Preventing Cosplay Harassment: A Cosplayer's Perspective

Cosplay Harassment: What You Need to Know

Harassment is very common in the cosplay community whether you are cosplaying online or inside of the convention. Experiencing one might be distressing and can give you a feeling that you want to quit cosplay for good.

Not every community is perfect, everything that made by a human has a flaw. The world of cosplay is man-made, don’t expect that this community is free from negative things. 

Cosplay community has a history of various harassments that a newbie and veteran cosplayers must be aware of to safeguard themselves. Harassment is the one of harma that you can encounter in the world of cosplay.

While cosplay can be an open door to any harassment issues, you have a power to prevent it. You should protect yourself, no matter what! Despite of harassment issues, cosplay has benefits to you.

Key Takeaways:

Cosplay Harassment is Real: Whether online or in person, harassment exists within the community. Recognizing this is the first step towards protection.

Types of Harassment:

    Offline: Sexual harassment, verbal abuse, physical attacks.

    Online:Public shaming, doxxing, cyberbullying.

Prevention Strategies:

   Buddy System: Stick with trusted friends at conventions.

    Information Control: Be mindful of sharing personal details online.

    Cosplay Boundaries: Set clear rules about acceptable behavior and share them.

    Community Choice: Choose safe online platforms and well-regulated conventions.

    Trust Your Gut: If a situation feels unsafe, leave immediately.

Remember, your safety is paramount. By taking proactive steps, you can protect yourself and enjoy your passion for cosplay too.

 the fullest.

Types Of Cosplay Harassment

Harassments inside of the cosplay community can be classified into many parts. Every cosplayers might be a victims of these kind of harassments. These types of harassments are classified to two, offline and online. 

Offline (Inside or Outside of the Convention)

If you are a cosplayer that cosplaying in the public whether inside or outside of the convention, watch out for these types of cosplay harassment:

Sexual Harassment

This is the most common type of cosplay harassment happened inside of conventions. Nowadays, cosplay is now being stereotyped as sexualized because of media manipulation. As a cosplayer, this is a sad fact to know.

Some people inside of the convention will do something sexually inappropriate to random cosplayers inside of the venue for the sake of their own pleasure. 

These kind of sexual gestures are holding sensitive body parts of a cosplayer, telling below the belt jokes and etc. Getting sexually assaulted is one of the most disturbing form of cosplay harassment!

Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse
Image by freepik

In general, verbal use is a form of cosplay harassment that someone will spoke out an inappropriate things to a cosplayer. This involves the use of oral, gestured, and written language.

This is common during cosplay competition that a two opposing cosplayers will fight verbally, which is ethically wrong! This subset of verbal abuse is known as “Trash talk” in our english slang.

Not just trash talking, there are some forms of verbal use that can happen to any cosplayers. This includes body shamming, swearing, shouting, scolding, insulting, death threat, racism, vexing and etc.

Fun Facts: Some forms of verbal abuse that can cause an irritation to other’s mind is punishable by the Philippines’s law and this is called “Unjust Vexation.” Cosplay Harassment might be illegal too!

Physical Harassment

This is the king of all the cosplay harassments inside of the cosplay convention that will really costs your health! While sexual harassment is done for their own pleasure, physical harassment is done because of violent intent. 

This is a cosplay harassment that a suspect will do a physical attacks or threats to deliberately physically hurt a cosplayer Common reasons of physical harassment might be revenge seeking, personal problem and etc.

Online

Bad Effects of Cosplay Harassment Online
Image by storyset on Freepik

Someone cannot teleport their mouth to verbally assault you from their home. That’s how the internet will play a part in this scenario. If you are cosplaying online, you might be a target for online cosplay harassment.

Public Shaming

This is common in Facebook cosplay community. Many cosplayers are making a defamatory Facebook posts about their friends in a form of betrayal. 

