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Elitism, bullying, and lack of humanity in cosplay

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 6, 2013, 2:43 AM
  • Listening to: Skrillex
  • Watching: Paperman
  • Drinking: Tea

The talented Yuuri-C wrote up a journal earlier on about her thoughts and feelings in regards to the nastiness she's received as a cosplayer. It influenced me to dwell deeper from both a personal and a third-person's perspective, to bring awareness to this ugly dilemma. It's quite ironic, actually- we cosplay to escape a dull and shallow world and yet it somehow seems to seep it's way back in.

I myself have been a victim of bullying for a very long time. First through school, and now through minor cosplay groups with a peculiar vendetta. It got to me at first, because I found out it was those close to me that were the perpetrators, but these days I see it as a laugh. I'm actually happy people go on 4-Chan and bitch about how much of a "slut" I am or how "fat" I am or pathetic my costumes are. It's all talk. They'd never say it to my face, and if they're so bored and insecure about themselves that they have to target me, then cheerio to that!
I may sound like an up-myself twat saying that, but that's nowhere near the point. It's simply the fact that I can't afford to care anymore. I'm not affected.
But what concerns me is that there's people out there who 'are' affected by bulling, who get attacked both in person and online. Most of these people are innocent and new to the cosplay scene, and are picked on for their "terrible costumes", their weight, their appearance, their group... you name it. This creates elitism, and the cycle goes on. I've seen it first hand and have even jumped in to help a victim, and the attackers don't seem to see the problem.

As someone who never saw or even heard of this kind of thing when I first started years ago, it shocks me now to see how out of control it has become. It brings shame to the subculture, in my opinion. It's a hobby, which is meant to be a creative means of escape from the real world- whatever the reason. It's not Project Runway, it's not ANTM, it's not live 4Chan. One victim of bullying is far too many. This has to stop.

If you know someone who is a victim of bullying- it doesn't even have to be related to cosplay- be the better man and stand up for them. Make a difference.
If you're a bully in any way, find your humanity and grow up. I know it's hard to break a habit, but sometimes it's better to be human. But karma always finds it's way if nothing changes.

My message to anyone who's a victim of bullying in the cosplay subculture:
It gets better. Don't lose sight of yourself. Grow into someone that you'll be proud of, and in the end, you'll win.

Sorry if I kinda went on there. Lack of sleep is getting to me, hehe. If you have an opinion on bullies or twats in the cosplay world, please express them. Thankyou for reading.

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

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SuperComputerVirus Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014
I always wanted to cosplay and did it. I hand made my cosplay.
My first time was welcome with elitism and stuck up cosplayers. =< It was bad. The second one was even worse. the third wasn't so bad.
I found it funny that the cosplayers who look down on me, make fun of me, send me hate mail actually encourage "anyone can cosplay" and "stop cosplay bullying." =/ 
Even people on deviant art, who encouraged me and saw me, got pissed when they saw me and sneered at me. I was like, WTF?
Most was done on Facebook cosplay group and 2 one here.
I still gone to cons and keep to myself and wear sunglasses. Why? People don't know I am secretly watching them give me controlled hatred looks, sneers and making fun of me." Though most people don't pay attention to me. I keep my head down and don't make eye contact due to it. Though anyone can talk to me. ^_^

The one thing that made me happy and not want to jump off a bridge, was the fans of my character. He's fairly new and boom they see me. I was happy because one guy was looking for my character at the convention. He found me and said he wanted to see my character being cosplayed and I was gonna be his first pic. ^_^ I did direct him to another person cosplaying the character, she was super sweet. 
I have aether fest III *sp* this nov 22 and wearing a new cosplay I made. Hopefully it will go well. 
SophiaDragonMaster Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It has always saddened me to see those blogs about bad cosplay. I always think, that person just wanted to have fun at a con and be their favourite character for a day.

And it's a lot like art, cosplay isn't something you instantly become good at, you have to try it out, fail at some things, experiment with others, and after a while you become better, but just like with art on here, people don't give any chance to newbies or people that are different. It really saddens me because that turns people away from the hobbies!

