Cosplay is a hobby that is all about having fun and dressing up as your favorite characters. It is about sharing your cosplays with others and being able to share your love for your fandoms.
So when other cosplayers aim to tear other cosplayers down, many stand up against it.
Cassandra Cosplays, a Poison Ivy cosplayer and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, recently took to Instagram to explain her dealings with bullying in the cosplay community and why it needs to stop. " I was sent screenshots of a cosplayer making fun of my nose and how Poison Ivy would never have that nose. And apparently I wasn’t the only one," Cassandra wrote.
She continues in her post that her nose has been her biggest insecurity in her life, had been bullied for it for years, and it took many years for her to love her differences and how it makes her feel beautiful.
Cassandra calls for an end to a big problem that the cosplay community has dealt with for years: A stop to bullying and hurting other cosplayers for their looks. "We HAVE to stop bullying each other and hurting each other over stupid petty things like this. You don’t HAVE to look exactly like a character to Cosplay them. You can look nothing LIKE the character and still be just as valid as someone who does. We HAVE to get over this mentality of ‘canon’ and only those who look like the character are worthy. It’s toxic, it’s dangerous, and it’s gross," Cassandra explained in her post.
The toxic idea that cosplayers have to look exactly like their characters is not new. Many Black and BIPOC cosplayers have called out against this, as well as plus-size cosplayers in the community. The idea that cosplayers can't cosplay certain characters because they don't "look like them" is only tearing cosplayers apart and keeping others from being unified in the community.
Luckily, many cosplayers commented on Cassandra's post in her defense and have spoken out on their own bullying stories they have experienced. "I love your nose because it reminds me of mine which has taken me years to learn to love," cosplayer DrPepperPrincess commented.
Another cosplayer by the name of Chameleahn.cos had commented, "We're all nerds playing dress up, so no matter your size, skin, gender identity, features, etc. You're allowed to have fun cosplaying your favs and show how much you love them."
One can only hope that more cosplayers speak up about bullying in the community and focus on lifting each other up instead of tearing others down.