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Unread 04-09-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
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Bullying in cosplay

Has anyone ever been bullied, whether it would be though cyber bullying,
at cons, or even in public places.

I'm asking this because I talked to someone (who will remain anonymous, not telling anyone if it’s a boy/girl/transgender/etc.) who refuses to go online or even some public places because of bullying.

The person was bullied online and even in public because of various things (physical and mental problems, race, weight, height, stuff they are not proud of, etc). Even when that person was in school they were bullied. They said they tried ignoring the problem but it got worse. More people sent threatening emails and going in public was much worse. I asked that person why are they stop doing things they enjoy. Anonymous said,

"I remember when I first entered the cosplay community most everyone was cool and nice. But it's gone downhill pretty much everywhere. A lot of people is bullying each other online (even on the nice forums) .Offline, competitions are no longer as much fun, people are criticizing each other, and a lot of people is trying to be the best cosplayer in the world. I don't want to be rude about these following people or hurt their feelings but when I tried to explain my problem, but when I walked to one of them, they just ignored me like a piece of garbage. Another person I explained my problem to but they started making fun of me through emails and pms. Then one just outright said my costume was wrong and awful in a rude manner (by cussing and such) and the mods did nothing about it. That person even made a death threat to me "

I told that person they don't need those kind of people in their lives anyway because those people are not mentally matured and then they said,

" You don't understand, I have misunderstandings. These people are a big part of the cosplay community and I want them to know how I feel. I want to share my ideas and what I have learned and help others but it seems at thought it's not going to happen because I'll probably just get ridiculed either way. I probably deserve to be bullied anyway."

I asked why.

“Well say for instance I post a photo of my progress pictures or a photo-shoot. It seems the only people that get attention are the popular ones, skimpy costumes, or people doing yaoi/yuri. I know this may seem odd about me wanting a comment but I feel my craftsmanship, that is getting better, is getting less recognized for making say, a well-tailored suit, than say, someone who does a revealing thief Rikku. "
I really want to help this person but the person wants to remain anonymous.

So any thoughts that would help this person out? I don't think the person doesn't have an account here or has even heard of And please, don't be rude about this and start an argument. I know people have different opinions and opinions are like bellybuttons as I was told growing up but I feel as though I don't know what to do.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 03:35 AM   #2
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It's probably best not to acknowledge trolls or anything.

I've been "mocked" as you say, by a specific group of people before, although I did acknowledge them, every time they would screencap my comments and what not they were just proving my point of how sad they can be. But I won't go into that as it'll create unnecessary drama.

My point is, we all get mocked at some point, although some people taking to the extremes, others are "trolling for the lols". It's always the same old, same old and quite frankly, it gets boring to listen to. Especially considering at the end of the day, we all have our own opinions about other specific cosplayers.
If someone is hassling you, report it or block them. They will continue to laugh or ignore you if you tell them how you feel about their doings. It's not a good idea to tell them this as you're adding fuel to the fire and giving them something to laugh about even further. In such a diverse hobby, there are bound to be a few bad apples but you need to have a thick skin and suck it up.

I'm sorry to hear that some of the people in this hobby were that douche-y to destroy someone's perspective for anon - to the point they don't want to do the hobby anymore.
A part from that confrontation with the specific group, I haven't had anyone be too much of a dick or troll. But even so, it's not going to stop me from cosplaying.

Of course the more popular ones are going to get much attention, not every progress shot or anything of mine is going to get much comments or anything. But that's why you've got to create a community for yourself. Join multiple sites, you won't get anything if you don't put it in in the first place -as I say. For example, make the effort to post in other people's pages and comment on their progress, 70% they'll do the same back to you.

If someone is that persistent at trolling a person to the point blocking or reporting doesn't work. Well I bid that person good luck on redeeming a good reputation in the cosplay community. I will shun anyone who I think is a prick.

So in conclusion, no, I haven't been cyber bullied or bullied in terms of cosplay. Just the minor mockery that in the end actually amused me.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 05:04 AM   #3
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To be honest, it sounds like your friend has had bad luck trying to communicate with people and it has resulted in a little bit of butt hurt. I would suggest that she dust herself off, take a deep breath and try again. This time, however, maybe she can not expect any reaction and be happy when it's a positive one.

