Anyone who follows me on Twitter has seen me rant about this issue. I blogged about it two years ago. I even talked about it in my "4 Ways to Accidentally Piss Off a Cosplayer" video. That issue, of course, is people commenting on photos telling a cosplayer what other character they should've cosplayed as instead.
I look like Arya Stark. It's been said enough times to me that I feel confident affirming it. I've been graced with the big eyes, baby face, and bushy brows of Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones. But as thrilled as I am to resemble one of my favorite characters, that's not why I cosplay Arya so much. Because if that was all I needed, I would also cosplay Ashildr from Doctor Who, who is played by the same actress. The reason I cosplay Arya and not Ashildr is pretty darn simple: I love Arya. And the fact that I have to explain this at all is a symptom of a larger problem that has been slowly but surely surfacing in the cosplay community.
I'm tired of cosplay as a lookalike contest. I'm tired of people telling cosplayers what they should and shouldn't spend their hours and dollars crafting based on the coincidence of their genetics. I'm tired of some cosplays being labeled as superior simply because they're being worn by someone who happens to have the "right" bone structure. I'm tired of watching actual cosplays ignored in favor of who the cosplayer "reminds you of." And I'm tired of how all these problems are supercharged for cosplayers of color, fat cosplayers, genderqueer cosplayers, and disabled cosplayers.
We don't cosplay characters because we look like them. We cosplay them because we like them.
let's remind everyone what cosplay is really about.
Why do you cosplay? I made an easy template so you can answer that question and remind everyone what cosplay is really about.
All I ask is that if you share these images, you hashtag them #Icosplaybecause. Share your own stories of being told who they should or shouldn't cosplay based on their looks instead of their interests. Let's work together to get the community talking and remember why we all started doing this in the first place.