Too Fat To Join The Fun: Body Shaming and Cosplay

Update (10/4/2014): I was recently contacted to clear up a misattribution in the article below. Please note that the quoted transcript of the Heroes of Cosplay episode 2 conversation previously stated that Jessica Merizan was one of those speaking. It has since been corrected after I was contacted by Ms. Merizan and the proper speaker was attributed. My apologies to Ms. Merizan for the confusion and any trouble it may have caused. 

As it is the week after New York Comic Con, I am spending my time recovering from my heady infusion of nerd culture. Yet instead of happily recounting various wonderful experiences I had at NYCC this year, I am writing this article. And it starts with an apology.

I’m sorry. I didn’t know, guys! You can’t hold it against me. I’m simply a busy woman who doesn’t have the time to keep up on all the tiny bits of minutia and unwritten rules that make up parts of the geek world. It just isn’t my fault that folks didn’t tell me right off the bat that there are rules about who can and cannot cosplay. I wasn’t informed that, if you are fat or ugly, then cosplay is just not for you.

I’m glad I found out! I mean, what would have happened if I’d started my upcoming cosplay plans only to discover all that money had been spent for nothing and…

Wait. Wait, what was that? Hang on. Let me get this straight: there aren’t any such unwritten rules? Cosplay is open to anyone who might want to be involved, regardless of who they are or what they look like? That it’s a culture based upon geek celebration and creative displays of fabrication and not the perpetuation of horrible beauty stereotypes that we encounter in every part of our society? You mean there’s a place in cosplay for someone that looks like me?

Really? Because to listen to some people, you could have fooled me.

Heroes-of-Cosplay-logo-wide-560x2821Case in point: Syfy channel recently showcased a new reality series called Heroes of Cosplay. This show followed the antics of several well known cosplayers as they went from convention to convention with their costumes, entering competitions and generally getting into the dramatic hijinks one expects from a reality TV show. I was excited to sit down and watch this show despite my nearly allergic level aversion to reality TV because I was excited to see how these supposed ‘heroes of cosplay’ went about picking their projects and making their costumes. And while there was a great deal of that going on, I was also treated to a good look at some 100% home grown USDA brand body shaming. The first episode showed a young woman struggling with her confidence over how she looked in her Merida costume. That was excusable. Here is a young woman feeling self-conscious, something anyone can identify with. The fact that later on in the episode she made it clear she believed she lost the competition because of her weight started to be a little uncomfortable.

By episode two, we had spiraled directly into body shaming. During a meet-up between all the contestants, several of the women agreed that if you are bigger you shouldn’t cosplay. In the uncomfortable silence, only Chloe Dykstra spoke up to defend the right of anyone to cosplay. If the editing on the show is to be believed, she was largely disagreed with or either the subject was ignored. The transcript of what was said goes as follows: Yaya Han started the conversation “Cosplay pet peeves.”

Riki LeCotey: People are obviously, like, ‘well, I’m really big, what can I do?’ And it’s like, if you’re a big muscular dude, go be Superman.

Chloe Dykstra: I think anybody should be whatever they want to be, whatever.

Riki LeCotey: But the thing is, if a three-hundred pound person wears Superman, and they put themselves out there, and then it gets on the net, how is that gonna help?

Chloe Dykstra: I mean, I guess, but do you think because of that they shouldn’t dress up as Superman?

Monika Lee: I think a lot of people can’t handle that criticism.

Yaya Han: I feel like as a cosplayer you have the responsibility to know what you look like. You have to really look at yourself in the mirror and know, you know, if my boobs are out I’m going to get **** comments.

Must be so hard, thinking you're the top of the game and dumping on other people.
Must be so hard, thinking you’re the top of the game and dumping on other people.

It is important to note that the conversation was heavily edited by the production staff. It seems clear that the conversation was lead so that these women would give statements that could be edited out of context. However, it is important to note that these women signed on to put their names to whatever came out of the production to represent them in the public eye. Moreover, they signed on to become known as a ‘hero’ of the cosplay community, a representative on camera of the ideas that make up cosplay.  Whether these statements were manufactured by the production company after the fact or not, these reality TV stars were willing to be associated with the sentiment. This, coupled with ongoing commentary during episodes by ‘celebrity’ judge Yaya Han regarding overall body shaming (slut-shaming another big-name cosplayer Jessica Nigri over what she thought was showing too much skin) makes Heroes of Cosplay a train wreck of an example of the cosplay community. ‘Heroes’ indeed. I’m not impressed.

The outcry from the cosplayers I have spoken to and seen online has been heated about the show. Many have pointed out that these so-called ‘heroes’ don’t speak for the cosplay community and that it is largely a place where people can come to just have a good time. Yet despite that outcry, there is still the lurking specter of fat shaming. There are blog posts around the internet about situations in which overweight cosplayers are called out, publicly embarrassed or harassed online. ohnoes

And if that wasn’t bad enough, there are the websites dedicated to fat-shaming folks for just trying. Because I feel like this is bad enough to warrant some public attention, I’m going to simply point to the worst of them out there in their troll-laiden glory. I’m calling out that putrid little website Cosplay Train Wrecks under their ‘fattie’ category. Then there’s this gem, called “Americans Fail At Cosplay, So Stop!” That’s right, America, just stop cosplaying. We’re all doing it wrong.  There’s Your Cosplay Sucks that decides to pick on… well, just about everybody.

One particular heinous example got my attention this week. It’s the reason I’m writing this article in the first place. It’s called Fat Cosplayers and it’s a Facebook group. The photos put up are taken from other cosplay sites and tagged with comments including calling people ‘whale’ and equally offensive things. (I urge folks to take a second and report the site to Facebook if you can). The creator decided to mark it as ‘a joke’ as if that makes it better. Because that’s what trolls do to make everything okay again after they say offensive things. They remark that ‘it’s just a joke.’

Let’s get one thing straight: this is not funny.

Body shaming was something I was made aware of the instant I became aware of cosplay. I was told it’s part of ‘what to expect’. It’s one of the reasons I balked at the very idea of putting on a costume at conventions. I’ve personally witnessed fat shaming as well as ‘ugly’ cosplayer shaming from folks at conventions of all kinds, from snickering behind hands to flat-out snarky, nasty comments aimed at people while they were in earshot. It was upon examination of a lot of these situations that I hit upon the heart of the matter. While there may be those within the cosplay community who are critical of other people’s work and their representation of characters, the predominant amount of body shaming and ridicule doesn’t seem to be coming from other cosplayers. It’s the cosplay spectators doing the shaming. It’s everybody else. The rudeness out of people’s mouths are from photographers, media of all kinds, lookie-loos and fellow con attendees who come to gawk or take photos with cosplayers, as though they were some kind of wildlife attraction, and then often trash the people they don’t find appropriate.

Excuse me, cosplay audience, but let me ask the question: who the hell are you to judge other people’s fun?

It takes a lot for someone to stand on the sidelines and point at someone and laugh. It’s high school bullshit, immature childish behavior at its worst. And it honestly has to end. This kind of bullshit body shaming is something I have zero patience or tolerance for in the rest of the world, and I certainly wouldn’t want to see it in a geek community. Thankfully there seem to be plenty of cosplayers, including and especially plus sized cosplayers, who are standing up and speaking out against all the negativity. And right now, I’m saying this: I’m going to be one of them.

And this is going to be my first costume. Ellierender Yeah. That’s right. Ellie from Borderlands 2.

For a long time, I was afraid to cosplay because I didn’t want to deal with whatever negative attention might fly my way for being heavy. I was afraid of the comments and I let it stop me. That’s not going to happen anymore. I’m going to cosplay. I’m going to cosplay stuff that isn’t just Ursula from the Little Mermaid (though I plan on doing a kickass 80’s punk Ursula because screw you, that’s why, haters, I’m going to make her more badass than before). And with every step of doing it, I’m going to say the same thing: I’m not here for the haters, but the haters gonna hate. And if they hate in my general direction, they’re going to hear back from me.

