Many many years ago, I started a movement called #NotACosplayer. Now you maybe thinking, that’s a negative thing to say, let me explain why I chose this term.
This started with a conversation with my friend Mojo Jones about her experience where someone told her “She was not a cosplayer”, which dented her confidence because of the cosplay choices she made or design style to go with, probably cause it wasn’t accurate or fitted her body shape. I don’t believe there are rules to how your should cosplay, what you should cosplay or when.
In 2014, I wondered if other people have shared experiences of negative comments which made them question about their involvement in the cosplay community. So, I took this idea of negative comments, wanting to show the internet community who find the time to post negative comments on people’s profiles or in person that when making negative comment just to cause a reaction or think it’s funny, think there is no consequences or doesn’t affect the person cause they don’t read the comments.
I got a white board, pens and went around asking people if they’ve experience negative comment so I could get them to write them down, and take a photo of it. The list of comment I was listening to was immense but very grateful for people to allow me to take their photo with the negative comment. I won’t detail them all, as I have included images of some of the people involved.
It’s been 4 years since I did this and have things improved, it’s hard to say. I do think there is a stronger sense of community amongst cosplayers both established and newcomers to the community. It’s get to see other Hashtag movement being used such as #CosplayAnyway recently being used and promoted by so many people. I’ve always believe it best to ignore those who comment negatively who aren’t doing it for constructive criticism purposes, cause most likely they have insecurity, jealously or just don’t understand who make these comments. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing and aren’t affecting anyone one else to feel negative, then just carry on.
I do think from time to time should I bring back the white board and pens and see if people would participate in this again. Who knows.