Stomp Out Cosplay Bullying

Cosplay Bullying
Photography by Darren Allen

I’m adding my support to Cosplay Shout-Outs’ campaign to stomp out cosplay bullying.

I spent years telling myself that cosplay wasn’t for me. Long before I joined my first cosplay group or forum, I was aware of the bullying that comes from offering images of your work and yourself up to the web. So every time I envied the amazing cosplayers that I came across, I would remind myself that I was too old, completely the wrong body type and that my wheelchair would “ruin” everything. Wheeling around a convention at eye-level with most people’s belt buckles could never look as impressive as striding across the floor, sword in hand. I was quite sure that I would be opening myself up to nothing but ridicule and negativity – after all, if a person can receive the sort of hate that I’d seen online, just because they are considered too thin, too fat, too tall or too short for the character they’re cosplaying, what hope was there for me?

By chance I came across a supportive and encouraging group in autumn 2015, and I took my first real cosplay out last November. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some incredibly creative and talented people, who have made me feel very welcome, and as a result I’ve had so much fun cosplaying these last ten months.

But although I’ve been fortunate to have experienced the best that the cosplay community has to offer, despite my fears, it saddens me that cosplay bullying is still such a problem. For every well-circulated incident that we see on social media, there are so many more that we never even hear about.

We’re all geeks in costume, celebrating our fandoms. We should be building each other up, offering encouragement and constructive feedback, sharing our skills and experiences, not ripping our comrades in arms to pieces.

#StompOutCosplayBullying

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Alistair’s Rose – quick craft

 

floral paper or parchment

I’ve already got several posts sitting in my drafts folder that need editing and finishing, but between the day job, events and costumes it’s been a busy month or so!  As I’ve spent all of my free time over the last few weeks working on Mahariel, when I decided I needed something quick and easy to get me away from the sewing machine for half an hour, I thought I’d try my hand at the gift received by the Warden if Alistair is romanced.

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If you want to make your own, there are loads of instructional vids on YouTube.  This is the one I used in the end, and slightly modified the size and shape.  My original plan was to paint it a darker shade of red but I quite like the shades of pink I’ve ended up with, and to fit it to a long bobby pin to wear in my hair, but it’s a bit heavier and bulkier than I imagined so I think I may just fit a chenille stem and a couple of foam leaves.