To quote Chloe Dykstra on Heroes of Cosplay:

I don’t know who made up these rules. There’s like some grand cosplay lord who’s like, “You shall not cosplay something if you are overweight!” That’s ridiculous. Cosplay is about having fun and being who you are and who you want to be.

Call that naive all you want, Yaya Han, but that seems to be the real spirit of the cosplay community, not the elitist crap being tossed around. And I for one want to be part of THAT community, with that spirit of inclusion. That’s where I’ll be with my cosplay, my support, and my war face for anyone who wants to step. Until then, I’m going to make my costumes and have a good time. Haters, slink back off to the anonymous internet holes you crawled out of – that’s where you belong.


    1. The costume you picked is fine. It makes you look like Wreck em Ralph.
      Which is appropriate. It’s when obviously disgusting fat bodies dress up in revealing or “sexy” costumes, that the epic fail begins.
      Nobody needs to see some lard ass dressed in a Ms Marvel costume.

      1. Well so glad to have your approval. It’s clearly because of the approval of folks who would call others ‘lard ass’ that I go out in costume. Because I costume for the sake of what trolls like you want to see.

        Comments like yours are entirely why I speak out against fat shaming. So thanks for being an abject lesson.

      2. Oh? What about the sleazy tarts in the Slave Leia outfits? You know the ones, the ones that are rail-thin and need to have a burger or something before they keel over from malnutrition and are only there for the attention?

        Oh, and while I’m at it, the sword cuts both ways, what about those pimply faced stringbean boys who think they can cosplay as Superman?

      3. Yea, I agree with you on they shouldn’t wear “sexy” or “revealing” cosplays at that size. Im quite chubby but when I cosplay, I cosplay as characters that would fit my body type.

      4. Right, because nobody thinks it’s okay for people over a size 6 to show skin or try to be sexy. It’s not like there are entire categories on porn sites specifically about fat girls… oh wait.
        But it’s not like Yaya has ever cosplayed a character outside her bodytype, such as a flat-chested videogame or anime girl… oh wait.
        Well, at least we know male cosplayers never, ever costume outside their bodytype… oh wait. (Man-Faye, anyone? Or 85% of the Deadpool & Batman cosplayers?)

        Maybe if you & Yaya pulled your body-shaming heads out of your ass & stopped trying to be the Cosplay Police, you’d learn that beauty standards are entirely subjective, and that most people don’t give a damn if that Faye Valentine cosplayer is 95 lbs. or 300 lbs.

    2. i felt horrified having watched the episode. If you are recreating a characters costume why should want you look like matter. Isn’t it about having fun and including people and not about a 24 inch waist. Lost respect for Yaya.

    3. youre fucking fat and thats ok i guess. but if you want to cosplay a character thats 150 pounds and you weigh 250 pounds it only makes you look like a fat idiot. but thats ok cuz ill be on this earth longer than you land whales. ever notice that the oldest people alive are not fat? fat’ll kill you dont celebrate it dont flaunt it dont be ashamed of it ether. and yes i did remember to check my privilege shits cash yo

      1. You’re a very obvious little troll. I think you’re overcompensating for something, maybe?
        Funny how plenty of people don’t care if someone perfectly fits their cosplay character’s bodytype (see: nearly every rail-thin girl that cosplays Felicia from Darkstalkers), and plenty of people above the “underwear model” weight category live longer lives than people who starve themselves to stay thin. Hell, look at most of the Polynesian islands, where the average build is much heavier than in the US, but people tend to live much longer.

        I really wish these trollish little boys & fashion-magazine worshippers would get a clue…

  1. No its not right. But at the same time, its us who allow the judgment of these people to dictate what is acceptable.

    I suppose its up to us to do the things we love without fear.

    For the people who spend too much time judging others instead of living their lives, lets just feel sorry they have to thrive on bringing others down.

    I remember when the heart of cosplay was just fan’s uniting and appreciating their fandoms. ~ Now its like everything else elite and mainstream. (meaningless crap)

    Let’s bring back the awesome. ~ ❤

  2. Yaya should talk right? By her mode of thinking she shouldn’t be cosplaying any female character that’s even remotely attractive because honestly the majority of her “sexy” cosplays make me throw up in my mouth a little. .

    1. I’m not much about shaming anyone about what they look like, even if I disagree with their actions. So calling out what Yaya looks like ain’t really kosher in my book either.

  3. Well said! I am particularly concerned with this topic, because I have a brilliant 6 year-old daughter who is obsessed with costuming and make-up. We’ve watched every episode of Heroes of Cosplay together at least 5 times. I have to stop all the time and explain that cosplay isn’t like what they show just on that show. I want her to see the fabrication, the dedication and the fun of cosplaying. I understand why the show included that conversation – it is REALLY relevant to cosplay right now because I’ve heard dozens of conversations just like that one at conventions. I was just disappointed in what the elite cosplayers had to say. Kudos to Chloe Dykstra, though. That’s the attitude I’m trying to instill in my daughter.

    I’ve started seeking out better material for my daughter to watch. Just yesterday I came across this one from Beat Down Boogie, which is basically 40 miniutes of Dragon Con costumes in one big party of inclusiveness. I loved every minute of it and so did she. Here’s that video:

    I am always working to give my daughter the best self-worth I can, and I hope we can push more of these shaming trolls to the sidelines of irrelevance.

  4. One of my favorite mantras:
    “I LOOK good,
    I FEEL good,
    I AM good!
    And if YOU don’t like me… you can HIDE in the BUSHES and WATCH!’

  5. Jessica Merizan thinks the problem is that people “can’t handle that criticism”? Now we know what goes on in her head every time she sees a fat Commander Shepard. Her thin veneer of being a welcoming community leader for Bioware is sure wearing off fast.

      1. This is actually a mistake in attribution on my part. The correction has been made in the article – my apologies to Jessica for getting the quote wrong.
        – Shoshana

  6. Well it wouldnt kill you guys to get thin and go on a diet… but seriously if you dont look the part dont cosplay it, theres many large characters cosplay them, if you arent ashamed of your weight you shouldnt be ashamed to cosplay heavier characters!

    1. This is probably going to blow your mind, but some people are totally happy being fat, and actually do not want to be skinny.

      1. Agreed, Aaron.
        And on top of that, not everyone’s size is just a simple matter of “going on a diet.” There’s a LOT of biological, genetic, biomorphic (meaning your body’s skeletal frame & tendency toward muscle/fat), and even medical factors at play. A significant portion of heavier people aren’t even unhealthy; they’re just naturally built that way. Then you have people who are like sumo wrestlers (incredibly fit, mostly muscle in fact!), who just have wide hips and/or ribcages (which no diet can shrink), and even people who LOOK fit but are still considered overweight.
        And what about Yaya Han cosplaying as characters that are supposed to be flat-chested? Is that allowed, and if so, why the double-standard?

        By the “cosplay within your bodytype” logic, only guys who look like they take steroids or weight-lift should cosplay Batman, Superman, any male Dragonball character, etc. No prosthetics or chubby nerds in spandex allowed. And only people who look pre-pubescent should cosplay as Tiny Tina, Ed from Cowboy Bebop, or Misty from Pokemon.
        Where do you draw the line? “You can only cosplay inside your race”? There goes 98% of all anime cosplays in the US! “You can only cosplay your birth-assigned sex”? So much for crossplay.
        Telling people they have to look EXACTLY like the character they’re portraying, at least as closely as possible, goes against the very creative spirit of cosplay. Furthermore, it’s shallow & elitist, not to mention bordering on bullying. Body-shaming causes psychological harm, ffs. People have committed suicide because everyone around them said they were “too fat.” (Those victims included girls who were average weight, but didn’t starve themselves to fit a stupid heroin-chic idea of beauty, btw.)