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Unread 04-12-2012, 05:15 AM   #4
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Remember in certian places threatening emails can be delt with the law. Kindly (I say kindly because being nice and polite is often the meanest thing you can do) remind them of that and like everyone else said brush them off. If you can't avoid them and they remark how horrible something is thank you for their comments you appreciate their opinion and brush it off. Once they know it isn't affecting you it will irk them.

Seriously stuff like that is so childish, where not children any more. Honestly you should only care what your real true friends say and not some jerk strangers.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 05:30 AM   #5
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I'm sorry this is happening to your friend. I know it's really hard, but the best policy is to ignore it and use the handy-dandy report/block button. Even if the bully ramps up the harassment, their only goal is to get a reaction. Don't give them what they want and they'll get bored with you eventually.

If she is getting threats, the only thing she can do is print them out and give them to her local police department. Usually, online threats are all talk, but a visit from the po-po usually stops that cold and drives home the message that threatening someone is never funny or cool.

As for what nyokun just posted, I did get a little grain of that myself. It seems to me that your friend has been wasting her energy on some people that aren't all that interested in being her friend. It's not the end of the world if someone doesn't want to be bestest friends with you or doesn't have the time/energy to listen as you share your experiences. It's disappointing, yes. But it's not worth wasting your time and energy on or getting upset over.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 07:20 AM   #6
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I think all your friend can do is just ignore it like everyone else has said and to just stop being friends with these people or even interacting with them. you said your friend said that they want the other cosplayers to understand them and what not right? Well, they need to understand that that's not going to happen with those people but it will happen with others like you for example who seem's to want to help them and the various people posting on this thread. Maybe you could show them this thread for a bit of encouragement after everyone is done talking about it.

In all groups though there is going to be bad people and I think they just happened to experience the bad crowd of the group first, but trust me were not all like that. Also everyone get's bullied, even I've been bullied for cosplay before. Someone once told me that I was to fat to cosplay as a certain char even though I'm defiantly not fat though I admit I took a bit of offense to it. I actually have a health condition which makes me flux in weight, sometimes I'll just up and gain 20 pounds and other time's I'm struggling to just gain a pound since I'm underweight. This person called me fat at one of my unhealthy underweight moments so yeah I've developed a bit of a complex when it come's to weight.

You mentioned that your friend has been bullied previous time's for different things so I'm sure they have developed a complex as well. They need to get over it little by little so they can keep doing something they enjoy. Also, yes somebody who made a skimpy costume will get more attention then them, that happens but so what think about what their getting attention for? It's just because their showing skin and not because of the craftsmanship. though sometimes it may be both it just depends. If their determined they will get better and people will start to notice their skills but not right away. Even plenty of cosplayers wearing skimpy clothing don't get noticed right away. So they really shouldn't let that discourage them. Cosplay is not a popularity contest.

Also as everyone has mentioned above me death threats can be taken care of. Along with if people are cyber bullying them they can just block them if they come back, well whatever block them again. Just make sure you don't say anything to them it's like giving fuel to the fire. Anytime people try to "troll" me online or offline I just flat out ignore them. They want you to say something back and if you do say something back your just giving them what they want. They want to start arguing with you and get on your nerves etc. if they see that it's not working they'll leave you alone. Also people like that are immature.

Here's a bit of an example. One year at a convention someone tried to bully my cousin while we were in the registration line, he's on the heavy side. They started making of his weight of coarse by saying stuff then finally they said "Hey fat guy with the beard are you hungry at all?" He just turned them and said "Why Thank you for asking, I am hungry this line is taking long isn't it?" They looked so confused and didn't bother us after that because he replied back in an extremely positive way. I've also experienced a few times where people were bothering at a public convention and all I did was ignore them and after about 10 minutes they left me alone.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 07:21 AM   #7
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I agree with that yaoi/yuri or skimpy cosplays seem to receive more attention, and beginner progress pictures are often ignored.
But that must not keep you from uploading them, since you are going to become a wonderfully talented cosplayer and I always like seeing progress pics of great cosplayers from when they just started
And those skimpy cosplayers, skimpy cosplays are fine, really, but they are often made only for the attention and they will get that attention, but most of that attention will be from pervs and creepy people. I know a few wonderful cosplayers who have never done anything close to skimpy (not even short sleeves or anything) and their progress is highly admired, so it definitely is possible. You just need to keep working and keep uploading your work, people will appreciate it! ^^

