So there’s an article going around and I’m going to come right out and say that I hate nearly everything about it. It is entitled “CosModel Drama Has to Stop”
I won’t be linking it here because I honestly don’t want to give that shitty article any page traffic, and so I will post the screenshots of it here, so you don’t have to support that foolishness either. The article is basically one of those ever-popular articles launching unwarranted vitriol at any cosplayers who don’t fit the author’s definition of a “real nerd” or “true cosplayer.” You’ve seen them: the ones claiming Yaya Han is the anti-Christ and that popular cosplayers are somehow ruining the hobby (an issue I addressed in another post). After the screenshots of the article in question, I will be providing my personal reaction and analysis of it, as well as my impression of the author (as I have had the…experience of interacting with her).
To me (and countless others who have read it) this particular article was heavily laced with personal bitterness, gatekeeping/nerd elitism, a personal vendetta, and my personal favorite word of the day: salt. All this is wrapped in an utterly childish tone akin to something a jaded 12 year old would write down in their journal after seeing their classmate get a gold star. Bashing the “popular” kids is pretty standard for a middle schooler, but for an adult who claims to want to “end the drama” and bring the cosplay community together, it’s disappointing and inexcusable. The author opens with the statement that she is “so sick of these CosModel Divas” (doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but I digress) that she’s is “calling [them] out.” She then goes on to define whatever the fuck a “CosModel Diva” is, and it all just reeks of “oh, you think you’re all that, don’t you?” vibes, which is just so incredibly cringeworthy. If someone is extremely confident in themselves, it really shouldn’t bother anyone else. If someone walks around like the sun shines out of their ass, good for them, honestly. It’s not hurting me for someone else to feel good about themselves, so why would I ever find it upsetting? The sentiment the author expresses is indicative of a person who hasn’t grown enough to not be threatened by someone else’s happiness, and it’s a bit sad.
The author then goes on to type a list of petty grievances, including that she “absolutely despise[s] people who cosplay something before it even comes out,” and provides an example in which the sight of seeing a woman cosplay Street Fighter’s “Laura” character evoked hatred. She then throws in some gatekeeping goodness as a bonus by tossing out the word phrase “fan fraud.” This is the exact same bullshit that sexist douchebags and bitter nerd boys like to throw at girls and women who choose to engage in cosplaying and con-going…and it’s disgusting. You cannot impose your “real nerd” standards on another person. You can’t say what it does or doesn’t mean to be a fan, or dictate how someone should participate in a fandom or cosplay. If you have requirements for being a “nerd” (What the fuck? Grow up), and actually feel rage and hatred towards anyone who doesn’t meet those requirements, you are one of the people create darkness in an otherwise kickass community; you are part of the problem. Popular cosplayers, people who cosplay characters for reasons besides hardcore idol worship (such as simply liking the costume design), and even people who just really like attention, are not ruining cosplay. As long as a person isn’t hurting anyone or being an otherwise shitty and miserable creature who goes out of their way to inflict their bullshit onto others, I can guarantee you that they aren’t ruining cosplay.
Despite all the shade throwing and cattiness in her article, the author makes an attempt to claim that she wrote it in order to “stop the drama” and educate others…and that attempt is as phony and transparent as a fading mirage. If you truly want to end “the drama,” then you work on spreading positivity and you work on yourself. You don’t engage in gatekeeping behaviors. You don’t craft a poorly written “call out” article in a childish tone.
Additionally, you don’t fucking make unfounded and bizarre assumptions about why a person may have chosen to cosplay a particular character, such as what the author does in saying, “CosModel Divas, stop pretending you picked the character because you actually loved the character instead of ‘hey I might get a ton of followers for this.'” Who are you to say what another cosplayer’s motivation is for picking the characters they cosplay? Why are you calling them liars when they say that they cosplay characters they like, based solely on the fact that they may have a social media following? Even if they are choosing their cosplays with internet fame, followers, and sponsorship in mind, who fucking cares? We can’t keep saying “Cosplay is for everyone” and then tell someone who they can and can’t cosplay, or what they should base their cosplay decisions on. It’s complete bullshit and hypocrisy and I’m honestly sickened by the levels of sheer pettiness in this article. You cannot claim you want to end the drama and cattiness when your entire article is attacking anyone who doesn’t fit your definition of a true cosplayer, anyone who happens to be “cosfamous,” anyone who you’re honestly probably just fucking jealous of.