Unfortunaly I think it's inevitable to see bullies everywhere, in every hobby, but if we could at least diminish the number of them, that'd be great. Or overshadow them with positive comments!
In high school I haven't been bullied in the usual sense, but I know things were said behind my back, sometimes to my face, or I was laughed at because I was weird and different. But I never let it get to me, and I'm glad I did because I'm having so much fun with my lifestyle. People need to accept that people can have different hobbies, not look like supermodels all the time and need experience to craft and create things.
RockLou Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
They're jealous! There's no more to it. Don't let them bring you down. Just be cool. B-)
fredrikpj Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Well written!
You'll get nothing but respect from me, I think it's great that there are people cosplaying, it reminds us others that there are other people appreciating movies/games/anime's that we like ourselves, and I think it's a beautiful and creative thing :)

Also, I'm 100% against bullying, I hate that shit. I even got bullied for protecting others who were bullied, I know they appreciated it though, even if things got a lot harder for me, but I didn't let it get to me.. It's a great way to find out who your true friends are.. anyways, a bit off topic there :P
richiexXxrodriguez Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Bullying is a manifestation of their insecurities.
aarontyree Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Photographer
. It took me years to realize that bullying is actually someone saying "please dont reject me". We create community around different expressions, sometimes in response to not being accepted in others, and then without knowing it, perpetuate the very thing that bothered us in the first place. We know in our heads that a community where people are welcomed and encouraged to find their expression are the best places to be, but we often dont determine to create this in how we treat others...we want others to do it for us:)
natestarke Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
i dont get bullying, is it supposed to make the bully feel better about him/herself? they're complete assholes!

theres probs nothing new i can bring to the table, so ill just agree with you and hate bullies!
khloee-kerosenee Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I completely agree with this post 100%! I cosplayed to escape bullying & in the process the bullying stopped. I can't imagine how you must have felt about this or how the people being bullied about their cosplays feel.
DerangedNerdChick Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
I think this was the best journal I have ever read. It is 100% truth, and I really hope people listen. Cosplay is meant as an escape so you can be someone but yourself for a day and bullying cosplayers-bullying period needs to end. I'm glad you're not effected anymore, and I hope people who are still being bullied will realize it gets better, and ignore it like you do. This message was great, thank you for sending it into the world, people need to hear this.
Armageist Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
Cos-play is just like any other 'scene'.

Who's the 'realist'/most authentic, who has the money to spend, who has the great looks that attracts positive attention (whether justifiably so or not), who's doing it before it became cool, etc. etc.

I think the competition that develops through self-expression is an ugly dynamic of human nature that will always remain so long as people come from different backgrounds with their own self-reflective perceptions, preconceptions/judgments, and projections onto others.
LittleMs-Strange Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
the more your popularity rises the more people will see you, but that just means more people can dislike you as well :( it's truly sad that we can't all just support eachother in our love for art and cosplay... and just generally being human beings! i had no idea there was this level of bullying going on in a thing like cosplay for gawds sake! :Z
HelloAxi Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This is a bit strange to me as I would have never imagined it would be (very) persistent within a form of art. Hmm... I suppose it might be inevitable no matter the situation. Perhaps the reason I don't see much of it within the traditional artists community is because many (including myself) are too small scale to worth any time like that. Someone with such a standing as you is probably a target because of that. Unfortunately, the more popular, and I daresay amazing, you become the more people are able to distance themselves and then attack. It comes with the higher standing. I know it can be hard to ignore that one negative comment among the thousands of others and I applaud that you can ignore it.
In my experience this is probably the greatest I had received- [link]
Keep on being fantastic.
Yuuri-C Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Thanks for writing this! It's good to voice out about bullying in the cosplay community or any type of bullying. The cosplayers that do get affected I hope they change so they can be stronger:)
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I hope so, too :)
sheathc0de Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Thank you for sharing this and speaking out. Bullying is a sin. Having been bullied in the past, I know how hard it can be.

Bullying causes trauma, so much so that it can have similar effects to the brain as PTSD: [link]

I'm greatly sorry for what you went through and the people that you have described have gone through.
Rau-Le-Creuset Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Cos-Play=Costume Play. Play as in the Broadway/Shakespeare kind.

ALL it requires is 3 things.

FIRST! The *Costume*- Is it correct? Some are more picky than others about the detailings on their outfits, and whilst fine, isn't necessarily a requirement. You merely need to identify as whom(what?) your trying to be. Its really that simple.

SECOND! The *Play* - Can/Are you portraying your "identity" correctly? Phrases, mannerisms, lines etc etc.
Again whilst not necessary, some care more than others. You merely need to believe you are who you are.

THIRD! Lastly, and this is the most important, *ENJOY* being who you "are"!

Anything not among the aforementioned is classifiable as bullshit, and is to be accepted as such.
These include(but are not limited to), snobbery(elitism), douchebaggery, sexism, and bitch-nuggiry(Haters, Swag-Enviers)

This message brought to you by an impartial Art Critic.

