Why cosplay is no longer an escape for most of us

Hey, you. Yeah you! Pull up a chair, or put your phone in your face, pour yourself a cup of your desired beverage, and let’s have a heart to heart for a second.

I’ll start by saying one word and one word only, cosplay. I’ve said it once before, and I’ll say it a million times, cosplay should be full of fun! You get to be someone who you’ve always wanted to be, and have the opportunity to meet other people who relate to you. Why is that such a complicated deal for some people to understand?

As of recent, there have been a lot instances in which cosplay has proven that it has a dark side. Although most have already known this, people have become a lot more judgmental and vocal about this hobby in general. However, it shouldn’t be like this, ladies and gentlemen! Most of you, or at least I hope so, agree with me on this. But for some reason, there are some cruel people out there who have such a twisted view on things that nothing gets through to them. Why? Beats me. These people out there put people down and think it’s okay to continue on with these rude remarks and unruly butthurt.

NR Vid / Anime Expo

From our Anime Expo cosplay music video.

The origin of cosplay began ages ago. Nerds like you and I had gatherings and would come together, costume or not, to appreciate all things pop culture. We got to escape the boundary of reality and fit in somewhere. Cosplay, and nerd culture in general, was an escape – so to speak. Whatever hardships you were facing in real life (which can get very personal, mind you) left one’s mind when they got the opportunity to cosplay. For me, that was the case. I related to a lot of people in that sense. But today? You can rarely call it a diversion from the real world. It’s more or less a trip back into high school.

With rude comments towards how people look in costumes, body shaming, and so much more – cosplay isn’t as fun as it used to be. Now, don’t get me wrong. I truly believe that if you put yourself in the spotlight, via pictures, video, or anything media related, your parade will always get rained on. There is always going to be that “special someone” who has to say something negative. No, of course you shouldn’t give into the rude comments and feed the fire. But, when it gets to a certain point, I am completely aware that there are circumstances in which you must step in to not fight back, but to defend yourself and get rid of that awful person. And, as much as you want to be mature about it and just block them, their words deep down still hurt you. The person is gone but their words still linger. It may not be the first few times, but after hearing so many disgusting things over time, they begin to stick with you. It’s like that for everyone – we’re human after all.

NR Video // Anime Expo

Also from our video, cosplayers having FUN.

So why has the act of body shaming and hate in the cosplay world become such a normality? I’ve seen so many of my own friends delete their pages, give up cosplay entirely, and get really upset over being constantly bashed on what they once considered their favorite thing to do. This shouldn’t have become a normal aspect of the nerd world. It shouldn’t have become something so terrible to the point of deleting all of their brilliant work and never bringing it back out again. Like I said, we should all know the consequences when it comes to social media, but we should have more positivity opposed to hate. We’re nerds, we should support each other – not do the opposite.

I recently watched an amazing video that inspired this article today. I’m a Body Positive Cosplayer of Color is the name of it, and the Bustle YouTube channel released it two days ago.

We meet a beautiful, inspiring woman by the name of Geisha Vi. She, like you and I, is a cosplayer. A great one at that. She’s been through the struggle of receiving mean comments and even having an entire article written about her shaming her body AND costume entirely. Even though it brought her down to an extent, she continues to do what she loves because she’s damn good at it. She is someone we should all be like. Take a look at the video below.

One act of kindness can change someone’s perspective on the entire world. I encourage you to do that. Be more like Geisha Vi and less like the internet troll searching for attention in any area they can find. Support every cosplayer despite their color, size, gender, etc. Don’t just use that advice in the cosplay world, either. Just do it in general. We’re nerds, for science sake. Let’s embrace it together! Cosplay is for fun, creativity, and expression. Let’s keep it that way.

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