  7. I don’t know what being heavy is like, I’ve always been a size four at the most, but I do know body shaming is incredibly stupid. You get it if you’re chubby and if you’re thin. In society’s eyes you’re either anorexic/bulimic or a walking, talking sumo wrestler. Cosplay is something you’re supposed to enjoy and get creative with. Body shaming another cosplayer is almost a sacrilege. It takes the fun out of cosplay. If you need to nitpick about others appearances, you’re just insecure about your own.

  8. Cosplaying is fantasy, not impersonation, so why shouldn’t anybody be able to dress up like whoever they want to play? It’s looking at male-oriented fantasy material that makes *me* throw up in my mouth a little, because I don’t want my daughter (or any of the gamers she hangs out with) thinking that’s what it means to look good. I’ve had to listen many times over the years to male friends hating on women they think shouldn’t be wearing the costumes they’re wearing, and I have found it hard to speak my truth to the extent I feel like I should. There are some prejudices that people just feel entitled to have, even if they’ve done a lot of work to overcome others. I personally don’t enjoy costuming nearly as much as I used to, and though there are other reasons as well, knowing that my body doesn’t resemble any stereotyped ideals any more is definitely one of them. I want to look good if I’m going to draw attention to myself, and it’s hard to find ways to look good to myself in my current body. It feels sad to say that in so many words, even tho I’ve been aware of it for some years now. But there it is. My daughter likes costuming, so at least I get to have fun helping *her* dress up….

  9. Yea no. Of course a fat person would want to cosplay Ellie- shes fat. I have NO idea why we’ve become so accepting of fat.
    OBESITY- THE NUMBER ONE KILLER IN THE U.S. And we’re all sitting here going “Be nice. It hurts her feelings.” Well loose weight.

    Height- you can’t help.
    Race- you can’t help.
    Weight- You can help. Skinny character? Be skinny. Fat character? Be fat (at your own risk).

    Fat is not beautiful. And seeing my favorite characters looking like blimps isn’t beautiful either.

    AND YES.
    I’m muscular and fit and happy. I live a healthy lifestyle. Try it.

    1. Some people really can’t help their weight. Some of us have medical reasons for being overweight and even then, some medical reasons are the cause for being unable to lose weight. There is stress, depression, hypothyroidism and Syndrome X (hyperinsulinemia). Some medications people take even cause weight gain with a healthy diet.

      My story? I’ve always been overweight. Ever since I was little and I’ve struggled with that all of my life. When I was younger, I may not have eaten right or got as much exercise as I should have (preferring to hide in my room and read books) but for several years now, I have been struggling to lose weight. I eat right and I exercise and although I’ve hardly lost any weight, I feel great. So I have a few extra pounds (or 30) to get rid of. So I’m a bit obese and therefor “unhealthy”. I know that I eat right and I exercise and so what other people think doesn’t matter. I feel great in my own skin and I am sure that with time, I will lose that extra 30 lbs I need to get rid of to be “healthy”, not skinny (I’d be 150 and that’s a few extra pounds but the lightest I’d be in years).

      So, why did it take me so long to start being healthy and to try and lose some weight? People like you. Do you even know how damaging it is to someone’s mind and confidence when they are called a blimp? Trust me, very damaging. See causes for weight gain: depression. It’s people like you calling us out for being fat that destroys our self confidence and causes some to be depressed and to gain more weight. Want to know why? Makes us think there is nothing we can do to prevent it. Makes us think that even if we were to lose some weight, people would laugh at our efforts just like they do now and we give up. No one likes to be laughed so we avoid it and just let it continue and learn to live with it. Think you’re being helpful? You’re not. We already know we are fat and yes, we know it’s not healthy. Some of us are okay with being fat and some of us are trying to lose it. We don’t need people like you trying to bring us down and reminding us that we are overweight by calling us blimps. We know and quite frankly, some of us just don’t care.

      If I want to cosplay a “skinny” character, I’m going to cosplay that character. I’m going to put my heart and soul into making that cosplay. I’m going to love it and hate it as I try to sew it together and make all the pieces. I’m going to get frustrated with it and most likely put it off for a couple days only to return to it to finish it later. And when I get to that con, I’m going to look FANTASTIC, FEEL FANTASTIC and you can bet your “muscular and fit” body that I am not going to look like some blimp. I’m going to look like that skinny character and I’m going to look good in it too. No matter what. Cause you know what? Fat is still beautiful. It’s only people like you that make this world ugly.

      1. Doctor Who themed names for the win! 🙂 I loved Ace, she was awesome.

        Anyway, love that attitude. Discrimination sucks.
        I’m trying to lose weight too. Right now, I’m 165 and I’ve lost over 100 pounds total on Weight Watchers and plan to lose more. My pulse/bloodpressure, recently checked, was almost perfect and I’m going to get my blood tested soon so hopefully I’m not too high in cholesterol and not pre-diabetic (family history, one of the factors of poor health and low metabolic rate). I had been on steroids when I was younger for asthma and had poor diet and both led to my weight gain. Fortunately, in my few experiences in cosplay, I have not had any comments about my weight (at least not to my face). But in a week or two I go to my first big convention, rather than the small events I went to, so wish me luck.
        I’m going to cosplay as Vislor Turlough for a convention but haven’t yet decided whether to cosplay him as male or female.
        Point is, I’m cosplaying a character that’s skinnier than I and a different gender and hair color and species. Do I care? Nope, I’m going to cosplay as him anyway, suit jacket, tie and all! And my mom is going as Five so we’ll be a team!

    2. Oh eff off.
      I went on a medication that RUINED my perfect body. Despite the exercise and dieting I went up 70 pounds.
      I used to want to do alt modeling but I’ve given up on that dream thanks to the opinions of asshats like you because yeah, I do have a thin skin. I do give a shit what others think.
      I’m healthy as FUCK but this medication just keeps attacking me and no, I can’t live without it. Some days though, I’d rather be dead and thin then heavy and alive.

    3. VaVaBoom– Someone being fat is absolutely none of your concern, if you really don’t like it, you can look away and keep your hate to yourself.

      Fat isn’t near as accepted as it should be. That is why there’s so many people having to speak out against body-shamers like you.

      Some people actually have medical conditions that make it hard/impossible to lose weight. Others choose to be overweight because they feel no shame in it, which is how it should be. Just because someone is fat does NOT mean they are unhealthy. Just because someone is fat does NOT mean they can’t wear what they want. No one should try telling anyone else what they can and cannot wear. It’s their choice and if they feel good in what they’re wearing, let them be.

      Also. It’s spelt “lose” not loOse. That’s like a loose screw, which you apparently have.

    4. Actually there are cases where the Fat can’t be helped. Where the weight can’t be changed. Here you go judging again. Look it up. Lipedema or Lipoedema, Lymphedema are both causes of this particular thing. People like are the reason I wasn’t diagnosed until only a year ago, but it turns out.. I’ve had it since the fourth grade. People like you are the reason that it’s impossible for me to go out and cosplay without feeling ashamed and horrible. That goes to all the comments about, ” Well have you tried not being fat?” Yeah.. I literally can’t without several expensive surgeries. So because I was born this way you expect me not to ever go out, have fun, dress the way I want and the way that makes me most comfortable to salvage what your ideals of beauty are? Yeah.. that makes sense. Let me base my life on what others think.