This can be done by creating an online content that has an intention to defame the cosplayer. Public shaming is very harmful to someone’s reputation and should be avoided.

Doxxing

Doxxing is an act of exposing Cosplayer’s personally identifiable information. Any cosplayers that cosplaying under pseudonym are more prone in this kind of cosplay harassment.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is sending a negative images, videos, text, messages and other means of media to insult or harm other’s emotionally thru the internet.

Cyberbullying is an internet equivalent of verbal attack that has a same emotional damage to the victim. While cyberbullying doesn’t cause a physical harm, it may have a long mental impact to the victim.

These are the common types of harassments that you can experience in the cosplay community. Being aware of these things can be a powerful knowledge to protect yourself in the future.

How to Prevent Cosplay Harassment?

Remember that prevention is better than cure. It’s much better to prevent than to deal. There are some instances that a cosplay harassment can be out of your control but fear not, you can minimize the risks of encountering one!

Have Your Cosplay Friends Near To You During The Conventions

Importance of Friends
Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

Support system is a crucial part of your cosplay journey. Make sure that you have a trusted friends or cosplay group members alongside with you.

By doing so, you are protected by these trusted person while wandering the convention venue. Convention creepers doesn’t waste their reputation being witnessed by your friends doing gross things to your body. 

One more time about having a friends beside you, there are some honest witnesses if harassment occurs. Reporting the issue to the authority will be more easier.

Be Mindful Of Sharing Your Personal Information

Whether this person is your most closet cosplay friend, you must be mindful of what you share to anyone else. If you have a pseudonym, make sure that anyone doesn’t know your real name!

Trusting to safeguard your real name under pseudonym in the cosplay Community is very risky that makes you prone to doxxing.

Never ever share your phone number, personal email address, real name, personal relationship and etc. 

If you are a cosplayer that wants to build an online presence, make sure to use an email address for your cosplay persona. In your online accounts, never put any information that has a relationship to your personal life.

Set a Cosplay Boundary

Boundaries are rules that define what is considered appropriate conduct, what you can expect, and your own personal limits. 

They can shield you from being taken advantage of, exploited, or infringed upon by others, and can ensure you feel valued and secure.

Every cosplayers must have their own cosplay boundary rules to protect themselves. It’s just a terms of service (ToS) of a website but boundary is for humans!

If you have decided to make your cosplay boundary, don’t forget to share it online, so your cosplay buddies will be aware what is appropriate or not if they meet you inside of the convention. 

Choose Your Community Wisely

Choose your community wisely by doing an aggressive research or background check. Whether this is an online or offline community, be mindful of your social circles!

In the online space, make sure to choose a social media platform that has a strong moderation system. By doing so, you may reduce the risk of harassment.

In the offline space, make sure to choose a cosplay convention venue with a strict guidelines about harassment. The organizer or staff must be responsible enough to prevent negative things inside of the venue like harassment.

Trust Your Instincts

If you feel unsafe whether online or inside of the convention, go away with that space! Your instinct is the most natural way to prevent harassment as a cosplayer. It’s a natural part of your mind to not make things more worse.

If you are feel unsafe in your online cosplay group, leave that group as soon as possible! Your cosplay safety is more important than your community. 

If you are feel unsafe inside of the convention, leave that venue as you can. Example in this situation is that you saw a cosplayer getting sexually harassed but the staff doesn’t give a care about it. It’s a hint to go out!

Conclusion

The cosplay community is prone to harassment, both online and in-person.

Sexual harassment is the most common type, involving touching sensitive body parts. Verbal abuse, including body shamming, swearing, and racism, is also common. 

Physical harassment, where a suspect does physical attacks or threats to deliberately hurt a cosplayer, can also occur online. 

Cyberbullying, which involves sending negative images, videos, text, messages, and other means of media to insult or harm other’s emotionally.

 It is important for cosplayers to be aware of cosplay harassment issues and take steps to protect themselves and their passions.