I want to bring your attention to the #notacosplayer project run by Eddie of Food and Cosplay (facebook, tumblr).
Pretty angry at those photos right? Yeah, me too. The top one is me and six of the other cosplayers are extremely close friends of mine. (I’ve tagged their pages if you click on the photos!)
#notacosplayer is here to tackle the bullying within the cosplay community and especially that from outside. A lot of people, too many people believe that you have to be a thin, white woman with large boobs and an incredibly attractive face to be “allowed” to cosplay, and then what? If you are you’re brandished a slut/whore, a fake geek and only doing it for male attention. Yes there are a small handful of people who do infact cosplay for attention and have no interest in the characters, but for the people with a genuine love of what they’re doing, this is massively hurtful.
Comments like the ones above are received on a daily basis for a lot of cosplayers, whether it be a sly remark from another convention goer, on a facebook page where “well its just a picture on the internet” or some other form of online forum, the comments are read and they’re upsetting.
Cosplayers spend countless hours picking costumes, hunting down where the best place to get them from is or locating the most realistic parts for a costume. They send off designs and reference to commissioners to ensure that their piece is perfect and just how they want it, constantly giving feedback and input on their item. Some other cosplayers spend hours and hours slaving away with cuts and burns to create something they’re proud of and love.
They take a picture and hang it with absolute pride at how awesome they look, how they replicated their favorite character in their own way. They show it to their friends who all say how awesome it is and they share it around.
And for what?
Definitely not for some random person off the internet to feel the need to comment and chip in, ignoring every ounce of effort and accuracy on a costume. Friend, you found this image probably because you’re a fan of what I’m cosplaying from, could you comment on my costume please?
No, straight for the jugular, right in the “you’re not good enough to cosplay because…”
"You’re #notacosplayer because…”
Well I am. And Everyone else who says their a cosplayer is a cosplayer. The rules of cosplay aren’t written on attractiveness or likeness, they’re written on costume play.
So stand proud guys. Bullying will not be tolerated anymore. Share your stories and lets stop this horrible taboo where we never speak about the nasty comments we receive. Its a major part and its driving out incredible members of our community. Negativity won’t be tolerated anymore.
You’re all amazing and incredible and you can do whatever you set your mind to. Don’t let these comments put you off doing that dream character or starting cosplaying. Stand up proud and where that costume, show bullies and negativity that you don’t care…