Recently, a cosplayer I thought I really respected, linked/shared a photo of another cosplayer named Michelle Phan. Although Michelle Phan specializes in make-up, no one should tear her down, or belittle her for cosplaying a character she loves.
Michelle Phan as Serah from Final Fantasy XIII-2
The post went something like :
I am sorry and I may sounds like a jelly b#$ch but Michelle Phan looks absolutely terrible as Serah. Her makeup makes her eyes look extra droopy and the angle shes looking at the camera makes her nose appear larger. Her wig is great, though!
I understand that this is said person’s OPINION, but I think going the extra mile to link/share the photo on your own facebook page, like it’s open to discussion (although the entire way she worded her description of the photo sets people up to also hate on it) is taking it too far. The poster then claims it’s a “fair game” and that people may also hate on her.
The fact is - as long as ANYONE is going out of their way to HATE on other cosplayers, the scene will never get better! People will be less inclined to cosplay in the first place knowing that if they aren’t up to someone else’s standards, they may get SHARED on other people’s pages and ripped apart.
There were 60+ comments on this photo, all agreeing with the poster — and what’s worse - MICHELLE PHAN COULD SEE ALL OF THESE. I knew no one would speak out against this girl, and I knew that if I did, I’d risk being not only deleted, but bashed myself, and maybe even harassed at cons (Because that’s how the cosplay world works thanks to these kinds of instances.)
I sucked it up and commented:
I’m going to go ahead and say this: Everyone of us takes bad pictures. She thinks she looks good here, and she does. She doesn’t look BAD. No one should be considered fit, or have the right to share her photos and be like, ‘I’m sorry, but …you look terrible.” That’s just plain mean. I know for a fact that this exact kind of thing has been done to pictures of you, (name) and you’re beautiful ! And pictures of me! And it sucked. This thread should be on 4chan, not Facebook. No one should be told they are bad at cosplay. It’s a fun hobby, and that’s all. /rant.
Slowly, people started redacting their previous comments, and stating that after thinking they agreed with me.
To be fair, after much thinking after thinking, I’m gonna agree a bit with Victoria. I’ve been told my cosplay sucks, and not exactly a good feeling I tell ya that much.
The original poster defended her right to an opinion to no end, and so - seeing that I couldn’t “win.” I was at least happy that I said what I truly felt, and eloquently ducked out of the troll thread.
Later that night, I started receiving messages:
Hey, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your opinion too on (name)’s post. It felt like a lost cause whenever I try stating an opposing opinion on those type of posts, and sometimes wonder if i should just steer clear, cause then I have people say things against me.. :/ but i want to say I 100% agree with you on what you said in there. And cosplayers/makeup specialist cosplayers- seems to really despise that girl they linked to, so it’s more than just them claiming unflattering makeup. I lose respect for people who go and do that, but everyone is friends with everyone so sometimes it’s hard to go against the grain, and have people claim “oh you can’t have an opinion cause there all sensitive and can’t take criticism!”
The original poster is an amazing cosplayer, but I lost a lot of respect for her when she did this. She admits, “In any case, no I see Victorias point. I should have put it more eloquently and politically correct. Compliment sammich form: "Her costume and wig look great but her makeup and posing could be better. She does have useful everyday makeup tutorials, though." But, seeing as this is my own fb, I wanted to be blunt. Also, this isn't cosplay.com. People were giving suggestions too on what could be better for her, and yes cosplay is about having fun but theres always that bit of a competitive streak in everyone, deep down."
It’s also very important to speak against what you think is wrong, but then again - that’s a given, right ?
I know that an honest critique can be very valuable, and it helps people grow in their craft, but what's most important is the manner in which you deliver your comments. A little class and tact goes a long way.