We live in a world where everything we do is scrutinized. Even hobbies we do for pleasure is out there in the eyes of the public thanks to social media. And while you think social media would bring us even closer as community (and it has to certain degrees) it has also created this rift between us as well.
I know I’m going to sound like an old grannie here, but when I started cosplaying I remember that we were a tight knit community. It was about the fandom and sharing that fandom with like-minded individuals. Of course there was drama, there is always drama, but it seemed to act more like the ocean coming and going in waves instead of the cataclysmic earthquake that tears us apart little by little each time. The community is divided now. If it got that way because of fake geeks, TV shows, thirst for fame, you know what? IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. How we transformed from a community united by things we love, to whatever we call ourselves now (because it sure doesn’t feel like a community to me anymore) isn’t the point and shouldn’t be what we are fighting about amongst ourselves.
All that energy we spend calling out each other should instead be funneled into what all united us in the first place, creating and wearing costumes. Regardless if you make everything on your costume yourself or spent months gathering the ready-made pieces, you still put time and love to transform yourself into that character you can’t wait to embody. That want, that drive, that love of a fandom are the elements that unites us as a community. If we forget that and focus on the negative, we loose something great and what a lot of us used to claim as sanctuary from critics of normal life.
We all have our own ideas of what cosplay is and how it should be done, but just like opinions those are your own and should never be forced on someone else. Cosplay is an art form and like all art, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Create things because you love to create it. I want to see this community be a thriving one once again. A community in which all feel welcome and are encouraged to partake in this very rewarding hobby. I believe if we make the effort to foster positivity, creativity and unity we will once again be a united thriving community.