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Unread 04-09-2015, 05:46 AM   #1
Jojo-Izumi
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Question "Too big" to cosplay? (experiencing prejudice)

Hi everyone!

I'm new to this site (I'll make an introduction soon!) and I'm running a new blog called "Jojo's Bizarre Blog" on blogspot.

My blog will be about a number of things (so I guess you could say it doesn't have a specific purpose), including anime and cosplay.

I may be new to cosplaying, but I have heard there has been a bit of prejudice towards bigger cosplayers and those who are a different race (e.g. an african american girl dressed as a white anime character. I saw a girl dressed as Mami on Tumblr and I thought she looked fantastic!)

A good friend of mine told me that two girls got turned down for a job at an anime store (which I won't name and shame) because one of them was apparently "too big" and another one was "too dark" If you ask me, that doesn't sound right!

So, my question here is this:
Has anyone ever experienced any kind of prejudice from their weight or race whilst cosplaying? If so, what's your story behind this?

I will be putting these stories on my blog, but you don't have to give me your full name (just your first name or username will do!)

Thanks!

-Emily (Jojo)
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Unread 04-09-2015, 05:56 AM   #2
Syon
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I wouldn't call it prejudice. People have opinions about things and other people. Thats life. And because cosplay is part of this life and world, those opinions can be found in a cosplay-context, too. Especially with the rise of popularity cosplay has seen in the past years and the influence of the Internet, we see more nasty opinions being voiced.
So yes, people will comment on bodytype and skincolour and this often doesn't end up nice. But thats nothing new.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 07:22 AM   #3
Milky Bubbles
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Comments on other's general appearance, skin colour, body size, etc., happen ALL the time during conventions.
That's just how that goes.

Sadly, those things happen all the time in the world of cosplaying and I am sure people will have many stories about things that they have experienced and of course, none of it is going to "sound right" because while cosplay is for anyone that is brave enough to dress up in their costumes, people are always going to have opinions and after a certain point you just can't waste energy on letting it bother you.

Tell your friends not to be too discouraged by those comments, working at an anime store doesn't seem like it would be a good or rewarding job anyway.

(I don't have a personal story to tell you on this subject and I hope I never do, but I can certainly give this input!)
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Unread 04-09-2015, 07:45 AM   #4
Jojo-Izumi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milky Bubbles View Post
Comments on other's general appearance, skin colour, body size, etc., happen ALL the time during conventions.
That's just how that goes.

Sadly, those things happen all the time in the world of cosplaying and I am sure people will have many stories about things that they have experienced and of course, none of it is going to "sound right" because while cosplay is for anyone that is brave enough to dress up in their costumes, people are always going to have opinions and after a certain point you just can't waste energy on letting it bother you.

Tell your friends not to be too discouraged by those comments, working at an anime store doesn't seem like it would be a good or rewarding job anyway.

(I don't have a personal story to tell you on this subject and I hope I never do, but I can certainly give this input!)
Thanks Milky Bubbles, would you mind if I quoted you on my post?
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Unread 04-09-2015, 07:49 AM   #5
Milky Bubbles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jojo-Izumi View Post
Thanks Milky Bubbles, would you mind if I quoted you on my post?
Sure, that's totally fine, I don't mind at all. o:
Also, if you want to know my first name versus just having my screen name, it is Valencia~
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Unread 04-09-2015, 09:45 AM   #6
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Weight isn't a protected class under anti-discrimination laws in the US, but race is. I'm pretty sure the store could get sued for that.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 10:05 AM   #7
Jojo-Izumi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilafatyu View Post
Weight isn't a protected class under anti-discrimination laws in the US, but race is. I'm pretty sure the store could get sued for that.
This shop is in Vegas, and although I don't live in the US myself, I don't think they have that right when it comes to race.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jojo-Izumi View Post
This shop is in Vegas, and although I don't live in the US myself, I don't think they have that right when it comes to race.
Since it's protected at a national level, it's not likely that a state would pass a law negating a national law, but for giggles I looked it up:
http://detr.state.nv.us/nerc_pages/t...rimination.htm

It's against the law in Nevada. She could totally sue.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 12:48 PM   #9
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Adding on to that- race is a protected class in the U.S. She could sue. She might need proof of some kind to not be counter sued for libel, though- does she have this on record?
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Unread 04-09-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syon View Post
I wouldn't call it prejudice.
I certainly would.

