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Unread 06-02-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
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Cosplay and Bullying

Due to a recent experience with this I'm wondering if any of you have had the same, or something like this happen.
For instance.
Today I was bullied by a so called friend of mine who told me that because I quote "have a flawless cosplay already" that I quote "don't need to cosplay any other characters and get a life."

That only escalated into another argument because this person is a hypocrite and an evil being. But anyway, what experience have you gone through if you were bullied, and how did you handle it?

I was told that I'm basically not good enough or too dumb to cosplay Ada Wong from Resident Evil 6, and now I'm not sure I want to cosplay her, because I don't want to be shamed for it. Not how I should handle it..

Thanks for any advice/info
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Unread 06-03-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
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I get made fun of periodically all the time for "wasting my life running around in costumes" because whenever I attend a convention, my friend's mom takes a ton of pictures and posts them on Facebook, and tags me in them, so about 1/2 of my pictures on Facebook are of me in costume.

Frankly? I really find it hard to give a damn when someone that I already have no respect for has a problem with how I spend my time when it has 0 affect on their lives. Especially when you consider that putting on a costume and hanging out with other fun people wearing costumes is not illegal, whereas doing drugs and drinking while you're underage is illegal. So even if you still think I'm "wasting my life", I'm doing so lawfully.

I've had people that have problems with the characters I want to cosplay as well, and I also find it hard to give a damn about whether they approve of my choice in character or not. I think this is especially because I crossplay a lot, and people who are not acquainted with the basics of cosplay see it more as "crossdressing" despite the fact that it's really "my favourite character from -insert series- is a dude and just because he and I don't have the same private parts isn't going to stop me from dressing up like him."

My philosophy and advice to these people is simply, "If you don't like my costume, then stop looking at me."
"I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary." -Margaret Atwood
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Unread 06-03-2013, 01:57 AM   #3
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Anyone who criticizes your hobby is not worth listening to or being around.

As a darker-skinned cosplayer who often chooses characters with very light skin, I'm constantly concerned that I would be shamed for my choices. I do them anyway, because there are more people, both online and offline, that I know will support what I do. I also make my hobby known upfront, as soon as a new person--even if it's some guy that I might be interested in--asks what I like to do in my spare time. Because their reaction will determine whether or not I should even consider them a friend.

Thankfully, I've never been bullied, nor criticized (to my face) about my hobby. The closest thing I've ever gotten was brief laughter from another teacher when I introduced myself and showed his students photos of my cosplay...though I think that might just have been being amused at the fact that I would share it with them, since they're young and have probably never seen cosplay before. (Or at least that's just what I tell myself.)
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Unread 06-03-2013, 02:20 AM   #4
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Bullying? Eh not so much. Well not to my face anyways but yeah it just gotta ignore them and well tell them they can suck it. The worst I've ever been told was that I was delusional to be putting so much time and effort into making a costume. Admittedly kind of trippy under the guise of "but I'm really concerned for your mental health and state. Please stop being delusional and come back to reality." Funny coming from an ex too... Wow I'm incredibly more honest when I'm dead tired. Anyways yeah just ignore them haters. Besides KuroNekoCosplay you have amazing stuff I'm sure you'll be great as Ada as well.
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Unread 06-03-2013, 06:16 AM   #5
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I guess my "advice" is to not let these people close to you in the first place. I have to believe that there was some sign that they were going to be like this. Maybe I'm too picky, maybe I cut myself off from some people who have objectively great parts if I was willing to put up with the not-great ones... but I don't feel like I'm missing anything. I'm so happy that some people find it unsettling so I don't think I'm doing the wrong thing for me.

Being friends is about being around people you want to be around with no expectations and no contracts. You may have decided they're not your friend any more - but something is keeping their ghost hanging around you. Why are you letting this person stick with you ?

I was bullied when I was much younger and nothing really "helped". I'm not sure that anything really can be done - and it's okay to feel bad because not everything is good. The thing that needs to be done is to do what you can to make sure those things don't happen again and to learn how to not care what other people think too much. Yes, you might still feel emotion about it in passing but the goal is to not carry it with you as a burden, to learn how to let go of it.

I still worry that I'll look too short and too skinny and too stupid and too wrong (in the past it didn't really have anything to do with costumes) - but now I don't get so depressed that I cry about it. I have friends going through what I did in self-esteem and I wish I had better advice for everyone. I just don't know exactly how I got to where I am now but I know it wasn't all at once. I think costumes might have actually helped - using them to make myself look "better" actually caused me to be able to re-evaluate how I looked without them at all - to see myself in a new way that I was still that same amazing looking person.

I think I was right in high school when I came to the conclusion that people will respect you if you're willing to be yourself and be unabashedly happy about it. I used to be afraid to bring pictures into the hair cut place of what I really wanted because I was embarrassed - but now I just bask in being the huge goober who's like, "YES GIVE ME DAVID TENNANT'S HAIR IT'S GOING TO BE SO COOL".

