HERO HAIR’s statement regarding cosplay bullying
Cosplay is defined by the Cambridge english dictionary as:
In short, Cosplay it is the art of dress-up. It is the crafting of fandom the world over. It exists as the culmination of countless artist’s and artisan’s dreams to realize the full extent of their creativity, craftsmanship and, in many cases, the physical embodiment of their personal heroes.
Young an old, large and small, and without gender boundaries, from closet cosplays to fully crafted, spot on replicas of our favorite fandom-niche, we, the cosplayers, present ourselves to the world in the way we often wish we could be 24/7…Brave, bold, magnificent and unrestrained by what most of the population would consider to be acceptable, societal, personal norms.
It is within the now global cosplay community that we often find solace in the acceptance of who we are, and, even more often, who we wish to be…even if only for a short 4-day Convention weekend that we often travel miles to get to, at great expense and, more times than not, very real personal sacrifices with time away from our ordinary friends, families and even work. We commit to this blissful madness, a few times a year, in order to celebrate what we love and to join up with our cosplay peers in the celebration of what they, in turn, love, of our combined fandoms and of our love for the transformative illusion.
It is, thus, an unfortunate reality, an abhorrent reality that, within the cosplay community, itself, exists a dark underbelly of the worst type of humanity… The bully; someone many of us consciously turned to cosplay for, to begin with, to, either, escape, diminish their affect on us through our lives previously, and/or simply to escape. And therein lies the irony. Because, as many of us know, their (bullies) ranks are, tragically, legion, and their sole purpose, it seems, is to tear down others for their own personal enjoyment, whatever the very real, very tangible personal cost to the target.
HERO HAIR is painfully aware of this bully-splinter community, much of it made up, unfortunately, of Cosplayers themselves. Both small and high profile. Fueled by jealousy, self loathing and lack of personal purpose or authenticity in their lives, they exist to bring down others who might steal a bit of their attention, their own Cosplay efforts ,or their class-standing and following on social media. Anything and everything to draw the spotlight firmly onto them, and no one else, unless it is in that effort to destroy them from the roots up.
It is a concerted effort to shatter them (Cosplayers) by using the very thing (cosplay) they wield as a defense and a personal freedom they have every right to bear.
Everyone is allowed their opinion. This is true in life as well as cosplay. In cosplay, as is well known, there are no rules. It is high art, no matter the skill set, and a personal, very real journey for most of us who embark upon the path to reach for the stars, and our personal dreams.
Where hate eclipses allowable opinion is the point of this statement. Where those in this cosplay-bully splinter community choose a target, or targets, to verbally attack, degrade, demean, ridicule, shred, spread falsehoods about, shame for their personal appearance (such as weight, age, stature and size, health issues, percieved imperfections, physical disabilities or challenges, and the like),or display bias and bigotry against those of a different sexual orientation (LGBT) than themselves, and so on, is why we are choosing to draw attention to the matter.
These sorts of coordinated ( often by the cospaly-bully’s legions of followers, at their direction) campaigns of hatred and vitriol occur almost daily, somewhere, on social media. We see a lot of it. We have friends, ourselves, within the cosplay community, and even clients, who, for no other reason than wanting to share their fandoms, have been brought to their knees by it; the types that would not harm another living soul, or cause someone unwarranted grief if their lives depended on it.
Gentle spirits, all.
And prime picking for the vulgar whims of the bully who spends their days ignoring their own ineptitude at being an authentic human being, in order to make someone feel less about themselves than they do when they wake up and look in the mirror each morning.
And that is a conservative assessment. Some are just card-carrying sociopaths and even psychopaths, and we (the Cosplayers) have dealt with, and will have to deal with they and their ilk as well.
No matter the reason or psychopathy of the bully and their agenda, the affects on the Cosplayer ( and anyone in life) are very real, and can be life-altering. Cosplay is an incredibly brave, and conversely incredibly vulnerable reality for those who engage it personally. The cosplay-bully’s purpose is, solely, to induce fear, uncertainty and self consciousness by a committed assault using intimidation tactics and thug-like brutality. They (cosplay-bullies) hide behind their ( often) lies, behind their facade of perfection, and of the eternal youth and 20-foot tall, bullet-proof, unaccountable invulnerability they believe they possess. They hide behind the relative arms-length and faux-annonimity of a fostered cosplay-identity, provided by the internet, and behind a private keyboard, in some darkened room or on their phones, in which to create THIER personal fandom…that of the personal degradation of another human being (or human beings) for absolutely no other reason than they had the time to do it.
