It is really easy to get bogged down by the negativity that comes to the surface of the cosplay community ever so often. With all the good that people get out of cosplay there seems to always be a handful of people ready to rain on the parade.
I know what I have struggled with over the years is when someone goes out of their way to insult you. Presumably from people you have never met. I've been reminded time and time again that internet comments mean nothing and not to take them to heart. I don't take them personally but they still manage to sting and stick with me. Maybe I need to cosplay as an Onyx ginjika to thicken my skin.
I have come to terms with the fact that trolls will be trolls and jerks will be jerks and they will be a constant presence on the internet. So today I'm airing out my dirty laundry and I hope it can serve as a lovely reminder to my fellow cosplayers that the ridiculous insults you get online are just that - ridiculous.
My non-exhaustive list of hate received online:
Notice the nice contradictions, it's almost poetic. It's a great reminder that you can't make everyone happy and there is no point in trying to achieve that goal while cosplaying.
Will they ever solve the mystery of whether I did or did not get a boob job? Only time will tell. I'm waiting for a greater sample size of comments before settling on the real answer.
The list could be much longer. Like many other female cosplayers the boob comments are endless and you could make a list of just that. These are just a few that have stuck in my head or came to mind while I was writing this. It's a sad thing to say but I probably have it easy compared to people with bigger followings. I can only imagine how deep that rabbit hole goes.
How to Deal?
I will gladly take the hit to my stats if it means I don't have deal with a jerk on a regular basis. Most websites where you have to register an account allows you to block people from viewing your content or at the very least, block them from posting on your pages.
The Silent Treatment:
Don't give the trolls the joy of getting you riled up. Just delete or hide offensive comments if blocking is not an option.
Bystanders - Call people out:
You have to walk a fine line here because 1- you don't want to overstep your bounds and appear to speak on behalf of the cosplayer who was insulted and 2- although not as satisfying, the troll will get comfort in getting bystanders angry. I find a simple "Don't be like that" "Don't be a jerk" "Don't be rude" tends to work. Just be sure not to respond to any follow-up hate they post. It is important to be polite an to refrain from name-calling. Don't stoop to the same level as them.
If you don't want to risk it: You can report offensive comments which may be necessary depending on how vulgar they get.
Before getting discouraged about the negativity, remember the positives: the friends you've made, the skills you've learned, and the adventures you went on thanks to this little hobby called cosplay.
I think back to the people who were grateful for a tip I gave at a panel that helped them finish their cosplay. Or the people who sometimes call me their cosplay sempai or inspiration (I'm still surprised to hear that - it's super flattering). I think of the people who were unsure about cosplaying outside of their race but felt encouraged after seeing my work.
Surround yourself with positive influences and people who support you and give you constructive criticism.
Cosplay should bring people together instead of tearing them apart. While people are debating my body parts and where I land on the bitch scale, I will be to busy doing what makes me happy to care. I hope you can all do the same.
Side note: This post isn't for sympathy points. Don't worry about commenting with "Oh MM you're not ugly and you're boobs are fine the way they are!" I'm ok, but thanks for the thought. Instead please share your own experiences.
14/4/2015 02:28:11 am
I've seen a few blog post about this recently from a number of cosplayers I follow. Although I am new to the whole thing and have only been actively cosplaying for 2 years, I have never received any negative comments or trolling. Of course, I and my group of comrades don't tolerate negativity and squash it every chance we get. Especially if it's a newbie cosplayer and someone is just being plain rude. We are like self esteem security ninjas :D
14/4/2015 03:19:13 am
"Self esteem security ninjas" sounds like fun. I think that would be especially useful for people starting out. That's when the negative comments would be the most harmful because it may discourage people from keeping at the hobby.
14/4/2015 03:16:13 am
It takes a special skill to troll the trolls. One I don't think I have... yet. So long as you come out of it unscathed.
14/4/2015 03:17:38 am
Its amazing how the internet has made the world such a smaller place. Even us in the Caribbean cosplay community suffer from this exact "cosplay hate." I am a male cosplayer and even I sometimes am victim to such attacks. They are seldom, but they exist. There is so much I've been saying in recent discussions about this exact topic, to help inspire and build the strength of people not as strong as myself, but you've managed to highlight the major issues. Thank you. Keep up the good work. Continue spreading positive vibes. You've got support internationally. -Sterling
14/4/2015 03:25:14 am
Hooray Caribbean cosplayers!
You're right, it is poetic! Since comments are on both extremes, maybe you're in the goldilocks zone ; P
14/4/2015 03:32:38 am
Haha I'm sure if everyone's stats (bust, waist, hip) were available people would still find an excuse to tear them apart and they would use that as the starting point.