    5. That is absolutely naive to think that fat and healthy are mutually exclusive. Or that thin and healthy are mutually inclusive. I am at the very very edge of my weight bracket on the low end. If I dropped 5 lbs I would be technically underweight. I cosplay and have been complimented on my body many times and it makes me really upset because I am very unhealthy. I am sick and have a health condition that keeps me so thin. I am tired and depressed a lot of the time any wish I could be healthy and happy. Being thin does not mean you are healthy. At all. There are worse things in this world than to be 30lbs overweight, ok?
      Sometimes I see people who are heavier who look happy and fit and I *envy* them because they do not live with chronic illness. The amount of fat on your body does not determine your health and that is a very very ignorant and narrow way to view things.

      But cosplay is an escape, it is fun, it is something where I can forget my troubles for a while and live in the worlds of characters I love. I can learn skills, meet new friends, and make cherished memories. That is what it should be for everyone. Regardless of size.

      Also, I understand that I have privilege in the cosplay world that I do not necessarily deserve simply for being thin, but I try to use it to speak out for Cosplayers of all body types when I get people who will only listen to me. It is disgusting some people will listen to my opinion only because I am thin but I try to use it to my advantage. sometimes I can change people’s views sometimes I can’t but I try because cosplay is for *everyone* and I will fight tooth and nail to make sure where ever I am, at the very least, any cosplayer feels welcome by someone.

      1. Your comment made my day, and echoed what I have been saying for years, after I studied fat shaming in my sexual politics class. A century ago western society viewed thin women as “ill or diseased” and advertising was specifically aimed at these women implying men would never be attracted to them unless they gained weight. As the decades passed, advertising started to target fat people too and now it has become so extreme that people are willing to take unhealthy risks to keep the weight off. Anyone who thinks all people were meant to be one single body type a) doesn’t know anything about evolution, and 2) is weak minded for buying into media messages about fat. Even the medical community has bought into it in large part, but if you read any study on obesity closely enough, you will realize fat is not the CAUSE of health problems, but rather a symptom of sedentary lifestyle, the lifestyle that causes the illness. Fat itself is being conflated to causation rather than correlation, which is a fundamental misunderstanding of the research. Thin and fat people can lead the same sedentary lifestyle that leads to heart disease. No doctor worth your time will tell you “He died of fatness/obesity” because they should know that fat does not necessarily equal unhealthy. My younger sister spent nearly 4-7 hours exercising everyday when she was in color guard. Our mother never bought us junk food. We had the same diet, yet even though I only worked out an hour every day, she was still fatter than me. You can only work so far with what genetics gives you. Now that I am older I have gained some weight, and let me tell you, the older you get the harder it is to keep the weight off. There are so many things that go into the weight you are than just food and exercise. Anyone who thinks otherwise has fallen for a lie and really needs to reevaluate their standards. Porn and Bill boards are a fantasy, guys. I think most models will also tell you their job is stressful because they have to starve. I remember that being a big issue in America’s Next Top Model. The women had a very difficult time staying a size 0. There is nothing wrong with being a size 00 to a size 30,etc. Be you, live healthy, and don’t let anyone tell you how to be as long as you know what you are doing is right you shouldn’t have any worries. And just remember, a little fat or thinness is a lot easier to cure (genetics and medical problems aside) than a hateful, bitter, petty heart. Socialized hate is a helluva disease to battle, folks.

        Furthermore, your comment also gave me a new perspective on thinness. People need to stop envying /hating on those who are skinny because you never know if that person could be battling a medical or mental disease. Bodies are bodies, and what the media would have us believe about them has very little in common with reality. The next time I’m feeling fat, I will try to remain empathetic and realize that somewhere out there, there may be a thin or fat person who envies me and is fighting their own battle to lose or gain that 15lbs. We all need to take a step back and love ourselves. You only have one life to live. Do you want to spend it wishing for something you don’t have, or appreciating what you are blessed with? Treat yourself with love and any depression that haunts you due to the comments of others, will start to mean less and less. Set a good exam example for others by being yourself and not giving in to hate.

    6. And I wager you can afford to eat good food, and have time in your day to go to the gym.

      Most barely live on their wages, spend most of their day at work or sleeping from said job, and only have enough time to stop by a fast food place.

      Trust me… That’s what most of that problem is, and having 1 or 2 days off a week alone won’t cut off that weight. It’s taken me 2 YEARS unemployed to go from 380 to 275. And I wager most of it has been the fact I’ve not had much food to start with and have had to walk EVERYWHERE as I can’t afford mass transit.

      You talk down to those that are overweight, and your tone is still a “Fat Shaming” tone. Don’t talk like it’s easy and don’t insult the people you’re trying to encourage!

    7. Just a little FYI, body-shaming is NOT going to solve the “obesity problem”. If you want someone to change, arguing about it may “feel good” to you but won’t make it happen. Furthermore, making healthy foods more affordable as opposed to the Banquet meals that aren’t healthy but are more affordable will go a long way.

    8. Hey, thanks for saying to everyone else tha fat isn’t beautiful. Neither is a walking sack of literal skin and bones. And Ik im fat yet i get more boys than those twigs. Ive got TNA baby, which boys want more than a living skeleton.

    9. Ok I hear what you are saying, i am battling my weight, my heaviest being close to six hundred pounds, no I’m not proud if that fact, but i have a health condition that caused me to gain weight rapidly. I now have my health under control, but i haven’t lost all the weight that i want to. Now i don’t think you should judge anyone without knowing there story. If you don’t want to see a fat super hero turn your head, never body shame anyone, it’s not your place. Suggesting that someone lose weight would be like someone telling you to stay away from the gym. Be nice.

    10. Va Va Voom: You might look nice now, but all of the “healthy eating/exercising” won’t help you escape fate. One of these days, you’ll get old. Your body will betray you. You’ll be able to move less, and you’ll put on a few pounds. You’ll feel like crap, and you’ll treat others like crap, because that’s all you know. You will sink into a deep depression, and like everyone, you’ll die alone. Some of us, on the other hand, will accept death with a certain grace because we learned long ago what is important in life, and being vain isn’t it. We’ll die alone, but we’ll have family and friends surrounding us while we die, mourning us and reliving the good memories that we shared, because they loved us as a person, not just some temporarily beautiful shell. Fat may not be beautiful to you, but to some if us, it doesn’t matter, because we see the beautiful creative spirit beneath the surface, and that is beautiful.

  10. That Facebook link is dead but there’s a new one. I couldn’t decide how to report it, I click “hateful” but then it asks you to pick a catagory (race, religion, etc) and there just isn’t one that fits. =\

  11. @VaVaBoom I am a healthy weight, I’m right in center of my BMI but I am not a size 4. I don’t think I ever have been but I am normal. The problem is a normal weight is now considered fat. So the standards change, thigh gaps and all that silly nonsense. You know what “fat” women tend to have, some rockin boobs that really fill out a tight top. We don’t have to buy them or stuff them. We also have a butt and thighs. I haven’t seen many super model cosplayers even on the facebook pages that showcase girls in the outfits. Why? Because they are too short and heavy to become a regular model so they found a niche. Good for them. But that doesn’t mean I can’t dress like any character I want because they don’t qualify for a fashion model.

  12. Vava… I agree that obesity is unhealthy, but it is also that person’s business. I cosplay because I love the characters I’m dressing as…. Many times those characters are of the opposite sex….and I’m fat. I’m not huge, but I heavier than I want to be. I’m over 40, a mother of 3 and trying to lose the weight, but it’s not easy… It’s a long arduous process. I’m not going to stop cosplaying till I lose the weight. I don’t give a rats ass if you don’t like what you see. I don’t cosplay for YOU or anyone else that wants to tell me I shouldn’t wear whatever because I’m a rather large female…. I cosplay for ME…. Because I love these characters, because I love the creativity involved in designing a costume and making it with my own hands, because I’m still the little girl inside who wishes Halloween was everyday. I’m very glad you are muscular and fit and happy. Go you! I will get there, but I changed my lifestyle and eating habits for me for my health, not because I care that someone who is fit can’t bear to look at me in my costume… If you don’t like it, don’t friggin look!

