Why the Cosplay Community is in trouble and what YOU can do about it!

 

To elaborate further on my post from yesterday: 

I love this hobby with all my heart, and I hate to see the current state of things in the community and the direction it is going in. Below I have put in four sections including ‘Drama in the Community’, and ‘What can we do’.

To see my original post see HERE.


The current condition of the Cosplay Community:

Cosplay is not about having fun anymore. It’s about pumping out enough content to make others happy, to keep your ‘followers’ happy and to continue to ‘prove you are a cosplayer’.
We have become a community that is so focused on ourselves that we forget about others within the community.
We look at a post in the ‘cosplay share groups’ that read something along the lines of:
‘Hi all! I’m new! Would you mind checking out my page and giving me some feedback on my cosplays?! I make them myself!’
And instead of people actually looking and providing feedback they spam that ‘Like’ button as fast as they can and paste in their page link with a ‘I liked your page! Like me back!’.
How is THAT helping this new person? You have missed the conversation with this new member of the community about fandoms you may both share!
We worry too much about what other cosplayers are wearing, and we constantly compare one another. How about instead of complaining about a cosplay that *insert-cosplayer-name-here* did you find another valuable use of your time, like connecting with a fellow cosplayer to catch up?
Ask them how that project they stated a while back is going, what conventions did they have coming up, and maybe help answer some questions they may have that you can help answer!
Stop comparing yourself, AND OTHERS, to another cosplayer. Really…stop. This is not helpful or healthy.
Stop shaming other cosplayers. This goes for EVERYONE!
I recently unfollowed a few cosplayers who claim to promote ‘Cosplay is for everyone‘ and yet I see them CONSTANTLY degrading other cosplayers (both the popular ones and the not so popular) or commenting really nasty things about that cosplayer, simply because they don’t like the content they see. Remember the saying ‘If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all’? It applies here.
I have said it before and I will say it LOUDER now for the one’s in the back. COSPLAY IS FOR EVERYONE! If you don’t like the content a cosplayer is mainly doing then don’t follow them. If you don’t support their mindset and what they do in the community then DON’T FOLLOW THEM!!
It’s really simple. But going and commenting nasty things about them or degrading another cosplayer for following them is never okay.

Don’t shame people. Skinny, Fat, Race, Gender, Popular or un-popular…shaming is never okay. Cosplay is for everyone and anyone who want’s too (and enjoys) putting on a costume.


Drama in the Community:

Here in Michigan the amount of drama in the Cosplay Community is disgusting!!! I see more posts with rumors being shared, cosplayers hating and bashing other cosers in this community, and those claiming to have more hold in the community then others ie: ‘I’ve been a part of this community longer then you!’.
Let me shatter your dreams for a moment. Not one cosplayer is more important then the next! I repeat, you are NO BETTER then the next cosplayer! I see the drama unfolding where names are dropped, and comments like ‘Well *Cosplayer* is a wannabe, they don’t even sell prints for charity like I do!’ or ‘I’m the Michigan Elsa, I memorized all the lines and even look more like her then *cosplayer* does.’
Giving to charity or making your costume does not make you any better then the person who doesn’t give to charity and buy’s their costume.
Step off your pedestal. The amount of elitism and entitlement I’ve seen from my fellow Michigan cosplayers (and honestly worldwide) here lately is disgusting!

So what can we do about the current condition of the Community?

We can start by identifying the issues in the community, discussing way’s we as a community can combat these issues, and finding positive alternatives that help reshape and better the Cosplaying Community for both here today and for years to come.
I’m not joking when I say this: The Cosplaying Community need’s a reform, a revival of sorts. With any community you need unity (as much as you can get helps!) and a clear understanding of the purpose and future mission of the community in order for it to continue on and be a welcoming, encouraging, and inspiring place for it’s members to thrive in.
This community is very important!
  • It help’s create friendships.
  • It help’s you acquire and continue to perfect various skills, many of which can be used in daily life.
  • It teaches you how to budget your money
  • How to find good deals on travel and lodging.
  • How to hold yourself accountable for your actions.
  • To step outside of your comfort zone and try new things.
  • How to find your self worth.
  • How to love yourself.
Over the rest of the month of January I will be communicating with any and all cosplayers from around the world who wish to take part in discussing the issues in the community, and way’s we can help better the community for everyone.
No rules, just solutions to present problems. No hierarchy, all equals.
If you would like to help with joining the discussion either 1×1 or in a group setting over Discord please let me know via message or my commenting on my page. I will have the Discord set up later this week.
If you are a fellow cosplayer from any state or country and have a love for this community as I do, please don’t let the issues inside the community be ignored anymore.
Speak up. Share this blog entry. Start a conversation with your anime club or communicate with local conventions about how they can create a safe and welcoming place for all cosplayers.

The Take Away & Thought Provoking Questions:

Most important check yourself. Consider the following questions carefully.
Are you comparing yourself too much? Are you spamming that ‘Like’ button without a thought to the cosplayer and just pasting your link and moving on to the next post?
Are you constantly worrying about what your followers think of you, or about providing enough content to satisfy and keep them?
Are you not having fun both with cosplay and the community anymore?
Why do you cosplay? What do you gain from it? What do others gain from you doing it?
And my last question to you is this: What are you going to do about the current condition of the Cosplaying Community now?
-HappyCosplayer
Email Me: happycosplayer@gmail.com
Comment on this blog your thoughts!
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