Starr has been a cosplayer for almost four years now and has obtained a variety of skills through the hobby.
7. "Your cosplay is wrong".
The most common and insulting thing that so many cosplayers hear is that a part of their cosplay is wrong—or it could even be that they are missing a prop. I am fortunate enough to have never had somebody tell me this, but others aren't so lucky.
When you point out something that is "wrong" with a cosplay, you can make the person who is wearing it feel paranoid about it, and it could completely ruin their cosplaying experience. Many cosplayers put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their work and to be told that what they are doing is wrong or bad . . . it's hurtful!
They could have very well not had the time or the budget to get that certain little detail done. Or maybe they meant for that detail to be missing for personal reasons.
Whatever the reason is, if you notice a detail missing from somebody's cosplay, just go along with it. You will be saving the cosplayer a LOT of stress!
6. "You aren't the right skin colour/body shape/gender to cosplay that character".
Yeesh . . . this one can be a bit problematic in the cosplay community.
Here is the thing about cosplaying: Almost always, the character that is being brought to life is fictional! Meaning that they don't have to have a set skin color, gender or body shape. When it comes to the fictional world, anything is possible. So, people might decide to cosplay a character despite their own bodies being different than the character's.
Cosplaying is for fun. And somebody should be able to cosplay their favorite character and have a fun time without worrying about the way that they look. It could make them feel extremely insecure about themselves to be told they "aren't white enough to cosplay that" or "too overweight to cosplay this".
Just let people enjoy dressing up as their favorite character without making them feel bad about themselves. It's not that hard!
5: "Cosplaying is for little kids, not adults".
One thing I can tell you about anime/gaming conventions is that I can see a LOT more adult cosplayers than young cosplayers.
This hobby is definitely not exclusive to kids as professional cosplay requires a lot of skill, practice, work and effort. For homemade cosplays, you likely need to have a lot of experience with sewing, crafting, painting, makeup, wig-styling and so on. It's not a walk in the park. And then there is also the budget. Cosplaying can get a little costy at times.
But this isn't to say that kids can't cosplay too. Like I have said many times, cosplaying is for all people of all ages. It is fun and challenging at the same time. It's for everyone, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise!
4: "Your cosplay isn't as good as this other persons cosplay".
Oh, boy—this one really takes the cake. Why do people think this is a good idea to say to others?
At conventions, different people have different levels of experience in cosplay. Some people might have a couple years, and some people might have a couple months. Sometimes you can see people doing their very first cosplay ever!
Yet despite our experience, we are all part of the same community. And to compare each other can really discourage people from continuing with the hobby. Everybody puts effort into their cosplay, no matter what it may look like.
3: "Who are you supposed to be?"
This one is pretty self explanatory. Don't ask cosplayers who they are supposed to be. It just really hits a nerve in us for some reason!
2: "You aren't deep enough in the fandom to cosplay that character".
At what point is somebody deep enough in the fandom for them to start appreciating that fandom? I don't think there really is a point.
If you like Catra from She-Ra and the Princess of Power, but you are only up to episode 3, who cares! Cosplay her. There is nobody stopping you from showing your love for characters you find appealing.
And if your friend wants to cosplay Hatsune Miku despite not being too great into Vocaloid, let them do what they want! If they like Miku, I don't blame them!
Nobody needs to be into a fandom a certain amount or know enough about a certain character to cosplay them. It's not a necessity. There is no set rule for this, so please don't act like there is.
1: Touching a persons cosplay/taking photos without permission.
This isn't so much something you can say but more something you can do that isn't favorable.
Please do not touch a person's cosplay without asking them. You don't know how fragile the cosplay may be, and you could risk breaking and ruining their hard effort.
And with the photos, it is honestly not that hard to ask. Most cosplayers are completely willing to take a picture with you if you just ask them first. I have had people sneakily take pictures of my cosplay from a distance without asking me, and it kind of bugs me because I would have had one with them if they had of asked. And there is also the fact that the cosplayer might not even be comfortable with pictures. It is a complete invasion of privacy.