  13. Thats a ridiculous comment how about then we tell all the girls with no boobs nor ass that they can’t cosplay any characters with big boobs, curvy, and big butt i.e. miss marvel, black cat, black canary..etc how many character s does that leave for the itty bitty titty comity and or that anyone who doesn’t have muscles like those characters can’t be them either and no I’m not hating on anyone or being judgemental I’m just saying if your going to be picky why just fat people and yaya han sorry last time I checked jessica rabbot or other characters she cosplays aren’t asian sooo…maybe she should follow her own and only cosplay asian characters this whole thing is stupid if you love a character you should be ableto cosplay them no matter your size skin color gender age boob size anything just have fun and be who you wanna be fuck everyone else!

  14. I think it’s all in the attitude of the cosplayer. When people are self-conscious, it brings attention to whatever they’re self-conscious about. I’ve met people who were so funny and just having such a good time that I didn’t even notice they were 100 lbs. overweight. Their will always be mean/rude people though, so be able to handle it and move on.

  15. I’ve never cosplayed but I’ve always thought it looked fun, however I’m 5’5″ tall and about 30lbs overweight so I’m rather self-conscious about my body image. With that in mind I was googling “cosplay for short chubby guys” when I came across this blog post. I think everything you say is spot on regarding having the freedom to dress up however you want, and I agree that nobody should “body shame” someone for it. That being said, I’d be lying if I said when I see a picture of someone morbidly obese dressed up as a character who is fit and attractive I didn’t think to myself “Oh, that’s unfortunate”. I mean, I wouldn’t dress up as Spider-man because I know I would not look particular pleasing in spandex, but when I reflect on the reasons why, it’s more of a self-image issue, as in I wouldn’t like the way I look dressed that way. So I suppose if a person is comfortable with the way they look, then who is anyone else to tell them they can’t do it? At least that’s my take on the matter. But since I don’t have that kind of “who gives a fuck” attitude and confidence, I think if I do end up cosplaying, I’ll probably choose something a little more fitting of my body type, perhaps a hobbit lol.

  16. I think you should do a gallery of plus size cosplay with positivity all over it. I would be happy to send my “Zombie Prostitue” (from Voltaires song) pic to you- to showcase plus size women in cosplay who are having fun. Email me if your interested and want my picture.

  17. I sincerely hope I get to see many of you at Fanime this weekend! I bet you will all look gorgeous!

  18. Actually, I saw a photo of someone who did Ellie from Boarderlands and it was by far one of the coolest costumes I have ever seen. The care that went into that costume was mind-boggling. The Ellie idea, is quite frankly, brilliant.

      1. Typically the femme fatale’s within the world of anime are not obese. This is the aesthetic choice of the artist. Making a mockery of the original content by shoehorning ‘body positive’ obese wannabe’s into these costumes is not beautiful, not faithful to the artistic vision and really hard to defend as a choice.

      2. That’s something only the artist can argue and it doesn’t excuse what you said earlier. And before you even thin of criticizing ME, I’ll let you know I’m a 5″8′ 110 pound 16 year-old, you socially inept jerk.

    1. so can black people cosplay? can asians? caucasians? if you’re going to be a fuckwit, at least be consistent about it. and maybe, while you’re at it, you could answer this: who is it actually offending? you? sorry, but that’s not an acceptable answer. haven’t you even stopped to think, for a second, that an ARTIST might see someone (anyone!) cosplaying as one of THEIR characters, as one of the most sincerest forms of flattery? but hey, yea i guess you’re right – people who have had absolutely nothing to do with the creative process of the “art” you’re so avidly defending do have the right to be the utmost authority on these kinds of things. how silly of us all to be so naive and “open minded”.

      1. Not as if the cosplayers own the characters they dress up as, anyway… after all, Yaya is not remotely the first (or even the best) person to cosplay as Morgan from Darkstalkers. She doesn’t own the rights to the character.
        Also, beauty is subjective. As is “fat,” for that matter. Some people think anyone whose weight is in the triple digits is “gross and fat.” Others don’t see a problem until it’s actively affecting the person’s mobility. Hell, the idea that “skinny = hot” is maybe a century old; for the rest of human history, a few extra pounds meant you were 1) eating more & therefore healthy, and 2) more suited to bearing children.
        You can be overweight & healthy; it’s a scientific fact! You cannot, however, be starving or anorexic & healthy. Something to think about.

      2. Oops… should note that the bit about weight affecting mobility is not meant as a “this is okay to call gross” thing. But I have a friend whose thyroid condition made her gain weight to the point where she can’t walk without a cane, and her friends & family worry about her. None of us judge her, to my knowledge, but sometimes one worries about another’s health when it’s being obviously affected (such as through anorexia,

  19. Thanks for writing this. I gained a lot of weight recently, around the same time I was considering cosplay for the first time, and while I’m going ahead and doing my first costume now (punk chibiusa) I’m still terrified of the judgement of the community. ;^; good luck on your first cosplay!

  20. I don’t get why people turn every conversation about people body shaming into a health thing. Yeah. being overweight can hurt you, and for some people, it’s really hard to get off, but thats not even the point. The point is that there are no “rules” for cosplaying, and you should be able to cosplay no matter how “unacceptable” you might look. Ridiculous.

  21. Thanks for posting this, the sad thing is the shaming doesn’t stop with the body. I’ve had a run in with one of the heroes of cosplay and was talked down to because they thought I was cosplaying as a woman character when I was really cosplaying Ritsu Sohma who is a man

  22. Or, you could just lose the fucking weight and live a happier, healthier life.

    You probably put forth more effort in defending your weight than it takes to lose it.

    1. Well, thanks for proving my point! It’s great when people volunteer to be Exhibit A for jerk behavior.

  23. Very nice post! People are generally very judgemental, it’s just plain awful. I’m pretty small, but I do gave quite bad acne sometimes that’s thought to hide, and it took me a LOT of effort to start cosplaying the little mermaid- and I’ve gotten a LOT of crap for it.

    Still, it’s a character I love, and whoever tells me I’m not pretty enough to be a disney princess can put a cactus up their butt.

  24. I love this post and agree with it fully all except one bit, your comment about photographers makes it sound like we are all like that. Maybe in America it is different but I happily take pictures of people all shapes and sizes. If you ever come to MCM London give me a shout 😀 Tes lord photography (on Facebook)

  25. While holding back on a few words to make me seem less of an asshole, what do you think this article will achieve?
    The vast majority of society are not happy with how they look, and yet you seem to have the need to put your point across in a society which takes appearances as a priority.
    There are many different types of people in this world and you will get some shit, theres no helping that. If you take it to heart every time then you are what is wrong with today.
    If you’re overweight, underweight, have low self confidence or just generally not happy with how you look, do something about it. If you can’t be bothered, then have that same thought process when people comment about it – have a “I don’t give a shit” attitude and carry on your day.
    I feel like I’ve just read a 15 year olds blog trying to change the world, by typing out a rant on the internet and hoping things will change. It won’t change. This is life. Deal with it.

    1. Thank you for your comments. I’m sorry you feel that this is just how the world works. Let me respond by saying:

      No. I don’t have to just ‘deal with it.’

      Since I wrote this one post, literally a day doesn’t go by when people from countries all over the world don’t read it. It’s had an amazing response from people, both positive and negative. Plus at speaking engagements, people ask me about this post and talk about it. People have told me it’s helped them, and it helped me too just writing it.

      The world can have a lot of awful in it. But if wanting to face down bullshit like fat shaming in a post happens to help, in even a small way, then it was worth it.