Please disseminate widely. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.
Venomos548 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Besides you and I both know that you're beautiful! ^-^

And to all the cosplayers being bullied, take these words to heart because you have the unique form of bravery to become other people that most friends and others can not muster the strength to do so. I envy those who can emanate people who (mostly) don't exist.

I salute you!
alternatepony Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's an interesting journal, gave me something to ponder. But truthful I don't feel the need to talk about this in length, due to being only an observer at 99% events that I could possible cosplay as.

But really all you can really do is share awareness on issue. Shining a light on some these people hopefully changing them for the better. Either themselves choosing to change or the people around them that is forcing them to change.

Side musing: I almost think that the carefree 90's that lead into stream-line, economic conscious 00's is what has given birth to these trolls and bullies. For some many things are changing for people that they can't control so they go to internet to cause some sort of change positive or negative (in this case negative). If we treat bullying and trolling as part of "human nature" we won't be able to deal with it but if we think of it as a bad evolutionary coping mechanism we can force it to adapt or be left behind.

Short hand: Thanks giving me something to think about. BTW I didn't realize i made it so long.
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Haha all good! Thankyou for your input!
OverOneHundred Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
People who bully behind the ambiguity of the internet are the worst, they are the opposite of cos players who have the guts to put themselves out there really and as a digital artist i love looking at all the photos that give me poses,locations,ideas etc that help me come up with my own art works.
ArshnessDreaming Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Well said.

Personally, I love your work and have no idea how anyone could have anything negative to say about it. But if you don't like someone's cosplay, the right thing to do is just carry on and not spend your time over it. There's no reason to go out of your way to let them know you think it's poor costuming or they don't look right unless you're going to be constructive in critiquing their work, and then it assumes they actually desire critique.

It's funny. Because we display our work on Deviantart, most people assume artists want critique from everyone. In actuality, not everyone wants to be critiqued. Perhaps they'd prefer critique and opinions from people whose opinions they actually trust and would prefer NOT to hear the opinions of the dumb masses (say it out loud!) in general about their work. I'm personally in the category of "tired of hearing critiques from people who don't know what they're talking about" and I know I changed my strategy over the past few years to only offering critique if it's being asked for. Otherwise I ask if the artist wants a critique before I point things out to them. It's just not fair to inflict my critical eye upon their work if they don't want me to.

For people bullying cosplayers of any kind: Shame on you.
What right do you have to make fun of someone for their costume? Where's yours? Do YOU have the courage to put on a costume regardless of your sewing skill level or weight or body type and walk around in public or take pictures to share with other people? If not, GTFO.

And If you ARE another cosplayer and you're bullying those with less skill or talent or less than YOUR ideal of a body image: EVEN MORE SHAME ON YOU.
At some point, you were new. Your costumes were probably terrible then too. And regardless, everyone has a right to learn, or even to make a half-effort costume and enjoy it because I don't believe they owe you a damned thing. They can have fun with their costume if they want to and it's none of your damned business.
As for the body image thing: FRACK OFF. If you are fortunate enough to have a wonderful, healthy body and you do not have to constantly struggle with your weight... How DARE you have the audacity to put more pressure and pain onto someone who does? Are you aware that some people are overweight due to medical complications of *many various kinds*? Would you make fun of a guy in a wheelchair or kick a puppy because it's sounding like it at this point.
And some people aren't TRYING to create YOUR ideal body image. Some women LIKE curves and having them and flaunting them, and believe it or not, there are plenty of men and women in the world who love a woman with curves. In fact, there's plenty of men and women in the world who think a SKINNY woman is the one that needs to work on her body image.

In the end it's all relative. We all have our opinions, our feelings, our preferences and our own damned business to mind.
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
BOYKINS Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i often wonder about this because i hear about this subject of bullying in cosplay alot lately( especially because i watch alot of cosplayers ).

are there ways of handling bullying / harassment during cons?? i would think its a person or place to go to the get that person removed!!

anyways i personally dont get bullying in cosplay being that most cosplayers were teased themselves so its redundant...
MartinOller Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Well I guess the other way of looking at it, is that even if it isn't your "target audience"... people who dig/follow/are fans of cosplayers (with a clear distinction between being interested in cosplay & just looking at pics of it) are gamers sitting at home all day with low self-esteem. You girls who actually look good get a LOT less bullying than those who aren't. Doesn't make it less sad, but just sayin'. Being a public person however in ANY form you have to be able to take the bad stuff. If you can't, or if you take the bad stuff personally, then don't.
mfleury75 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Considering life's never ending circle of laughs

It's kinda funny to see the same people that condemned this Geeky subculture trying to be part of it now.

