Cosplaying While Fat
Fair warning, this whole post is going to be a rant. A little bit of background information first. Since I started cosplaying, I became a member of a few different blerd groups on Facebook. I love the sense of community and just encouraging each other to love our interests without having to exchange our blackness. That sense of belonging is great, and I’ve even made a few internet friends that way. Posts vary from memes to what if battles and so much more.
One of the more popular type posts are cosplayers showing off their work to get feedback and promote the craft. It also helps encourage those who’ve never tried it. For the longest I was a silent participant in the groups but as my cosplay catalog grew I started posting my favorites. The first picture that got approved to post to one of the groups was my Black Widow cosplay I wore to Motor City Comic Con in 2019
I was really proud of this cosplay because it was my first time piecing everything together from a couple different sources. Typically I buy entire costumes then the accessories. I got the catsuit on Amazon, I already had the wig. The cuffs and belt came from a couple different shops on Etsy. I did the gold coloring on the cuffs myself. Overall the reception was good and I got a lot of compliments. Unfortunately not all of the comments were positive. A couple ashy little boys had the nerve to call me fat. One even went so far as to call me “Fat Widow”. I’ve been called fat my whole life and it’s still hard for me to hear. I wish I could say that one post was an isolated incident but it wasn’t. It seems like every time I post a picture I get called fat. It’s always some random ashy little boy who is always braver behind a keyboard. The individuals are irrelevant but my point isn’t.
Since I started going to conventions years ago I always admired cosplayers. It takes some level of confidence to put on a costume and walk around crowded public areas when it isn’t Halloween. It takes even more to want to show off a costume you put together yourself rather than purchasing one. It was always ones I did myself that I called fat on, but I digress. When someone puts in time and effort to make and present their craft why would you take the time to dump on them and attack their body? I thought we were past the body image of Barbies and size zero models. It’s sad because I’m not the only one. I’ve attended panels at conventions where plus size cosplayers talk about being bullied and harassed for their sizes.
Fatphobia really is an issue in our society, and I’m not nearly as big as some of the plus size icons you see fighting to normalize their body type. I’d just like to normalize common decency. You don’t make fun of what people put effort into. When you see something you don’t like on the internet, just keep scrolling. Also, when someone asks for feedback they’re not asking for bullying or name calling. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and being spiteful just because. An example would be the below comments on my Harley Quinn closet cosplay. I asked people to tell me what they thought and this was an appropriate opinion to give.
The fact that there are so many people out there who critique cosplayers on their own bodies is insane. We look at ourselves in the mirror daily just like everyone else. If we’re bigger than what you may approve of, we’re well aware. Another thing I hate is being told I can only cosplay characters that are bigger. Any body type can cosplay any character. There’s no size limit to dressing up as a character. Let cosplayers be in peace. We just want our favorite characters to come to life, not be harshly reminded that we don’t fit the antiquated societal beauty standard.