      And when I get that disgusting treatment on the street? I don’t put up with it. I face it head on, not with a defeated ‘deal with it’ but with a ‘how dare you, be more respectful.’ Because I can. Because it can change. Because life is what you make of it and I personally won’t just lie down and ‘deal’ because other people have issues with seeing fat people in life.

  26. One from me:

    I help to run a cosplay section/masquerade at a convention over here in the UK – It’s great fun, because we honestly don’t care what you look like, so long as you’re willing to go up on stage in front of the audience – Some of our most memorable costumes were made that same day with duct tape and card board, usually filched from a member of the cosplay team. Heck, one guy this year decided to compete in his dinosaur onesie (kigurumi) and be “Godzilla”…prompting a hilarious fight between him and hajime no ippo.

    But anyway, I personally am not a little girl. I have a large chest and am around 12-13 stone (168-182 pounds)… at 5″7 this makes me have bulges which I am always incredibly embarrassed about, and means there’s a lot of characters I won’t consider when I cosplay – The thing is, as a staff member of the cosplay section, I have to actually be an inspiration – I have to be able to make people think “wow, I want to do that too”, so this year I bit the bullet and wore something I would never have done otherwise – a full body PVC catsuit. I literally had to be duct taped into it (duct tape is a cosplayers best friend), and I had to wear a corset so it would sit properly. I could not bend down or sit, for fear of it ripping.

    When I look at the photos of me wearing it, I actually have to admit that I personally cringe, but I received nothing but good responses to wearing it. There were no comments about how I looked terrible or anything like that – in fact, some of the contestants in the masquerade were cheered on by the fact that I was doing something so out of my comfort zone – it made them feel that they were good, and could do whatever they wanted, because I was there to back them up.

    (Seriously, when I looked at the photos, all I can see are lumps, bulges and a rather definite panty line >.>; Along with the duct tape, that is.)

    To be honest, I’ll probably never wear something like that again, but to me, i proved to myself that I can do it, I can walk around in it with confidence and hopefully inspire others to be confident too.

    In essence, I’ve never had to pick anyone out from the masquerade simply because they didn’t look right. You wanna stick plastic cups on your head, turn your t-shirt inside out and be pikachu? sure thing, I’ll find some music.

    You wanna wear a rainbow wig and fight the walking dead guy? Ok, fine by me, what was your badge name?

    It’s how a masquerade should be – competition should be the underlying element, the main element should be having fun and showing off what you’ve made, or even bought because I’m cool with that too.

    You know what? My heroes are the people who get up on that stage and do whatever they like, because they want to.

    (Rambling rant about cosplay masquerade competitions and wearing stuff that you’re not used to)

  27. And the fact that so many of these fattist cosplay sites are American does make me laugh. Biting edge commentary from the most obese nation on the planet. Sheesh. In the UK, there are also many overweight people, but we care so much less. Spend an hour watching US TV and you’ll see an endless parade of skinny ‘pretty’ model-actors. Walk around a US town, and these people on TV don’t exist. This isn’t about cosplay it is about media in general, and TV/movies/magazines have been drifting into ‘must be thin’ culture for years.

    If Humphrey Bogart entered an audition today, he would never get into film. Cosplay is about making people happy by wearing a costume they recognise or identify with, no matter what the background, anime or comics or horror or TV.

    Just ignore the stupid, vapid image-obsessed idiots and maybe, just maybe, the world will ignore them too. They might go away. Be happy, have fun.

  28. I’m not a big girl but I can say that I don’t even like when people do things like this. If you want to cosplay then cosplay it doesn’t matter if your fat or skinny or purple or orange. You are who you are and you should be able to cosplay whatever you want. There’s no secret rules that you have to be drop dead gorgeous and have the most perfect cosplay in the world to even consider cosplaying. I used to cosplay and I’d get costumes from my friends because I didn’t have any money to get my own. Just because I can’t make or buy an amazing cosplay does that mean I shouldn’t cosplay either? That’s stupid if your answer is yes.

  29. My husband and I went to our first con this weekend. I was incredibly apprehensive about our first ever cosplay- we did Lois and Clark, since it was kind of a last minute thing and we ended up making costumes out of just the things we had in our closet. I am not thin. I am short and fat. And I was worried that pictures would show up online of “Fat Lois”, even though my costume was so mundane it seemed unlikely that anyone would even notice me.

    But the community was awesome. There were people in every shape and size and color in all kinds of costumes. The people we talked to were super friendly and we actually had people track us down just to tell us how cool our little thrown together costumes were.

    This weekend we’re going to a larger con and we’ve been working on costumes for months. We’re going as Reno and Aerith from ff7, and again, I can’t help but worry that I’ll be labeled “Fat Aerith”. It’s just really pathetic that so many good costumes get swept under the “Fat version of” rug.

  30. I Think Jessica’s statement, if that was what she actually said, must have been taken out of context. As a matter of fact I remember that episode and conversation and I do not think Jessica was even apart of that dialogue. My family (wife, daughter, and myself) has met Jessica several times and she has never, ever been anything but positive and supportive of anyone doing cosplay. Jessica, Holly, and Chloe have all been very vocal about anyone can cosplay anything they want. I am proud that my 7 year old daughter sees them as role models.

    1. Hey William- Thanks for commenting. I just spoke to Jessica online actually and you are correct! I did misattribute the quote, which has been fixed. As I said in the post, I apologize to Ms. Merizan for my confusion!
      – Shoshana

      1. No worries. From what I know of Jessica and how positive and vocal she has been about cosplay being meant to be a safe, inclusive environment, I was just a little shocked to see the comments and wanted to make sure that I spoke up. Like I stated in my previous post, we have met her a few times and she has always been very happy to see us and gives my daughter hugs. She is just obviously a very kind and caring person and I would not want to see someone like her misrepresented in any way. I thank you for having the strength, maturity, and integrity to correct the mistake and post a public apology. It is not always easy to do the right thing and your actions have given me more respect for you, your page, and your work.

  31. you could just lay off the big macs and actually move you limbs, loose some weight is not a hard thing, i have no quarrel with uglyness, everyone is beautiful in there own way, but same cannot be said for fattys. its not hard to loose weight.

    1. It actually is a hard thing and people like you don’t make it any easier for Big girls to loose weight. If anything It discourages them and makes them feel Depressed(Which can put on and keep weight) and Stressed (Also puts on and keeps on weight). I should know. I had the struggle. It took everything in me to stay on track to get healthy. I didn’t wanna be Skinny. I wanted to be healthy. But people always teasing or saying something about my weight discouraged me and it took me a long time To get where i needed to be so i had a better chance of making it to old age. Some people have a Metabolism issue to where no matter what they try they can’t loose. So Shut your face, you Ignorant Jerk.

    2. It actually is very difficult to lose weight. I’ve been exercising for four hours per day for the past six months and have still only lost 16 lbs. I’m not very much clinically overweight either, but it has been a huge struggle for me. I changed my diet drastically and reduced my calorie intake down to 1000-1200 per day, which is the recommended amount for losing weight. Anything less than that and I would technically be starving myself, which is unhealthy, no matter how you spin. Not everyone who is fat is eating big macs or staying idle. Keeping the weight off or losing it is much more difficult than gaining it. Furthermore, anyone can become overweight. All it takes is 10 lbs to push you over that edge, yet you just act like you’ve got the upper hand on the rest of humanity. See, the thing about being fat, it can happen to anyone. You’re no exception. But some of us don’t believe in judging others based on not fitting a particular manufactured ideal. Because we’re not weak minded like that. But hey, you know better, right? Be careful. One day you might look in the mirror and be shocked to realize you crossed that threshold and didn’t even see it happening until it was too late. Only real difference between you and me: I practice empathy, you don’t. Should you ever gain that extra bit of weight, I’ll be sure to give you the benefit of the doubt about the reasons why. And just a little reminder: most of us will get fat and old one day. We can’t all stay beautiful forever, even if that beauty comes to us naturally or more easily than others. What will really matter in the end, when you are on your death bed: were you nice and respectful towards others, treating all humans who cross your path with dignity? Or did you judge them based on how they looked, thus driving an otherwise nice person away who could have had an amazing impact on your life, but you just couldn’t stand how they looked? What sort of things will people have to say about you when you go? That you were a nice accepting person, or that you pushed people away for being different? What a sad, pathetic waste of life. Fat may be hard to lose (or maybe easy depending who you are), but it’s much harder to cure hate and intolerance.