As for the bullying, that sucks, but at least you know those are not the people you want to be hanging with. Also, poster, I've been writing 'you' as in your friend, but now for you: take good care of your friend, he/she sounds like an awesome person that I can definitely relate to (with the progress stuff especially) and tell her/him there will always be people that DO care and those are the ones you should hold close ^^
Just ignore the bullies, it's very hard, I know, trust me, I KNOW, but it's the best way If you ignore them, they will stop or at least not care much anymore.
*hugs to both of ya* ^^
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Unread 04-12-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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With all due respect to the original op's friend, I wouldn't really consider this bullying. She says say is ignored "like a piece of garbage". Her perception of being ignored seems a little dramatic. I hope she doesn't consider other cosplayers trying to do their best as an example of bullying. She is also upset people aren't commenting on her pictures and that skimpy outfits are getting more comments. Is that an really example of bullying?

What's left? a comment on the internet was criticized? Is that really considered bullying these days? My purpose is simply to try and preserve the original meaning of the word bullying so that is doesn't get watered down to the point of having hurt feelings over anything.

I don't know what kind of harassment the person is receiving outside of the cosplay community, but I think it is unfair to people who are receiving mental and physical abuse on a near daily basis to say that not receiving comments on pic is a comparable thing.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
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I agree with all of the above. I think your friend may have the bad habit of surrounding herself with the worst kind of people, both in real life and on the internet. They may try much too hard to please people who are just not worth pleasing and I think that's a habit your friend needs to break. The best they can do is surround themselves with kind and sincere people like yourself who will stick by them no matter what.

Your friend should just ignore the people who are trying their very best to get under her skin and follow this advice:

Originally Posted by nyokun View Post
Plan for the worst, hope for the best, be happy that nothing blew up.
I'm sorry, but may I add this to my signature? It's incredibly inspirational!
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Unread 04-12-2012, 11:02 AM   #10
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I can definitely understand being frustrated at the fact that great stuff gets passed over in favor of mediocre skimp-wear. It's why I won't enter certain types of costume contest any more.

And if these people are truly making threatening or obscene comments, then perhaps a chat with law enforcement might be in order. I used to know a lady who worked in IT, and when some 12 year old bratling came onto a forum she posted in and started making threats, she figured out where he was posting from and notified law enforcement where he lived. That kid had some explaining to do when the police showed up on his doorstep.

I believe some of this behavior can be explained by the "Internet Dickwad Theory".

That is, regular person+internet+anonymity+audience= Total Dickwad.
People can be frightfully nasty when they think they won't be held accountable.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 11:08 AM   #11
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I'm going to agree with Pinoycosplayer, on the lack of comment point. I will quite often post in progress pics to my facebook and half of them won't get a comment (especially the more base pieces). Usually those that get a comment are more along the line of "What is that made of, Wonderflex?" almost never comments for a well sewn clothing garment unless it as an intricate detail. Not getting comments shouldn't be taken personally, sometimes its really hard to notice the hard work put into a well sewn garment over something obviously flashy.

It's natural progress of the hobby that people try to get better and better. As more people join, there will be more people with diversifying skills that might add to the knowledge-pool of the community. Some people take it as a challenge or as an art to make bigger and better things, this shouldn't reflect on others doing it for the fun or are still learning.

I think as for the rude emails/comments, your friend just happened to find some really bad eggs. I don't think the community has gotten that much worse from when I started, I just think with a larger community brings an equally larger number jerks.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 11:42 AM   #12
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"the only people that get attention are the popular ones, skimpy costumes, or people doing yaoi/yuri."

Yeah that's about right I cosplay a popular character in little known outfits and nothing happens, I get tred of popular cosplay but since you know that gong in you have to find a way to deal with being passed over. that is why I participate in photo gatherngs. I haven't been bullied before about my cosplay but I'm ignored/ looked over all time. I put hours days weeks in to my outfits for a few hours of wearing it's hard. But this is what I find...

society is changing and that is filtering down to us.... I find that middle and high schoolers are rude but it's acceptable (to them) as normal.Like they don't know how to communicate without using an insult. Just the other day I had someone insult my Felicia decal on my car O_o . I've been upset for days at people rudeness.