Quote:
prejudice
[ ˈprejədəs ]

NOUN

noun: prejudice · plural noun: prejudices
1.preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience:
"English prejudice against foreigners"
synonyms: preconceived idea · preconception · prejudgment

•dislike, hostility, or unjust behavior deriving from unfounded opinions:
"accusations of racial prejudice"
synonyms: bigotry · bias · partisanship · partiality · intolerance ·

2.law
harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgment:
"prejudice resulting from delay in the institution of the proceedings"
synonyms: detriment · harm · damage · injury · hurt · loss


VERB

verb: prejudice · third person present: prejudices · past tense: prejudiced · past participle: prejudiced · present participle: prejudicing
1.give rise to prejudice in (someone); make biased:
"the statement might prejudice the jury"
synonyms: bias · influence · sway · predispose · make biased ·

2.law
cause harm to (a state of affairs):
"delay is likely to prejudice the child's welfare"
synonyms: damage · be detrimental to · be prejudicial to · injure · harm ·

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Unread 04-09-2015, 01:52 PM   #11
Syon
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So you don't think I know what that word means or what?
Suprise, I know it and thats why I think it doesn't fit. And I don't see how the quoted part disproves that in any way.

1.preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience
An example would be: "Germans have no humor" or "All blondes are dumb"
Both can't be based on experiance and do not follow logic.

But "I think overweight people shouldn't dress up as Slave Leia, because I think it looks horrible." or any other expression of the dislike of heavy people wearing certain things (be it cosplay or street clothes) does not line up with this definition, as its an expression of personal taste or an opinion. Just like saying you think Lady Gagas show outfits are bizarr and ugly is not a prejudice.

Not every dislike, hostility or unjust behavior is a prejudice. The essential part, that is not meet here is that person X isn't making up stuff. Their feelings about people of a certain bodytype in certain clothes are a very real thing. Of course, that doesn't excuse any of the hurtful things people say to cosplayers. They should keep their mouth shut, if nothing nice comes out, as its not their business what others chose to wear.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 01:57 PM   #12
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Thinking an overweight person shouldn't cosplay a certain character is not prejudice, that's true.

Denying someone a job for being overweight is though. That is the difference, hence the highlights.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 03:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akiyhrah View Post
Thinking an overweight person shouldn't cosplay a certain character is not prejudice, that's true.

Denying someone a job for being overweight is though. That is the difference, hence the highlights.
Yes, I was focusing on the cosplay-related part.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 03:55 PM   #14
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Cosplay's an incredibly visual medium, so of course you'll find people with prejudices or opinions based on appearances. Sometimes it's pure racism or body-shaming, but other times it's a little more "innocent" and they're just wanting the cosplayer to look canon. There's some cosplayers who do make the personal choice to only cosplay characters they physically resemble rather than just wearing their costume, but that's their prerogative. Other people shouldn't be trying to influence their decision unless they specifically ask "who are characters I look like?," and doing so with rude comments in regards to their race or weight is totally inappropriate.

Saying this I know I'm not totally blameless here, and probably no one is; we all have our personal preferences and opinions. I don't criticize cosplayers for race or weight, but I'll admit to having made remarks to friends about "creepy" cosplays (think sexualized costumes based on characters who are minors). I would never say that to the actual cosplayer though, and I'm not the type to vocalize those thought online directed at someone specific.

Personally I've never encountered criticism directed at me based on my weight or race. I'm white, so the only time I'd probably run into the race issue is if I do a PoC character (which funnily enough I'm planning right now) and even that would likely only be from certain online groups rather than in-person. I've heard it's much worse for actual PoC, especially black people, who will actually get that kind of criticism in-person.

As for weight, I am heavier, but not more so than just "overweight," and have also never received any particular criticism for that either. Usually you see that when a heavy person does a revealing costume, and honestly it just reveals more about the complaining person's preferences than anything about the cosplayer. People are only complaining because they don't find the person sexy and don't feel they should be allowed to look or feel sexy in front of them because of this, which is pretty gross. That's something you see in everything though, not just the cosplay community. Of the two I'd say race is the bigger issue, as cosplay intersects with a lot of communities that are traditionally white or east Asian, so some people get a lot of pushback when trying to join the community.

And finally, as Ilafatyu stated, if your friend was explicitly told they weren't hired due to their race, that definitely seems like something they could sue over. The store is obviously run by the type of white fan I just mentioned that's trying to keep the community as insular as it's always been.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 04:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syon View Post
Yes, I was focusing on the cosplay-related part.

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