It's hard to break into it - but if you're happy about something and show people you're happy about it and that you give no shits about what other people think they will tend to have some kind of respect for you, at least this is what I've found. And even if they don't they'll just be confused - the best defense is no defense and it will confuse the shit out of them that they can't damage you because there's nothing you've set up for them to knock over.
Disclaimer : This post written by a Grumpy Old Man

Actually in the pipes:
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- Luke Skywalker, A New Hope
- Wind Waker starter costume in swim material
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Unread 06-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #6
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Like Khorrupt said, you should just tell them that if they don't like it, look away. Besides, you're damn beautiful & got a wonderful body. You're probably really smart too. I bet ya the person that said that was just to snobby, in their own head, & envious of you. Just do whatever you want. Hell, I'm a plus size gal & Ima be cosplayin for the first time soon (hopefully) as Taiwan from Hetalia. I have blue eyes but Im not gettin colored contacts or anything. Basically, what I'm sayin, is do what makes you happy. Not what will make others happy. Most people just wanna see ya miserable.
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Unread 06-03-2013, 04:44 PM   #7
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Never been bullied, but I agree with Khorrupt that anyone who takes time out of their very limited life to care that much about something that doesn't involve or affect them isn't worth caring about.
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Unread 06-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I appreciate the sweet comments and sharing of experience as well I feel a lot better :3
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Unread 06-03-2013, 05:15 PM   #9
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I've never been bullied for cosplaying, but I have been bullied a lot in my early years, and part of my cosplaying comes from trying to make friends with like-minded people.
Completed Cosplay:
Red Sniper (TF2)
Wolverine (Marvel Comics)
Mankind (WWE)
The Undertaker (WWE)
JasonPool (Deadpool/Friday the 13th)
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Macho Man Randy Savage

Hillbilly Jim (WWE)
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Unread 06-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #10
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Interestingly enough, at my age, people think it's awesome that I sew. When they find out I make costumes, the next question is usually, "will you make me a Halloween costume?"

That being said, my first bullying experience was at a con by a few adult non-attendees. My friend and I got onto an elevator, in costume, and a few drunk, middle-aged people began harassing us. At first, the woman made a crack about how big my friend's hat was (was probably a simple joke), and then a guy carrying a 24-pack started making stupid comments like "do you dress like this all the time?" "Wow, what nerds," etc etc. My friend was pretty cheesed off about it, but I basically just walked away. I don't have time for people who think spending their money on beer and getting drunk in hotel elevators is "cooler" than producing something to wear, and looking good in it.

I was bullied a lot when I was younger as well, and I've basically come to realize that if you don't let people get to you, they stop. It's sounds so cliche, but it is true. If someone is so pathetic that they need to make fun of me to make themselves feel good, then they are not worth the energy it would take for me to get mad. There are plenty of costumers who ARE worth my time and energy, and I'd rather surround myself with those people.

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Unread 06-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #11
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I've never been bullied in regards to my costume but I've endured bullying in one form or another for most of my life just for liking what I like. It took a long time for me to become confident enough in my skills and comfortable enough with who I am to try cosplaying and I'm glad I did.

The best advice I can offer you is to do what makes you happy regardless of what other people think. When I first started cosplaying, my own parents commented that I was going to "a freak convention" and that my costume "made me look like a psycho." I don't think they were intentionally trying to hurt me as I have a great relationship with both of them but their comments still cut pretty deep.

Still, I finished my costume and went to my first con and met a bunch of great people. I don't feel like cosplay is about satisfying the people around you in any capacity. I know for a fact that there are people on this very forum that cosplay the same characters I do and do it much, much better than I ever could but that doesn't bother me because (a) those people are probably awesome and wouldn't rub it in that they're better and (b) cosplay is about an individual expressing their passion for a creative work and not about who is the better costume maker. Yes, there are cosplay competitions and if a person's goal is to win one, more power to them, but for me personally it has never been about who is best. It's about showing passion.

Cosplay whoever you want and don't let anyone bother you about it. Haters are gonna hate, as they say, and there are too many fantastic people at these conventions to stick around a small handful that are going to be jerks.
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Unread 06-15-2013, 03:03 AM   #12
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My friend told me not to cosplay as a certain anime character because I'm black.
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Unread 06-15-2013, 05:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Msaju17 View Post
My friend told me not to cosplay as a certain anime character because I'm black.
Why are they your friend ?
Disclaimer : This post written by a Grumpy Old Man

Actually in the pipes:
- Remaking Ser Loras doublet.
- Luke Skywalker, A New Hope
- Wind Waker starter costume in swim material
Eventually: Paul from Dune, Faramir, Harry Sullivan
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Unread 06-15-2013, 10:10 AM   #14
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Y' this point what can they say to me? I work a good job that pays me well enough to AFFORD this hobby, I have side job doing voice over for TV and Radio commercials, I'm married, I own my own home, I have a close-knit group of friends...I mean, really...what are you going to "bully" me on, single guy with a drinking problem living in his mom's basement screaming obscenities at the TV athletes?
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Unread 06-15-2013, 10:57 AM   #15
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I would like to point out that sometimes, just ignoring it isn't a possibility because there are situations you can't get away from people.

Like work, for instance. Without going into a lot of detail, I was at the receiving end of a pretty extensive case of workplace bullying that basically boiled down to "some people have no lives and enjoy making others miserable." If there is a course of action you can take to deal with these things, find out and do it.
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