Ask Ani-Mia: Wigs, Home Photography, and Harassment
This week's advice tackles storing wigs, negative comments online, and more!
Hey there cosplayers and cosplay enthusiasts. Welcome to Ask Ani-Mia, a running advice column where you can ask questions on any topic that may be cosplay related and get an answer. Hopefully my years of cosplay experience can help shed some light on questions you may have been dying to ask but for some reason or another haven’t. So let’s get started.
Hi Ani-Mia, How do you store and keep wigs from tangling after using them? – Jenny B.
There are a lot of ways to store your wigs from quick and easy to Marie Kondo levels of organization. Before putting your wigs away, make sure to completely brush them out. Start from the ends of the wig and work your way up to the roots, section by section. If you start from the root, you will only push tangles down and into other tangles as you brush through.
The best option for wigs is to store them on a wig head or hanging. I actually keep my most used wigs on a wall hanging coat rack, using sewing clips to keep them on the pegs. These methods can be more difficult to use if you lack extra room. For that reason, bags are the next best thing.
I was recently introduced to themeyastore.com which sells incredible garment bags for wigs. While a pricier option for bagging, the hanger clip will keep hair hanging in the bag, hanging in your closet and the clear front makes it easier to identify the wig. The cheaper option would be to either use the bags the wig came in or gallon ziplock bags which can then be labeled with the wig inside.
For longer wigs, you may want to put them into a loose braid or two so that they don’t tangle inside the bags if they are jostled. Fold the wig from ear to ear and use some tissue paper inside the cap to keep its shape. Then fold any extra length of the wig inside of the wig cap creating nice little bundle. If the wig has curls or styling, it might help to use a hairnet over the bundle to help hold in curls. Before putting the bag into a larger container, make sure to label each with a description of the wig, the character it was used for and how many times it was worn, which will help you know when it’s probably a good time to give the wig a wash.
Dear Ani-Mia, I want to take pictures of my cosplays at home. Do I need a fancy camera, what kind? What else do I need? – Tori F.
Honestly, for most social media photos, your camera phone can work just as well as a digital camera. I would recommend picking up a lightweight and portable tripod with a phone holder attachment. Use the self-timer mode and see if your phone has an auto-starter. For example, my Samsung will start the timer if it recognizes an open hand or hears “cheese”; the latter can be a little funny to use when in public.
If you want to go with a full camera, I have been using the Canon Rebel series for years and enjoy how easy it. Features you want to pay attention to are of course lens, zoom ability and picture quality but for solo photography the ability to use a wireless remote is almost necessary and I’ve found having a screen on the back that can be turned to the front is incredibly convenient for seeing your shots as you pose, much like a selfie camera.
You will want to get a much sturdier tripod with a wide range of motion for the connector so you can utilize more angles. If you photograph outdoors you can use natural lighting but indoor
photography will require at bare minimum, a cheaper lighting set which can be found on Amazon for around $100. You can also add a ring light, which can help create perfectly lit portraits.
Dear Ani-Mia, How do you avoid harassment on social media? Which one is the worst in having to deal with rude comments? - Anonymous
The sad unfortunate truth is that it is impossible to completely avoid negativity on social media but there are things that you can do to lessen it and/or overcome it. First is learning that people who spout negativity on others are generally unhappy themselves. They are so unhappy, that they can’t stand seeing others being happy and strive to bring them down. You can’t let the words of an unhappy person hurt you because their lashing out has nothing to do with you but the unhappiness they feel in themselves.
Now there really isn’t a social media site that’s any worse than the other because it depends entirely on where your posts and photos may be seen and by who. One of the nice things about Instagram and Twitter is that you can block comments on posts; and while this might bring down the reach of your post due to interaction built from comments, it does give you a more peaceful environment to simply share your photos and exist happily.
In general, it’s best to ignore any negative comments you might receive and block the person. It does no good to respond back since most of the time, trolls simply want to know that they were able to get to you. Also, responding to negative comments you receive more than positive ones can sometimes send the message that the best way to get you to interact is to be rude. The biggest power you have online is the ban button.
On the subject of direct messages, judge whether or not to read and respond on how you feel. You aren’t required to respond to messages you get on social media and if you prefer to not see anything negative, there’s no reason to even open the tab. If you do want to go through your messages, I recommend giving each a quick scan from the preview and if it looks like it may be negative, simply delete and ban.
The more you ban the negative people from your social media, the more positive a place it will be since that will be all the people that remain.
If you have a question that you’d like to have answered, feel free to send it to email@example.com. Make sure to include your first name and last initial or let us know if you’d like to mark the question as “From Anonymous”