An Open Letter to the Cosplay Community

Dear Cosplay Community,

I hate to generalize, because I consider myself to be a pretty positive person in the sense that I always see the best in people, but lately, you’ve been kind of a dick.

After months and months of anonymous and, well, not anonymous messages of hate, I finally deleted my Tumblr page. Anyone who’s been following me for a bit knows about the problems I’ve had and how cruel people can be behind the guise of their computer screens. And sadly, that’s to be expected. But the problem I have with the cosplay community as of late goes deeper than any anonymous hate messages on Tumblr.

I’ve seen articles tearing into “famous cosplayers”, scrutinizing their every action, their bodies, speculating upon whether or not they’ve had breast reduction or augmentation done. I’ve seen GoFundMe pages where cosplayers essentially demand things of their “fans”, anything from bigger breasts to “get them farther in life and in the cosplay community”, to money to buy costume pieces and to fund convention trips for them. I’ve seen the articles tearing THOSE people apart. Criticisms. Judgement. ¬†And yes, I do consider myself guilty for judging quite a few cosplayers based off of these articles, or how they appeared on a reality show (which the majority of is STAGED).

I’ve received rejection a number of times this year. From different cosplay groups (some charity organizations), for “not looking the part” of characters. Flat out rejection from conventions who have told me that I’m not good enough to be a guest at their events, because I don’t have a ridiculous amount of Facebook likes, I’m not “sexy” enough, et cetera. And before I get any judgements from anyone over this: I’m not whining because I wasn’t invited to events. I’m whining because I don’t care about going to a billion cons to spread my face around, to gain likes or fans. I apply to be a guest at these conventions so I can tell my story. To tell other guys and girls with my body type or who may be insecure about themselves for whatever reason that it’s OKAY to cosplay. To spread a positive message.

But in today’s cosplay community, that doesn’t matter. I’m not a fame hungry cosplayer. I never have been. I just want to have fun.

That’s what cosplay meant, once. It means, literally ‘costume play’. PLAY. As in playing around in costume. Doesn’t that mean anything to anyone anymore?

With the holidays coming up, and in the spirit of the New Year, I’m calling the entire community out. I want you all to think about how you come across as a person. Are you nice to other people? Are you even having fun cosplaying? If the answers to ¬†those questions are anything but YES…you are the problem with this community.

I stress the word community as well. That’s what this was once. A community. A group of people who were accepting of one another. Now, it’s about exclusion and elitism. I want the old community back. The ones that opened their arms and welcomed me to this little nerd haven. Not the humiliation and rejection I’ve been experiencing as of late.

Wake up, cosplayers. Start supporting positive cosplayers, and just weed out the negative few. Don’t share their negativity. Don’t even engage it. Just…ignore it. Maybe we still have a chance at saving our community.

Your friend, Undiesofwondy..