As I write this I am at the end of my first year cosplaying. Cosplay has been amazing – it has given me a fun way to celebrate my favourite fandoms. It has taught me new skills, brought me new friends and has boosted my confidence. My only regret is not doing it earlier – why didn’t I do it earlier? Simple really. I listened to the naysayers, the toxic and negative people telling me I am too old, too fat and too shy to do it. So I thought why not write a blog about it – because if I can help encourage more positivity in just one person then why not!
I started making my first costume in 2020 but this year 2022 has been my first cosplay year because it was my first time in costume at conventions and events. My first event was back in March. Since then I have gone to more events and more conventions and loved every minute!
Then cue the toxic people. I will walk around a convention as my resistance pilot or one of my Twi’leks and most of the comments are positive, but among those positive comments and the joy on peoples faces seeing their favourite fandoms and characters come to life there is the people who mutter that “you wouldn’t have an x-wing pilot that big” or “Where in Star Wars is there fat twi’leks?” “They are supposed to be attractive not fat” as I’ve walked around with my husband we’ve heard people talk about cosplayers as things or objects for their entertainment or more creepily their ‘enjoyment’ it gets me thinking how many prospective cosplayers hear all that and are put off? How many of us have stopped making cosplays because of the toxic negativity?
Cosplay is for everyone and its time for us to stop letting people belittle us and bully us. Let’s bring some positivity back and do better!
I am a firm believer that it is the costume that is the focus. Not the cosplayer. If you are fat and you want to cosplay a character that is thin go for it. If you want to cosplay a different gender character then go for it. If you want to cosplay a character that is a different race go for it. As long as you are respectful to the race, gender and to the character and you aren’t completely insulting someone go for it!
I see so many incredibly talented cosplayers around and admire and appreciate the effort that has gone into creating and making their costume – lets focus on that – talk to us about our costume, did we make it? How long did it take? How much fun is it? Who cares what the person looks like – we cosplay to celebrate characters and fandoms.
This has been something I have myself had to remind myself of lately as my next cosplan that is due to be started April next year is Duchess Satine from Star Wars The Clone Wars animated series. She has been on the wish list for a while, but I had that little voice in the back of my head telling me to give into the bullies and the toxic people – I’m too big, too old, too ugly, can’t pull it off. But after speaking to others and realising that if someone came to me saying that I would tell them it’s the costume that is the focus, it’s the costume not the cosplayer, if you want to cosplay her and you’ll have fun doing it then do it! So I am doing it – she is my next cosplan and I am so excited to get her started.
We all go through wobbles of whether we should cosplay a character – and as long as we have fun doing it and are not completely insulting anyone or doing anything illegal then go for it!
If you are reading this and have made sense of my ramblings then please don’t let the toxic people and bullies effect whether you cosplay or not. If you want to cosplay then do it – big, small, old, young, no matter your gender or race, cosplay is for us all. And there are a lot of positive cosplayers and fans out there who will celebrate you and appreciate your cosplays – focus on them and your enjoyment of cosplay. We all cosplay for different reasons – focus on your reason to cosplay. Be positive. Be kind.
Together if we are all kind to each other the world will be a better place.
If you’ve experienced bullying while out at an event please don’t let it effect you negatively – reach out to someone, my DMs are always open for anyone who wants to talk.
Always remember – COSPLAY IS FOR EVERYONE!
Be kind and be positive folks.