  32. Hi! Uhh, here’s my opinion. I think cosplay is a really fun thing to do, I’ve never done it, and I don’t think I will anytime soon, but here’s my experience from going to cosplay conventions a couple times. There are a lot of cosplayers who dress up in fantastic costumes and then there are those who do not look like the character they are cosplaying, I’m not just talking about the slightly to morbidly obese people, there are some cosplayers that just don’t look the part.

    I don’t particularly like these cosplayers, personally I feel like it is an insult to the characters that they are cosplaying as, they do not respect the original characters to even look in the mirror and say, “this is not for me”, I don’t know, it just feels wrong. To me, looking like the character is the most basic point to cosplaying, I’m not saying that fat people can’t cosplay, thats just unfair, but I would definitely like if a fat asian kid (btw I’m a fat Singaporean 18 year old) would cosplay as Choji instead of Naruto, wouldn’t it be nicer to be complimented on a spot on representation of Choji rather than a lousy inaccurate version of Naruto? There are plenty of characters that can satisfy cosplayers all over the world, I’m pretty sure Asians like me normally can’t pull off a great Superman, but a healthy average american can surely make a good Superman. while on the topic, african-amrican people can also pull off a good Tosen from bleach or a badass Barret from FFVII, there are so many choices!

    My personal point is, I think other than fun, the most important thing for a cosplayer to take note off should be how they look. Representing a character well, I feel, should be the top priority. Sure you should love and embrace yourself, but having to tolerate fat jokes and racist remarks just so you can be your favourite character seems more like self-harm than actual fun.

    And don’t even get me started on Crossplaying.

    1. Well, I’m sure that your opinion is important to you. I’m pretty sad that you’d see the physical representation of the characters as more important than the spirit of the characters. Plus, y’know, it might be nice for those who are less represented in tv, anime, movies and games to have representation and feel they have a chance to cosplay. But hey, that’d mean that we’d have to see more body types in those mediums first before people would be able to cosplay at all. Or y’know, a diversity of women characters.

      What you call a ‘lousy inaccurate’ version is instead someone’s passionate appreciation for a character. Crossplay or otherwise. I’d rather see a million passionate cosplays then a single accurate but snotty one.

      1. Its for comments like this that I write these articles. It proves exactly the kind of hatred that I stand up against. So thanks for being an abject lesson!

  33. I know that I’m VERY late to this conversation, but I just have to say “Bravo”! I am myself a morbidly obese, male, and have been thinking about fat-shaming in general (as opposed to just the cosplay community) for some years now. It appears to me, in spite of all the political sensitivity that we practice and encourage these days, that “fatism” (if you want to allow that name) remains the one prejudice that is still “okay” to practice.

    But, one final thought that occurs in the context of this article, and having read the responses is: I wonder if those of you who defend the integrity of the “artist’s vision”, or of the character, realize the effort you’re putting into the defense………of a FICTIONAL character, and the irony therein of treating actual, living people with rudeness, insensitivity and prejudice.

    Yes: people are rude and insensitive………that’s the way it is.

    Yes: there is war………that’s the way it is.

    Yes: terrorists kill the innocent…………that’s the way it is.

    ………but MUST it be?

  34. Nobody is perfect. We all have to be tolerant against imperfections of other LARPers. You can’t expect every wannabe-elf to be thin and beautiful. You also can’t expect everybody to be top tier LARPers who can immerse into anything and whose game is never ruined by obese people playing elves. You have to be tolerant.

  35. “I don’t particularly like these cosplayers, personally I feel like it is an insult to the characters that they are cosplaying”

    U wot? How could one insult something that is not real?

  36. I like to tweak the following as stated by Captain Robert of the steampunk rock band Abney Park, “It takes a special kind of moron to argue that your “make believe” isn’t real enough.” I add body type to that statement. There is no wrong portrayal of any character and I pity anyone who thinks they have the right to judge another’s hard work and passion in representing a character.

  37. Most people have visceral negative reactions to fatties. No amount of social engineering will change that.

    1. People make choices in their lives, like how they respond to people. It doesn’t just ‘happen.’ So social engineering be damned, I require people to take responsibility for their foul reactions to those who are different.

  38. I feel that, with tight spandex-like ouftits, even the slightest chubbyness can look strange. So I think you either need to be as impossible-thin like the characters that are wearing the spandex (or less, sometimes they only wear bandages) or you have to alter the outfit a bit.

    Also, it depends on the ego and the size of someone. If they know they’re extremely chubby and kindof shy walk around in their very-revealing Misty-outfit, it’s accepted.
    But some people are close to the Fat-Fetishes and they wear the most tight or naked clothes, while having actual layers of belly, áll over their spandex underwear.
    And that’s where I draw the line and feel they need to go to a fetish-club. Seventeen layers of jiggling bellyfat is just as uncomfortable as a costumed guy with his penis exposed. Especially if the people ‘jiggle’ it with their hands on purpose, saying they love their curves and finger their bellybutton, licking the finger afterwards (don’t think that doesn’t happen.)

    So there is a line between people that would want to be thin, but just aren’t and want to join the crew, in a pretty costume. And if there aren’t any belly’s hanging out or extreme tight spandex stuff (also uncomfortable with thin people btw..), it’s fine.
    And when they walk into the room like; Look at my muffintop, feel my latex underwear, wanna take a bite, gimme some sugar’ (literally or not) it’s uncomfortable and I feel they should ask them to cover up.

    1. I find the correlation between the general population of those who are larger with those who fetishize being fat a little disturbing here. Folks who are heavy who are confident about being sexy is not fetishized as a norm – it is fetishized by those who find it a fetish and perform towards that. Other overweight folks expressing sexuality is not a fetish but the simple “I’m sexy” behavior of any person who has confidence in their sexuality and wants to put it out there.

      This is a major problem with people who are overweight expressing their sexuality – other people go “OH GOD” and express disgust. Well sorry, everyone has the right to express their sexuality in this world. Associating a person’s belly fat “jiggling” with an exposed penis is a grossly unfair association. One is a person’s stomach, the other is a person’s genitals, and as much as the former being out in the world for all to see disgusts you, that does not equate it to publicly flashing your junk.

      Being fat and being sexual is not a fetish by nature. It is others who fetishize it. By that very same token, should someone come into the room of ANY size and pose and go “look at me, feel my latex costume, let me be sexy” we should ask them to cover up too. Right? Or is it only that their bodies are more acceptable?

  39. I don’t know why you expect me to respect your body if you don’t respect it yourself in the first place. Non-stop eating, no workouts – you hate your body more than I ever could.

    1. Ah, generalizations about the origins of being heavy. Also, I don’t believe it’s necessary to inspect the actions of person’s life to give them basic human dignity when they literally are not asking you for anything except to NOT be harassed and mistreated by a random stranger.

      In other words: other people don’t require your permission to exist. What the world does require is perhaps a little common decency.