I wear my headphones and go about my self at cons, I feel less hurt when I'm not stopped that way. As for online, I like t stay here, but I don't ask for opions anymore either
... And to answer that question "Yes I live here and have nothing better to do "
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Unread 04-12-2012, 11:58 AM   #13
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^I've said what I think of people who can't communicate without rudeness and personal insults:

If you need to throw in a cheap personal shot, it says one of two things- Either you don't think your argument will stand up on its own, without a cheap personal insult, or you know you've got nothing, and now you're just flinging crap to cover for it. Either way, it's pitiful.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 12:40 PM   #14
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Dang that sucks, to tell you the truth I was bullied before sometime in middle school. I think it was because I was skinny, asian, or nerdy. I don't remember much because it was a long time ago. I tried to ignore the person but that didn't work out. I don't think ignoring the person helps because if you are going to see the person everyday, then it is hard to ignore them. I feel that ignoring a person works online because you're never going to see the person ever again, hopefully. What worked for me was having confidence in yourself. Once you show that you have confidence in yourself, the person bulllying you will most likely not want to mess with you ever again. If you want to let these people know how you feel then do so and if they don't listen, forget them. They don't deserve to be your friend. Move on and find people that will acknowledge you and support you.

To sum it up instead of ignoring them, take action. I believe that problems won't go away until you face them and find a solution. I know its hard but once you get the hang of it it will become easier over time.

I remember another time recently when I was made fun of and was called a creepy person and stalker. I was trying to start a conversation with this one girl and asked her "Hey, I remember you aren't you ..." she didn't say anything and ended up walking away and telling her friends that I was a creepy person. Omg I'm not a creepy person, I was just trying be friendly. I didn't say anything else and just walked away, telling myself that she just lost her chance of being my friend.

I agree with many others that you might pick up bad apples in a community. If you find them, throw them away in the green garbage bin and keep searching for that juicy, delicious apple.

It's so true that many people give their attention to popular cosplays because I believe that most people would give their attention to the characters that they only know. Well, sometimes I do this too but most of the time I come up to people and ask them who are they cosplaying as and ask them if they want to be in my fan video. I know that this true because I cosplay as Otonashi from Angel Beats! and I only get little attention and sometimes none haha it's all good though.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #15
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If you cosplay for the sole purpose of attention garnering and are hurt by a lack of so much you purposefully tune others out (EX; wearing headphones to avoid interactions) then your going to be disappointed in a lot more things that aren't even vaguely related to the hobby. Yes, everyone likes attention. We like praise and being told that someone appreciates what we'd done. But becoming so hurt and bothered by getting less attention then someone else that you actively avoid interacting with others, or quit the hobby all together? There is a far bigger problem at hand then someone not stopping you for a photograph or commenting on an uploaded picture.

What this is developing into isn't so much a fear of being ostracized by peers, but rather being off-put and jealous that other's are garnering more attention. Everyone cannot have attention equally distributed to them, we cannot gently hand out one comment at a time to each person and tell them what a good job they're doing.The goal should not to be "I want to get all that attention to", but to enjoy yourself regardless of how much attention is received.

The air of 'slut shaming' in this thread is putting me on edge. So what if someone cosplays 'thief Rikku' ? What business is it of yours? None. So far the only reason any of this sort of costume has been brought up is to complain that the women wearing them are getting all the attention, as if they're taking it away wrongly from more deserving people. Of course people are going to pay attention to attractive women-that is human nature to be pleased by beauty. I have found myself gobsmacked by the beauty of another woman and felt the pang of jealousy over a fleeting sense of inadequacy, what I do not do is say "Well she's only getting attention because she's wearing something 'skimpy'!", I say "Wow, she's beautiful. What a gorgeous costume". There is no attention owed to any of us, there is no woman in her skimpy getting up stealing away what is rightfully ours. These kind of comments have no validity but to shame other's.

Yes. I get it. It's frustrating. It can hurt when you put love and attention into something but get no recognition for a job well done. But a lack of attention does equal a presence of bullying.

The real problem that should be addressed is how to deal with that kind of negativity, and what to do about threats. Your friend did the right thing in contacting the forum administrations for help, and should continue to do so when any threat is directed to them. Save all the messages, and be ready to present them should something escalate. Depending on the laws where your friend lives, they may be able to report threatening messages to authorities. But depending on where they live it will be up to them to seek out if such action can be taken. Most importantly, ending all contact with these people. Don't continue to aggravate and feed them with threats on taking action, or having your friend trying to defend themselves. Leave them alone. Acknowledgement is what people like this crave, and the more attention they receive the more it feeds into them.

The response to negativity, is to not even acknowledge it.
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