14/4/2015 03:54:52 am
Great post! I hope it inspires people to indead be positive and think about all the good things that come with cosplay. I have to say Some of the most ridiculous comments to me are the ones that include either saying you are a certain race/skin color meaning you cant cosplay this or that, or comments about weight. I think people should be proud of their skin color and body! It's a shame some comments can be so hatefull it makes people doubt their beauty, which everyone has!
14/4/2015 05:36:41 am
I always find those comments silly and a waste of time. They point out what everyone already knows (Yes, we know Sailor moon isn't black etc) and then they try to use the cosplayer's identity as an insult. I get the ban/block button ready from those comments.
14/4/2015 04:52:44 am
I just started cosplaying a couple years ago, and luckily I have not really dealt with any negativity about it. This could be due to the fact that I do not increase my world at a fast rate, but also because I was raised to have an incredibly strong sense of self-love and confidence.
14/4/2015 05:40:11 am
I'm glad to hear that you think it is getting better. I agree that knowledge about the work that goes into costumes does make people more understanding.
14/4/2015 04:53:42 am
Let me say I feel ashamed how some guys act. The point at least for me is to have fun and be creative. I haven't had the privileged of meeting you like other famous cosplayers but I would like to say you like many others do an amazing job. You have talent and those who troll are just insecure and insult just so they feel better about themselves. I have gotten negative feedback from coworkers but they never discourage me. I'm going to leave this comment on this note. I'm a fan of yours and I always will be. You have something very special about you and what you do matters to those who know what too look for. Thank you for all the hard work you do and all the inspiration you bring.
14/4/2015 05:42:46 am
Thanks for sending some positive vibes my way Philip.
Q1: What are some of the ridiculous insults you have received?
14/4/2015 07:16:04 am
Wow. Thanks for the thorough comment. I guess the blog struck a chord with you.
Q1: I don't get a lot of comments in general which means not many negative ones either, however once I cosplayed the album cover of my favourite band, and they posted a picture of it on their facebook. It got thousands of comments, which were mostly positive, but all the negative ones were really nit-picky. Things like "You're holding that prop on the wrong side!" or "Clearly you've never been trained to hold a gun!". It was really weird!
15/4/2015 12:06:50 am
14/4/2015 08:54:21 am
I should consider myself lucky then...the only insults or comments I've got online, were about my skin colour, they're not that often anymore, and whenever those happen, my friends will be quick to chew the troll out, many times before I even see that someone was dissing me. In person though, well, there was the time someone asked their friend if I was a dude, because my natural voice is kind of low, and I hadn't perfected my "Capitol voice" yet, and the other was someone calling me Nicki Minaj...I don't think my butt's that big! Some people have said that I'm "snobby", but I think that's just when you get to a certain level of cosplay, that seems to be the go-to insult.
14/4/2015 04:06:10 pm
You make a valid point about comments still stinging. I do get a little sour, but it usually goes away quickly for me, so I guess I never noticed since I am lucky enough to have a really good self esteem and family and friends to support me. Thanks for putting things in perspective for me
15/4/2015 12:14:48 am
We are hardwired to remember negative things. (I remember this from an interview I did ages ago where the rep said: a negative review travels 7 times further than a good one, so be sure to be nice to our customers) What make it stings is that it's almost always unwarranted and that people are going out of their way to insult you when in normal circumstances (in person) they wouldn't do it.
14/4/2015 10:49:52 pm
Like most "haters" they are full of self loathing and are not candidates for rehabilitation into the human race so I wouldn't lower myself to their level. Luckily for me I am ignored because I am 55 and female and it would be like dissing your grandmother LOL. The only time I would respond is if I really felt that their point is a) interesting and b) their point is about my cosplay and not about me personally. E.g. my age, race, size, gender or physical attributes. I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to share about it and will repost on my facebook page for FeeFiFoFun Costume. My audience is female 16-55 so player and parents of players will find it a good read.
15/4/2015 12:26:41 am
I think we should all adopt the rule that if you wouldn't say it to your grandma you shouldn't say it at all. Haha
16/4/2015 12:21:27 am
I'm a cosplayer since 2004, but I never had so much comments on my photos, neither good or bad. Online (on twitter), the only insult that I received was: "You look like a man!" on my Severus Snape cosplay. But my friends tell me that it's my fault, because I shouldn't post my cosplay photos on Twitter.
20/4/2015 02:23:57 am
The biggest one for me if that my face doesn't fit cosplays and that my skin tone is not right. I'll be honest and say that for myself, i'm been so brain washed into thinking that i can't cosplay anything too far outside of my skintone range. Not having enough boobs or ass is such a dang bunch of bologna, because God forbid we did have a lot of those assets, then we'd be caused fat. And that opens up a whole new plethora of criticism.
Leave a Reply.
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.