      1. obesity kills people . MANY people . do you think it’s decent to expose fat/obese bodies like this ? especially in front of younger crowds ? exposing extreme thinness or anorexia would be frowned upon of course , but why is it ok to expose obesity like this ? make it popular ?
        you said that people had to take responsibility for their words and actions, so maybe you should too . know that thanks to your blog post , more people will feel comfortable being fat/obese . are your feelings more important than your health ? or other people’s respect ?
        someone else said it earlier . if you’re not happy with your body , do something about it . just because a “medical condition” stops you from losing weight at a normal pace is still not an excuse to expose your fat/obese bodies to a young crowd ( young people imitate what they think is “ok” from adults) , even to an adult crowd for that matter .
        If you’re happy with being fat ,no amount of censorship will ever make people stop expressing their disapproval of fat/obese exposure . so id you intent to stay fat all your life , prepare to fight all your life ( since that’s what you decided to do ) and all the fat people you groom to do like you will have to fight all their lives as well , creating easily avoided traumas and heartbreaks for themselves instead of either deal with reality (they like food more than themselves ) or lose weight

      2. I am prepared to fight all my life, as I have and so many others have over thoughtless, hateful responses like yours.

        We have to embrace all body types, while promoting health and well-being. There are plenty of studies out there about people who are overweight not necessarily being unhealthy, that it is in fact this misinformation that spreads shame, suffering, depression, and more unhealthiness. People should seek out what makes them healthy and happy, and part of that is about embracing and loving themselves, and accepting and embracing others.

        I exist, as do so many other fat people around the world. Being a part of communities, being out in the world, is not ‘exposing’ people to an unhealthy way of life. It’s just living. And all the pearl clutching, ‘won’t someone think of the children’ bullshit in the world won’t change the fact that the world belongs to ALL of us, overweight people included.

        I will fight all my life. Against ideas like yours.

    2. Explain to me again how you are able to deduce someone’s entire lifestyle just by looking at them at a glance? Oh wait, you can’t? Because you don’t actually know what they are doing in their every day life, health-related wise? I’m actually categorized as “overweight”. But here’s the thing. I’ve lost 16 pounds recently. But hey, you wouldn’t know that by looking at me because I’m still overweight. guess I must be lazy because you’re obviously a psychic and know better about what I’m doing in my every day life than I do. everyone better take a lesson! watch out! this idiot clearly knows what’s up. I’d really love to know your secret. can you please tell me my fat% ? I mean, you are a psychic right? You shouldn’t need a machine to figure it out, correct? BTW, what exactly am I eating? You would know! I guess I didn’t really go on that 40 minute walk or do interval training yesterday. you clearly know better about what I did than I do!

  40. Well if fat people can’t cosplay out of shape characters then only white people can cosplay white and Asians do Asians let’s be specific. I love seeing an out of shape superman or an older version but ok let’s exclude anyone who isn’t exactly correct must be sane age race height as cosplay character. What I would prefer to see less of is girls just showing boobs for attention then getting upset people look I’m sure you can wear a body suit hiding some skin and still look amazing.

  41. I seriously didn’t realize there were so many people that averse to fat people. Like, are you jealous or do you just think we’re going to steal your cookies? Either way,we don’t bitch at you for being not fat. (And, trust me, your cookies are totally safe. We have our own stash and that shit’s not running dry any time soon)

  42. Eat Less. Do some workout. Then make cosplay. Not the other way round. Most people are fat because they are too lazy and weak minded to endure a proper diet. So get your fat asses up. The you can talk bout cosplay.

    1. Yeah hi there, sorry I know that I’m a little late to the party but after reading your comment (yikes) I have come to the following conclusions.

      Not only do you feel the need to fat shame an entire community before 9 o’clock in the morning but I’m going to take a wild guess that you not only not care about the emotional and psychological ramifications of berating people into getting healthier but probably don’t know about the biological (genetics/medication side effects) and monetary (being able to afford healthy/clean food, being able to pay for a gym membership) circumstances that influence a person’s health/body weight. Also guess what: there is this mind blowing notion that some people have accepted that fat isn’t a bad word. There are people about there who know they can still cosplay the way they look and look incredible (gasp), but thank you for being an officer speaking on behalf of the cosplay police!

      Some of my loved ones have issues with both ends of the spectrum (being “too skinny” or being “too fat”) and typically I stay pretty quiet when it comes to comment sections but I guess someone had to tell you:

      You know nothing, John Snow.

  43. Could I just say, there are times when being “fat” isn’t a life choice. My little brother, for example. He gains excessive weight due to a disorder in the thyroid glands. Not to mention, he’s probably the healthiest person I know. Compared to me, a 5’2 girl that weighs 117 lbs, he’s the poster child for healthy. He’s a vegetarian that doesn’t like junk food and likes to ration out his meals perfectly, and I’m the exact opposite. I eat fast food about three times a week, I eat sweets and chips and cake all of the time. He likes to get at least an hour of exercise a day, I’m completely sedentary. The problem is; while I’m perfectly comfortable in cosplay, he’s too scared to try it because he fears what people will say about him. My point is, don’t shame “fat” people for being overweight. Don’t tell them to stop eating junk food and to start exercising. Don’t act like lifestyle has anything to do with it because my brother is overweight and so damn healthy, and I’m a perfect weight and I swallow down more garbage than anyone else I know. If you want to shame someone for being unhealthy, shame me instead.

  44. I’m 19 I weigh 255lbs I have a thyroid problem I always make costumes but never go to conventions I want to I’m poor but work and save the money to do it I love being in costume but never had the courage to go because of my size I dressed up for a anime get together at school I watched read and learned so much about anime with these people I dressed as Run Okumura from The Blue Exorcist. I was mad fun of so bad that my friend had to walk me home bawling 10 minutes into the get together. For days at school people were laughing about it. I eventually started skipping school till they were gonna fall me then just dropped out. People who make fun of overweight and under weight people don’t understand how harmful it is to a person. They need to understand is not always a choice I hardly eat bad food i excersize I starve myself half the time but never get thinner. My eeice just turned 8 she came from school and came to me crying saying kids at school were calling her fat. My neice is actual very small and it crushed her heart she started wearing clothes that were loose unlike her favorite perfect fitting favorites and when asked why she said so she could hide. People hurt breeds hurt those of you who make fun of people like me more times than not your children pick up on that to. Just so and think would you want to be called those names later down the road would you want kids saying it about yours or would you want yours to say it about others. I finally convinced my neice she is not overweight I had to buy a scale stand on it show her my weight then have her see gets.

  45. I have seen this type of thing happen in other hobbies. People become so obsessed, so fanatical about their field of interest they look down upon others that don’t fit into their idea of what said field of interest should be about, totally forgetting about the “fun factor”. You have the mega serious Star Trek fans going into deep shock when William Shatner did his “get a life” speech, the equally serious Walking Dead fans preparing for a true-to-life zombie apocalypse, or the martial arts fanatics that look upon themselves as a cross between Rambo and Bruce Lee. The best thing to do is ignore them and have fun with those cosplayers who believe as you do.

  46. I made my son a costume for a con and loved it! I wanted to do more and then tried to find some costume I could make for myself. I’m a large older woman, and I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. I had Lapband surgery to try to lose weight (it hurts and is very expensive and didn’t work — don’t tell me I’m not serious about losing weight). I exercise a lot, believe it or not. So I looked around to see what there was for my body type. Nothing I’d want to dress up as. I’m still a beautiful woman, and I want to dress up as something beautiful. We’re just not represented. I’m not blond, so I’d look odd as Faith. It’s very disheartening. I’d really rather not end up on a shaming site. It’s too bad because I make awesome costumes.

  47. People go to see hot women in costume not some landwhale in an all to revealing outfit. You can’t force people to accept fat as sexy no matter how much you cry.

  48. No-one wants to see a fat girl in tight clothing. The goth scene was ruined by the influx of fat girls smelling like grated cheese sweating profusely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s