The harassment that cosplayers face on social media emanates as a result of posting their photos and get rude comments or feedbacks according to cosplayers body shape, skin color, gender, etc. This is underpinned by the fact that people voice their opinions on what to say more than the consequence of their action. The net effect of this is that the cosplayer gets upset and either told their friend or capture those bad comments and posting them to regain their support or respect. Then as time lapses the very same bad people forgets about their action as the victims cannot get this experiences out of their mind. Sadly enough, another photo that some people dont like pop up, and the cycle repeat that way.
KayBear Cosplay the character that she depicted was from Japanese animation which the character is the white girl (Rokoa from Miss Kobayashis Dragon Maid). Therefore, some people especially who love the character and the show, get mad when her cosplay is inaccurate from what the character looks like, especially the skin color. After KayBear updated her photo on her Facebook page and got several rude comments regarding of her skin color, many comments called her ape, black person, brunt and more. After she got upset about what happened, she captured those comments and asked the community about their opinion. Other people posted their photo with their experience about this case and cheering her up. It appeared that many people in cosplay community also got their issue dealing with racist as well.
Media Theory from this case: Medic kit. The media also to an extent helps further the discourse like for instance the medic kit narration. Media could have easily come to the rescue of the cosplayer but then instead choose to focus on the guy who picks the knife and hurts her instead of paying as much as they can on the guy that picks up the medicine or bandage to help her out. It is only through her real friends that pick the right tools to help her that at this moment count.
Body Shape. The photo of unknown cosplayer who cosplay Harry Quinn from Suicide Squad got a share by this person who was making fun of her body shape. In cosplay community, some people were taking care of their body shape to fit the character, but there are also people who don't make cosplay severe and just want to dress up as the character they like. As a result, persons who arent fit the character got teasing and mocked from their appearance. After Kitty Brooker captured this post of Keith Allen Harris and showed that to a community not to be like him and respect more of cosplayer, and the others comment to cheer the cosplayer up, and some people went to Keith privacy and exposed him out to the public.
Media Theory from this case: The shovel. The shovel can dig deep or superficial depending on the force. Therefore the person with lousy month use the comment as the force to dig the ground like the cosplayers feeling, even it just the surface, it still hurt. After that she asked the other to help her out, the community digs it back to that guy so thick and spread out his profile up to the ground for shame in public.
Race contrast. These two women, Amaya and Seshani, cosplay Wonder Woman in SriLanka Comic-Con and got much negative feedback according to of their race despite that Wonder Woman supposed to be the white American girl. Moreover, a group of locals who decided to ridicule them by posting their Wonder Women pictures on social media, and creating online memes, body shaming and mocking their appearance. She is too skinny, said one message, targeting Amaya. They should do what they are good at, said another, targeting both women. After Pasan_Mathisha posted on his twitter and reached out to Patty Jenkins the director of Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot, an actress of Wonder Woman, then people started to cheer them and encourage Amaya and Seshani to continue doing what they love.
Media Theory from this case: Megaphone. Since the group of people who dont like these girls use it to make an awful reaction on her cosplay, now that someone stands for her like Pasan_Mathisha and he shouted it loud enough that others could hear and went to support Amaya and Seshani. Use of social media #cosplayisnotconsent. In many cases of sexual harassment reports rising 13% from 2012 to 2013, cosplayers demanded the convention to include a policy to protect cosplayers and aware other attendances. Until in 2014, a significant sign of Cosplay is Not Consent showed up in New York Comic Con by ReedPop, the social media started to use this hashtag contribute to the movement.
The first one who uses #cosplayisnotconsent on social media is Twitter username @BackupRibbon an organization that protects geeks from any harassment. Meagan Marie, game developer, and PR cosplay Lara Croft is the one who got consent after she wrote about her experience of the press who interview her used the words cosplay is consent and asked to see her naked. Her story was led to the beginning of the #cosplayisnotconsent on twitter.
The casting of Cosplay is Not Consent also rise along with SlutWalk movement in the same year. In 2011, SlutWalk movement was the protest of woman dress up less or more to say that its not an invitation to rape someone from what they wore. They aim to end rape-culture, victim blaming and slut shaming.
Cosplay Is Not Consent; the concept focused on warning than protection therefore many people separate this topic away from Cosplay Is Not Consent to other feminist movements. Still, some people used both #yesallwoman on the case when theres harassment on female cosplayer. Furthermore, #metoo also another hashtag that used in cosplayer community as well, when one got uncomfortable or feel insecure in convention and because this hashtag is more open for both genders. The only difference is that #Metoo is generally for everyone while Cosplay is not Consent is more of the woman in costume which also not an original costume but associate with the fictional character.
Driving Question: Can this cycle be able to break down using social media?
So far, it is hard to gather people to build up the force or March to eliminate this issue. Just the same as other drama, after criminal got social pressure and faded away from what they cause and people eventually stop talking about their problem, they will come back and live as usual or do the same as they did. Therefore, the only thing that resident of this community can do is to help each other out, comfort the victims and watch out for each other in the event. As a result, people in this community made a video or filming interview to show what other participants in convention should do or should not do to cosplayers.
Overall Media theory on Bunker aspect. The cosplayer and community use social media to protect themselves also to fight back and regain their confidence.Cosplay is Not Consent used the media to raise the awareness of the right of cosplayers expression and to interact with others in both good and bad way, also protect those who got harassment both physical and verbal. Thus social media is a tool as a well as a haven for them to enlighten as well as seek protection from the prying eyes of those disapproving them and their costumes. It serves to create a community and subculture from within that seeks to get acceptance from its own.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Washington: Simon and Schuster, 2004. Print.
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