I’m honestly amazed that the author somehow managed to touch off on everything I’ve addressed to far in my own posts: cosfame, crowdfunding, and drama. I’m even more amazed that she managed to do so in every single way that I consider harmful and pointless.
I am just so extremely tired of seeing these articles claiming that “cosfame” and “fake geek girls” are ruining the community when the reality is that the only major fucking thing ruining the community is jealousy and gatekeeping. Live and let live. If your fun is ruined by people doing what they want in a way that isn’t causing you harm, then maybe you should find a new hobby or learn to realize when you’re being salty and unreasonable so that you can grow up. I’ll even admit that there was a time when I made the foolish mistake of assuming a “popular” cosplayer was probably just some attention seeking diva. Do you know how I corrected that? I asked myself why I felt that way, and found out I was honestly just a little fucking jealous. And then I went a step further and got to know her. Turns out she’s pretty fucking great and deserves every ounce of attention she gets. Meanwhile, we’re both having drama-free fun. Understanding, positivity, and minding your own goddamn business are the keys to fostering a fun and harmonious cosplay community. Yes, there will always be a little drama, but it’s typically avoidable, and there are ways to lessen it when it does come up (such as severing ties with toxic friends). I’ve experienced pretty much no major drama since cutting off a bad friend, and learning to actually realize that cosplay is for everybody: The hardcore fans. The hobbyists. The aspiring models. The attention seekers. Everyone.
If we’re going to keep saying that cosplay is for everyone, we need to practice what we preach. If we’re going to say that we want to keep the drama out of cosplay, we need to fucking act like it. Penning some vitriol motivated by jealousy and pettiness under the guise of trying to be the peacekeeper is not the way you make things better. It sounds to me like the author was possessed that old villain, Mister Salty. When actually faced with criticism from multiple people, rather than engaging in civil discussion or owning up to the problematic things in her post, the author responded with backtracking, hurling accusations, and…emojis. If you truly want to help, you’ll at least listen to constructive criticism and take it into consideration; you don’t become immediately defensive and respond with all the maturity and grace of a mischievous 11 year old who has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. As a writer, especially one who claims to be writing to teach and help others, you have to be open to criticism. If you can’t handle it, it only serves to show that you’re just trying to be seen for your own sake and not to open up discussion or benefit anybody else. It’s perfectly fine if you are just writing for you, but please don’t say otherwise and then fail to live up to that claim.
I’m going to be honest: the author was not exactly acting like the shining example of someone who seems to be against pettiness and drama in the cosplay community, and is definitely not someone I’d recommend taking advice from. I’ve noticed that the people who write articles like the one she did are usually unhappy with themselves, prone to jealousy, or in need of a healthy dose of maturity. The author, for her part, has come across as incredibly unpleasant in both my interactions with her and in her unfortunate article. The article itself is tainted with enough childishness, gatekeeping, internalized misogyny (the hate she spews is clearly directed at female cosplayers, despite her small parenthetical claim to the contrary, playing off of “fake geek girl” tropes), personal vendetta, jealousy, and bitterness to fuel a mini-van sized neckbeard-mobile around the darkest depths of 4chan several times over. I do not recommend that article to anyone, and I’m annoyed that it was so atrocious that I felt compelled to write a response. The bottom line is this:
- The article was bad
- The author clearly has some growing up to do
- I am annoyed with these fucking “cosfamous ppl r ruining the community” posts when the community would be perfect if not for all the salt piles and gatekeepers out there trying to police other people’s actions
- I strongly advise the publication hosting the article to carefully review the submissions they allow on the site and think about the type of image they want to portray, because featuring such subpar, needlessly hateful and catty drivel is not a good look, and I have enjoyed many of their other works in the past
- In regards to the author’s claim that she wants to “keep working on new and more difficult cosplays”:
Anyway, I’m gonna go finish watching The Devil is a Part-Timer while doing my homework. Until next time, friends.
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