We All Can Only Be Who We Are, No More, No Less. (An Article on Cosplay Negativity)
"We all can only be who we are, no more, no less."
Article by two Kahlans: Princess Nightmare and Mistress Jessie
Geek Girls Princess Nightmare and Mistress Jessie wrote this article on being yourself in cosplay, and some of the negativity that often comes with cosplay.
This is a quote from Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor in the Sword of Truth Book series. A quote that implies as individuals, we can only be ourselves and nothing more or less. And as cosplayers and fans of the book series, we wholeheartedly agree.
Clary and Izzy (The Mortal Instruments). Cara and Kahlan (Sword of Truth/Legend of the Seeker). Frankie Stein and Draculara (Monter High). Princess Nightmare and Mistress Jessie (Cosplayers). We are a team and friends like the characters mentioned! As a team and friends, we assist each other in our cosplay journey. We also are quite protective of one another, and protection is sometimes needed in our cosplay journey. Unfortunately this journey includes ridicule and unnecessary attacks from individuals on us as because of who we are and on our beloved costumes.
For us cosplay is about having fun, meeting other fans, creating costumes, portraying your favorite characters, and enjoying your time as a fan! While we are public with our endeavors, which allows us to be more open to the ridicule, it is still not something any good fan or geek would do. We consider ourselves strong women and individuals, but as anyone would say- words can hurt. We put a lot of time and effort into our costumes. To have people not only insult you but also the work you did, is hurtful. As the old saying goes, "If you do not have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all."
One example is with our Mord'Sith cosplay. We both have this amazing costume with its leather work and impressive attention to detail. Individuals have implied we are too overweight for the costume or that the costumes do not follow the description in the books. While we appreciate these individuals' commitment to the books, creative liberty is something anyone can do with a costume. The costumes are based off the "Legend of the Seeker" show, and quit accurate. Mord'Sith are strong, powerful, and curvy women who serve the Lord Rahl. Everyone may have their own visions of the character, but you cannot accuse people that their visions on wrong when we are all allowed our imaginations.
The bodyweight comments are just rude and hurtful to anyone. Cosplay is not about your size! Those who think so are very mistaken. Anyone can cosplay, no matter their appearance. If someone thinks so, they should reevaluate their views on what is beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We believe our geek community is better than some of the hurtful comments we have seen. We have seen them not only for us, but other friends and cosplayers.
We are all different people, and for most of us, cosplay is something we do because we love it and have fun! It gives us joy. As human beings we have to remember that everyone deals with their own battled and inner demons. Just because someone seems happy and strong, does not mean they can necessarily handle the hurtful comments you may make. Life is too short to make others miserable because of your own inaccurate belief of something. As one fellow geek said, "they just hurl comments out as if no one is on the other end of it." Remember, when you talk to someone or comment on a social media post, people read that! Choose your words wisely. Commend, praise, and applaud your fellow geeks on their hard work and dedication.
We also know we are not the first and unfortunately not the last to have hurtful comments on our costumes, photos, and appearance. But perhaps if attention is brought to the issue, we geeks can think before we speak and enjoy the fun that is cosplay.
We geeks are here to have fun, acknowledge each other's hard work, and enjoy the world of cosplay and everything that comes with it! Please be kind to one another, have fun, and be supportive!
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July 29 2014