Considering bullying

Cosplaying took a strange pathway these days, it became a business. People are now "models" with "webpages", selling pictures. Come one, get serious for a second. It is a Hobby, as you said: "t's a hobby, which is meant to be a creative means of escape from the real world- whatever the reason. It's not Project Runway, it's not ANTM, it's not live 4Chan." When did it get so damn "professional"? Everybody's a "model" since the Internet began. Patethic.

Vera-Chimera you touched a pertinent subject. Congrats for your courage and ethics.Carry on.
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thankyou for your comment. It's true, cosplay has become a competitive market where the higher-ups are paid and promoted to dress up and tour. I for one have no problem in cosplayers selling posters of themselves, so long as the photographer who took the shot [and anyone else involved] gets some profit, and your name is circling around. But having said that, if you can't afford it on your own terms, then you shouldn't be cosplaying while sucking off your fans.

I for one am thinking of starting to sell posters when my fanbase grows bigger, more-so because THEY'RE asking me to do it. I'm very honored to have such great supporters... I just don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of them in any way. It's complicated, I guess.

Throughout my course of my fanbase growing bigger, I want to push this subject. I want there to be more awareness AND action taken to end this awful trend.
mfleury75 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
Thin line between profession and hobby. I don't think this line should be crossed at all. It takes the fun away. Gives a status celebrity to a thing that's not intend to be glamorize at all. Lawyer, doctor, designer, ..., Professional cosplayer? Nah!
qzbk Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
The only thing that stops a bully is force. The are all cowards and need to be seen that way. There are ways to fight them and I would advise you all to do this even if you have never been a victim. Never back down from a bully. If they say your costume is bad then say the same thing back. Whatever they say you must accuse them of the same thing this way their costume, body, whatever is now being judged by the same people they want to judge you. Get a few people or groups together to comment or criticize them even if it is just to label them as a bully. The more this happens the bullies will see that there are consequences to their actions.
Demand from event organizers that they state Bullying will not be tolerated and that those who do it will be band from any further event and if they don't make sure others know the event sponsors are in favor of bullying.
You don't just have to take it. You have done nothing wrong. Don't sit in a corner and cry. Get F***king mad damn it and do something about it. Bullies don't ever bother me anymore because I got mad and fought back.
CGartisticgraphics Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Bullying is wrong in all forms, stand up to the ones who bully and most of the time they will back down.

There are some out there who wish they could cosplay as well as others. They're the ones who do the bullying and I believe that is mostly because they are jealous of the way others are able to do cosplay and their inablility to cosplay themselves.
wildquaker Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
People hiding behind the internet are quite an amusement as they are oblivious of the scars they try so hard to conceal within themselves.

Great reading the positivity this entry conveys. I haven't been bullied nor I am not crude enough to bully people (hopefully), yet I know how harmful this will be to the newcomers who will be held back on seeing the greater thing about this hobby or better yet the greater thing beyond the hobby.

Thank you for posting this. Hope everyone shake themselves off this ugly phase.
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
^ This. <3
MustaSielu Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Bullies is a weakminded nobodies on a way to prove that they are worth of something when if fact, they aren't. These people who doesn't even deserve to be called such are poison to humanity and thru their actions poisoning everyone near them. Sadly, as long as there is humanity we have to bear with them.
ShineyMonkeyLove Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student General Artist
You can put on a costume to escape reality, but you can't ever escape the humanity! Bullying is a part of human nature. Humans suck. Cats rule! Meow Meow
3DMG Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
always some people who get their self esteem by stealing it from others.
moo-mo-mo Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student Photographer
too much hate, not enough love. its a shame!
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
asaziel Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
People bullied YOU because of your looks? You, who look so great?

I could see into various "nerdy" subcultures and with great regret I have to say, that this elitism exists EVERYWHERE, no matter how small or large a group is. Cosplay, roleplaying, gaming and more. It exists everywhere and soon...very soon after a new trend and culture has formed, the elitism will with utmost certainty appear and rise.
It is so unfortunate, but the fact and it hurts every time to find that out.
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Se me with the mask off, then you'll say otherwise! XD
Sadly, our species is the worst when it comes to coexistence. We find any little detail to tear another person apart simply because we want to. Race, gender, sexuality, hobby, colour... you name it, it will be used against you.
asaziel Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You know, why Aliens never come to earth to visit us publicly? Because they're too afraid of the monsters that live here. The monsters called humans.
Luckily I could outgrow my time of being bullied, but there are enough that could never escape.
I weep for humanity.
Lotusmist Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Vera-Chimera Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
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