Turn on your television on any given day and chances are good you’ll see a show about cosplay. Or someone talking about cosplay. Or somehow cosplay is involved. The world of cosplay has been forever opened up to any Average Joe with shows such as ‘Heroes of Cosplay’, ‘King of the Nerds’ and even ‘Big Bang Theory’. It’s no longer just something that’s an underground thing, it’s a very viable and profitable market to the masses now. Walk into any Halloween store or Hot Topic, and with just $50 you can become Naruto, Sailor Moon, Chun Li, or whomever else.
Personally I love cosplay. I’ve been cosplaying since I was 13! It’s a fun hobby and a great way to celebrate what you love. I’ve never competed for any kind of prize and I’ve certainly never won any kind of money from doing it either. Shows such as ‘Heroes of Cosplay’, while fun, is not a representation of everyone that does cosplay. I don’t cosplay to be “famous”, I don’t cosplay to win money, and if I don’t finish a costume in time it’s not the end of the world. I also love meeting other cosplayers. Some costumes clearly take months and thousands of dollars to complete. Some were bought at a store. To me it doesn’t matter. If you love something enough to put on a costume and brightly colored hair, who am I to tell you likewise. Yet some people do feel the need to shame others for their choice of costume, the quality, or even the person’s physical appearance as well.
And that’s where I have a problem.
Guys and gals, it’s just not cool to shame someone because they don’t “have the right body type”, “aren’t the same color” or what have you. It’s not funny, it doesn’t make you look rad, it just makes you look like a jerk. If a person’s choice of costume really bothers you so much, maybe you should take a big step back and think long and hard about why it bothers you. Does the person’s choice really impact your life? Your job? Your friends and family? If you answered no, then maybe you should let it go. Cosplay is for every body. It doesn’t matter what color skin you have, how large or small you are, it just matters if you’re having fun while dressing up as something you love. It’s also not cool to sexually objectify the men and women who cosplay as well. Following them around, only taking pictures of their behinds, or even just saying lewd remarks are all rude and tasteless. They’re people with complex feelings and emotions just like you. Just because a woman is dressed like Wonder Woman or a man is dressed as a Spartan warrior, does not mean you have the right to harass them. Being a respectful, decent human being will get you a lot farther than being a creep. Summer con season is in full swing, so let’s try and make these next few months as incident free as possible. Everyone deserves a good con experience whether they are in cosplay or not!