Mens Fitness Guru Bullies Overweight Cosplayers

- 10-21-11Cosplay, WTF? Posted by Mark Poynter

Men’s Fitness Digital Director Jordan Burchette decided to go to NYCC Comic Con and write about it. What did he bring back? What really stuck with him? Was it the atmosphere of excited fans meeting their favorite characters or comic creators? Maybe it was wide backgrounds and variety of people that attended, or the fellowship enjoyed by those that share common interests.

I’m sorry to say that Jordan didn’t find anything to write about those subjects. Jordan quickly reverted to the age old high school “Jock” bullying attitude that we all grew up with and had to put up with for liking the nerdy geeky things we liked and looking different.

Maybe I’m jumping the gun here. I would hate to just lash out at Jordan after a cursory glance at his experience at NYCC Comic Con. Sure there are a lot of pictures and I’m sure that as a journalist, Jordan talked with the people he photographed and captioned in the article.

So I am posting Jordon’s article here in it’s entirety and will go through and comment on my reactions. Everything in Italics is from Jordan’s article, everything in (bold and parentheses) are my (Mark Poynter’s) thoughts. I should start with the title of the article:

 

NY Comic Con: Flabby Versions of Your

 

Favorite Superheroes!

 

(Not an auspicious start.)

Comic book conventions are among the few remaining refuges of sincere, unaffected fun in an otherwise odious leisurescape of extreme binge drinking set to techno or gun claps. They’re enjoyed by people of literally every age, ethnicity and economic disadvantage in celebration of the stories and characters on which they were all raised. It’s a bully-free zone in which underwear is in no danger of violently wedgie-ing its wearer and freak flags are free to fly. Nowhere is this more evident than in the practice of costume play, or cosplay.

(So far so good. Jordan seems to display an understanding that conventions can and should be a place to celebrate our interests and shared passions. Jordan specifically notes the conventions are a “Bully-free” zone. After reading that I am expecting an interesting article about the convention with a Men’s Fitness point of view.) 

This year, attendees all appear to have colluded in advance to imagine the most popular heroes and villains of comics, movies and anime as doughy, sickly, weak, infirm or, in the most impressive examples, morbidly obese. What we observed was a testament to the imagination and resourcefulness of the comic book fan, a live “What If?” comic, if you will, contemplating how our heroes would look close to death.Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got to see cool stuff like Captain America’s costume from the upcoming Avengers movie. But our subjects had no need for athletic-cut performance wear like this. The theme was Homely Heroes and no bodily dimension was too great in their pursuit of squat glory.
(That’s it, the above paragraph is all that Jordan Burchette got from his visit to NYCC Comic Con. I would love to say that Jordan went on in his article to express his concern about the health of Con goers and what they might do to get back into shape or live more healthily, but all I can add are the photos Jordan posted to his article and the clever witticisms that accompanied them.)
“Avengers dishevel!!!”
(A group of friends having a good time at the con, Cosplaying the Avengers. Who are they hurting Jordan?)
“I am vengeance. I am the night. I am thankful for Denny’s late menu.”
(Hand made Batman costume. Shot without the person knowing at an angle obvious intended to make the guy look bad. Couldn’t you look this man in the face when you took his picture?)
“This is madness.”
“This… IS… SBARRO’S!!!”
(From the picture I am not sure what the costume really is, but from Jordan’s amusing caption we can all deduce it is a Spartan costume. He looks like a big guy, that’s probably why Jordan din’t try to take the picture with the guys knowledge.)
Certified Public Accountant Magneto, master of pragmatism!(Is this guy in shape enough that Jordan only thought to make fun of his glasses? The guy wears glasses so he’s an accountant? Did you even talk to this man?)
Now THIS is what Eastern European female agents really used to look like in the 1980s.
(Apparently Jordan is unaware of the trend in CosPlay to cross-gender characters. Most are done with a humorous edge like the Baroness pictured above. Jordan, did you even bother to ask this guy about his costume? No, you went for the “Pack of Jocks” ha-ha, not the “let’s enjoy the joke” kinda ha-ha.)
(Ok, that is all of the article, now to some additional comments) 
I don’t want to paint all jocks or people that work at Men’s Fitness as bullies. Like the rest of us, Jocks are a mix of good guys and bad guys, with all the variations between. The spirit of Jordan’s article just made me think of the classic high school bully. There were people that tried to bully me for all kinds of reasons in High School, most really didn’t work thanks to my father teaching me at an early age to stand up for myself and others.
It is in that spirit of “sticking up for myself and others” in which I am writing this piece about Jordan’s article and attitude. I find it surprisingly depressing to have the Digital Site Director of Men’s Fitness Online making the snarky, bullying comments above. I don’t want to start a movement to get Jordan removed from his position at Men’s Fitness. I would like to give him the opportunity to review his article and make any changes he feels are needed. A public apology to the people featured in his article would not be out of line as well.
Now we all know that nothing gets done until someone makes a stink about it. The link below will take you to Men’s Fitness Contact page. I would ask everyone that was offended by the spirit of Jordan’s article to join me and fill out that contact page and express your displeasure to the management of Men’s Fitness Online - Jordan Burchette. I’m putting the URL for this article in the comments section of the contact page along with my personal email address in case Jordan would like to contact me about my article.

Category: Cosplay, WTF?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1579115676 Brett Durci

    Way to misread things, Jimpoop.

    “I’m sure this douche-bag plays Fantasy Football too, or wears team jerseys…as if HE is a model athlete.”

    This was pointing out the ridiculousness of a man who probably does his own fantasy gaming and “cosplay”, but is too much of a hypocrite not to mock others for it. They didn’t mock him for his hobbies. They simply pointed out the parallels between his hobbies and the people he was teasing. Burchette was being disrespectful, and he was bullying. Period. So calling him a douche-bag isn’t “bullying” or being hypocritical. That is simply a term used to express that someone is being a jerk, ass-hole, or dick. Which he was. HE WAS. It isn’t bullying to tell a bully to “stop being a dick”.

    They make fun of geeks? We make fun of bodybuilders.”

    Secondly, if you read the article posted below that comment you cherry-picked, you’d know that he wasn’t saying “Hey, we do it too!” He was saying, “How would they like a taste of their own medicine?” He posted a link to an article about Burchette’s shameful article, saying that “If they think this kind of talk is appropriate, we can start showing them how inappropriate it really is by sending it right back.” Sure, a little vengeful, but self-defense is hardly bullying. It was an attempt to put them in the shoes of the “geeks” so they can empathize and not act in such a way anymore. While I don’t condone stooping to the level of the bullies, it is a valid approach to actually get them to realize how wrong it was. I’d just prefer other methods.

    TL;DR – Take your pseudo-logic elsewhere and stop defending bullying while trying to somehow get on the victim’s case for wanting to punch back.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for telling Jimpoop all that. I couldn’t have typed it better myself. Because you’re against bullying like I am, I place you on my list of people who I respect and possibly like.

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