the situation while asserting your need for personal space.)
  • “I’m not comfortable with you standing so close. Could you please back up?” (Directly addressing the discomfort caused by their proximity.)
  • “I apologize, but I’m not interested in chatting right now. I’m here to enjoy the convention.” (Politely declining conversation while subtly indicating disinterest.)
  • “Thank you for the compliment, but I’d prefer not to be photographed.” (Acknowledging their comment while setting a clear boundary regarding photos.)
  • I’m here with my friends. Would you mind giving us some privacy?” (Indicating that you’re not alone and would like to be left undisturbed.)
  • “I’m sorry, but your behavior is making me uncomfortable. Please stop.” (Directly addressing their actions and expressing your discomfort.)
  • “I’m going to move to a different area now. Have a good day.” (Removing yourself from the situation while maintaining a polite tone.)
  • “If you continue to bother me, I’ll have to report you to convention staff.” (A last resort, indicating serious consequences if they don’t desist.)

Sometimes, communicating with them to stop their awful behavior might work. If you still feel unsafe, I advise you to report the incident to the security staff.

Seek Help

Image by storyset on Freepik

IMMEDIATE WARNING: If you or your cosplay friend is being physically assaulted, harassed, or their safety inside of the convention venue is in imminent danger, call 911 right away. This is non-negotiable!

If you cannot handle the situation by yourself, don’t hesitate to report it to the cosplay convention staff. They can help you to escape the issue further and they will do their best to keep you safe from these convention creeps.

There’s so many anime convention staffs that you can seek help from. These are the security staffs, organizers and etc. You’re not alone when it comes to handling these convention creepers.

If you are a minor that got attacked by a convention creeps, tell a trusted adult like your parents and inform the legal authorities. Keep in mind that I’m not a lawyer. I’m just an ordinary cosplayer, so I cannot give you a legal advice about this matter. In this case, I recommend you to seek a lawyer or a legal professionals in order for you to englighten about the whole process of taking action against these illegal acts.

Conclusion

The article provides strategies on how to effectively handle convention creeps in cosplay conventions. Convention creeps are people who do inappropriate things to cosplayers, such as patting, taking photos without consent, verbal abuse, and sexual harassment. 

Most of these actions are intentional, so cosplayers should be aware and set boundaries. There are different types of convention creeps, including accidental creeps, photographer creeps, stalkers, and touchy creeps. It’s important to familiarize oneself with these types of creeps and identify red flags to protect oneself and others in the cosplay community. 

Verbal abuse is a common type of cosplay harassment, and it can be done by mouth, body actions, shouting, or other means. 

Touchy creeps have a habit of touching cosplayers without their consent, which can be considered inappropriate and assault. 

Photographer creeps are overly focused on getting the perfect picture, disregarding personal space and comfort, and can make cosplayers feel objectified and uncomfortable.

 Stalker creeps fixate on a particular cosplayer, following them around the convention, taking unwanted photos, and trying to engage in conversation even when it’s clear that the cosplayer is not interested.

 These creeps can create a toxic and unsafe environment for cosplayers and should be avoided in crowded conventions.