But make no mistake, they (the bullies) are hiding. Confronted with the possibility of attacking someone in person, most off them would slink back beneath the muck from which they came as the cowards that they are.
HERO HAIR is made up of not only motion picture and televison industry hair and wig professionals, it is made up of Cosplayers who have been crafting our fandom for 30 years. Before the internet. Before it was cool…or accepted by mainstream society as something to be commended, and not just geeks playing dress-up.
We have a zero tolerance policy with regard to bullies. We do not accept them in our ranks. We do not accept them in our circle of friends and we do not accept them in our extended personal cosplay families.
We also do not allow them to wear our wigs.
We are adept social media inhabitants and producers of quality social media content. We see everything that goes on in the cosplay community, which we are a firmly entrenched part of, and we see, every day, whom is bullying who online. We have our ear to the ground, as it were. And we take notes.
Have your opinions, bullies; about what cosplay is to you, and what it should be to others. Espouse them. Explain your positions and begin a healthy conversation about it, if that is your interest, and you wish to have a visceral impact on the cosplay community and what it stands for. If you find yourself in a debate over your points of view, then that can be a positive thing. If someones opinion is not in line with your own, that is allowed…on both sides. But do not attack others beyond that opinion, even if you disagree with it.
If you do not like a Cosplayer for some reason, beyond a difference of opinion, whether they think a dress is blue rather than green, or that a belt is actually 3 inches longer than you think it ought to be, and you simply cannot rest about those obsessions where they are concerned…that they impact your personal psyche to the point of hair-pulling, don’t follow them. It is not your right to assail an individual by going for the jugular, for sport, simply because they displease you for some unknowable or unreasonable personal rationale. It is not your right to make anyone on this planet feel less than what they are because they are not as thin as you would like them to be, or that you feel custodianship of a cosplay character you do so greatly, that as far as you are concerned they have no right to cosplay them at all, and should be shunned and destroyed for even trying.
It is not your right to make anyone on this planet feel less than what they are by spreading falsehoods (lies), impugning or publicly defaming or maligning their character, because they are different than you, or because they might have done a really great job on a well-cosplayed character that exists complete with their own cosplay-fan group(s) you frequent.
It is not your right to call another out personally, on social media, or in public, with the intent of abuse, intimidation or coordinated attack, or the defamation of their character, or, for that matter, their cosplay-brand and identity, for any reason whatsoever, who has not harmed you, in kind, in the first place in that regard.
Bullies have no place in the Cosplay community.
And the cosplay community will, eventually, one by one, hold them accountable for their actions.
If you have come to this page, and read this statement, we want you to know we are a safe heaven. We welcome our friends and clients ( you do not have to be a client to associate with us) in the cosplay community, into our circle, as family; the best kind of family…the one we choose.
HERO HAIR: Cosplay Wigs for the Serious Adventurer
The below image-link might interest Cosplayers, new and experienced alike, in the rich, vaulted history of the cosplay lineage we are now, in the 21st century, the custodians of.
Filled with striking images of costume play from around the world, this definitive look at the global phenomenon known as “cosplay” examines its evolution from the fringes of society to the spotlight of modern culture.
For over 100 years, men and women around the world have been dressing up as their favorite characters from movies, games, comics, TV, and books. Beginning as a curiosity and hobby for social outcasts, it’s now a global phenomenon, fuelled by the Internet and an explosion in geek fandom. This in-depth look at the world of cosplay includes interviews with stars like Yaya Han, Crystal Graziano, and Spiral Cats, offers insights into cosplay’s history and current landscape, and explains its creative processes. Cosplay World features over 200 compelling photographs, showcasing everything from campy 1970s costumes to cutting-edge suits engineered in workshops and built using space-age materials. The result is both a celebration of and an informed look at a popular means of self-expression that continues to fascinate.