Misconceptions That People Make, Say, and Do About Cosplayers
Never assume what you don’t know.
Cosplay: it has high and lows. It’s advantages and disadvantages. However, many people assume the worst about cosplayers, like myself, whether it’s at a con or in public. I asked everyone on my Facebook page what misconceptions people have made about them, while in cosplay and I’ve received two responses. Here are a couple of them:
“I'm too heavy set to be a Power Ranger.”
“If you love a character of the opposite gender, but you wanna genderbend, it should not be laughed about.”
Here are some misconceptions that people have made about me and others while being in cosplay.
”You’re not the right ethnicity for the cosplay you’re doing.”
I’ve had someone tell me that before. Over two years ago, I attended a comic expo in my area and I was Billy Cranston from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I was wearing a striped blue shirt, overalls, and had my Power Morpher with me. This was during the second day of the event. A man approached me and asked if I was Billy, because he saw my Power Morpher. I said that I was him, and he went on to say that Billy was white. Honestly, I wasn’t upset or angry at him. It was more like I was surprised. It shouldn’t matter who you cosplay as. You’re showing appreciation for the character, probably because the character is from a fandom that you love so much. No matter what your race is, you can cosplay as whomever you want.
”You’re too fat to cosplay.”
I can speak from experience on this one. For the first couple of years of me doing cosplay, I weighed 200 pounds and felt heavy. I knew I had to do something or else, I would end up having health problems later on in life, or even worse, end up dead. So I started working out, eating right, being more active, and I’ve since lost 44 pounds. I feel more confident and healthier. As far as being told that someone is too heavy to cosplay, that’s nonsense. Like I’ve reiterated in my first point, you can cosplay as anyone. Body shaming happens in the cosplay community, not only to women, but men as well. I was body shamed because of my weight, but I used the negative comments I’ve received and turned it into something positive: working out and being in shape. I’ve shut down a body shamer on Facebook a few weeks ago. He said that men who don’t have abs are automatically lazy. I fired back in a respectful way, basically saying that it’s not right to point out people’s flaws and imperfections, because you don’t know what they’re going through. He was once overweight and lost a lot of weight. I’ve stood up for not only cosplayers who have been body shamed, but others who aren’t. Everyone has their insecurities and self-esteem issues. I say if you want to cosplay as any character, go for it and flaunt that body.
”You’re too old to cosplay.”
Last I checked, cosplay didn’t have an age limit or expiration date. I have many cosplay friends who are in their 30s and 40s. I didn’t start doing cosplay until I was 26. Over two years ago, there was a show on Syfy called Cosplay Melee. One of the contestants was a man who started attending conventions and cosplaying when he was in his early 40s. Young or old, cosplay is for everyone, no matter the skill level, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.
"People touching you without your permission... creepy!"
This is a subject that I need to address to everyone. Just because a man or woman is dressed sexy or scantily clad, it doesn’t mean that it’s an invitation for you to touch them without consent. No matter who that person is cosplaying as, at the end of the day, they’re still human beings with feelings. Always treat everyone with respect and they’ll do the same for you in return. Many people, like myself, don’t like being touched. I’ve had this talk with my roommate before and can be too touchy-feely. No matter what I’m cosplaying as, I deserve to be treated with respect. If a cosplayer is wearing armor or has a prop, please ask them first. It’s not only respectful, but considerate to the cosplayer, because they’ve worked countless hours on their work and would be disappointed if you ruined their armor or prop.
“You probably got paid to cosplay.”
Like I’ve said in previous posts on social media, I cosplay because I want to inspire others and also, share the characters that I cosplay as with them. I don’t cosplay for views, likes, or follows. Those are nice, but I do this for fun. I’m not trying to be “cosplay famous,” because I was never popular growing up anyway. Cosplay should be about having fun, not be treated as a profession. I have a regular job like everyone else. So no, I don’t get paid to cosplay at all.
What are some misconceptions that people make about you as a cosplayer? If you liked this article or any of the articles I’ve written so far, please feel free to send me a one-off tip, which is located at the end of every article. No tip is ever too big or small. It’ll help me and other Vocal content creators write better stories and you’ll be supporting us in a positive way.