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こんにちは!アリーシャ エイミー-ジェーン、意欲的なシンガー ソング ライター、英国からです。日本と韓国の歌を翻訳し、歌う人の英語歌詞を書きたいと思います。私の夢は、1 日、日本に住んでいるし、タレントのためすぐにオーディションに思って !私は願って彼らは私のような非常に神経質です。私は私は自分自身言語を少しずつ教えていますが、うまくいけば、私は十分で取得する知っているので日本語に堪能ではない !~

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Cosplay Community Concerns? コスプレ コミュニティの懸念?

Today will result in me ranting for a while, however, this rant does not come about randomly. Oh no. Not at all. This rant has been caused by a topic that I, personally, have very strong views about. Cosplay. I'll put my hands up and admit that I'm not a hardcore cosplayer, I don't attend every convention and I certainly don't make my own costumes, however, there are people out there that do. And those people deserve respect. A lot more respect than they're currently receiving.

This post comes after I was browsing Facebook earlier on today, and I spotted a post by a Cosplay-based 'group', titled 'Cosplay', that I personally found very distasteful. In order to avoid offending anybody, the image that was posted will not be re-posted here, and the original Facebook post has since been removed, after, to my approval, the group lost over 1k likes.

What was the picture of? I hear you all asking. And, I won't say I'm delighted to tell you, but I do feel that this issue needs to be raised. The picture showed a cosplayer of the popular Final Fantasy X character, Yuna, pictured next to an original image of the character from the game. The cosplayer was obviously a plus-size cosplayer, and this is what inspired the text written underneath. 'EPIC FAILURE - Americans can't cosplay to save their life'. Now, I'm not American, so that isn't particularly what bothered me, although this can be seen as an act of racism, which you will all know I am strongly against.

What bothered me most about this picture was that there was nothing wrong with the cosplay. Everything was accurate, and the costume had actually been hand-made by the woman in the picture. The reason for the 'EPIC FAILURE' written underneath, was the woman's weight. The page then went on to say that plus-size women should not cosplay slim characters, it looks unnatural, they should stick to 'fat' characters. This really bothered me.

Yes, the woman was not a similar build to Yuna, but there are very few people in this world that could meet the level of perfection that Square Enix used when they created her character. She has been designed not to have a single flaw, this look is almost impossible to re-create. The costume that this cosplayer was wearing was absolutely, without a doubt, hand-made. You could tell by looking at it just how much effort had been put into this cosplay, and she was obviously proud of her work. And so she should be. It was a beautiful cosplay. It was accurate, there was nothing wrong with the cosplay, the right colours had been used, the accessories were the same. There was not a single flaw with the cosplay. It was the woman's weight and size that was seen as a 'problem'. Since when was cosplay about a person's size or build?

I thought cosplay was about the costume? Isn't that in the word? COSplay - Costume Play. Costume...?

When I first became interested in cosplay, I was a lot younger than I am now, and I remember wanting to go to an anime convention so badly, because there was such a great vibe when so many cosplayers came together in one environment. From videos of conventions I'd seen online, everyone was happy and accepting of each-other, because cosplayers receive enough grief from other people in this world because their interests are slightly different to what's seen as 'normal', so I thought that because fellow cosplayers knew that it's hard to be accepted for what you like, that they would treat one another with more respect than this poor woman has been shown.

Do people think she isn't aware of her body shape? I'm sure she knows she isn't the same build as Yuna, but that really isn't important. What's important is the fact that she took the time and effort to create her own costume, and she was then brave enough to wear it and allow photographs to be taken. That takes a lot of guts, trust me. And especially since I'm sure this woman knew that she would eventually have to face some criticism from those who have tried to turn cosplay into a sexy-costume based thing.

That's not what cosplay is about.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with people wearing revealing cosplays, people having slender, athletic builds and wearing short skirts and such, I myself am rather slender, so I have no right to complain about those things, but that's not what cosplay is about. A person should not be judged on their size, their personal appearance, their build, their weight, or even their voice. The race of a cosplayer is another thing I've noticed is becoming a problem. A lot of people believe that only the cute-looking Asian cosplayers in skimpy outfits are the ones that should be approved of. And that's not the case.

Cosplayers come in all shapes and sizes, and, as I've said before, what's important is the costume.

At conventions, people are given the opportunity to dress as their favourite characters and be around other people doing the same thing. Conventions usually have a nice atmosphere, because everyone has similar interests and they can finally feel like they 'belong' there. However, this atmosphere will soon disappear if people become too scared to cosplay, because they're worried that people will say horrible things about them because they don't have that athletic build that is seen as 'appropriate' for cosplayers to have.

Imagine you're at a convention, and you're slim and toned and you have no concerns about your body, and you're happily cosplaying as your favourite character, but your friend is slightly curvy and she's said she doesn't want to cosplay because she's 'too fat'. Then imagine that, looking around you, the only people cosplaying are people that are slim. How boring would that be? Besides, not all characters call for that slim body type, anyway. In fact, a lot of modern anime characters are curvy and busty, and we need our cosplayers, all of them, no matter what shape or size, in order to enhance our own cosplaying experiences.

People shouldn't be mocked for doing what they want.

I personally think that this Yuna cosplayer, the one that inspired me to write this article, is one of the best cosplayers I've seen. At least she had a go, and she had fun. At least she didn't take it completely seriously the entire time and force herself to lose weight so that she was slim. At least she's comfortable with who she is, and she's not afraid to do what she loves, just because a few people might see her body size as 'wrong' for the character.

I pray that more people will start to realize that we can't judge others by their size, race, skin tone, hair colour, cosplay choice, etc. I'm starting to see hope blossoming for our community, as with this Facebook post, the page lost the vast majority of its followers through this one post. It tried to cover its tracks by removing the post, but the damage has been done, people have lost respect for them, and out of all the comments on the picture whilst it was still there, none of the comments were agreeing with the content of the image. Everyone was defending the woman, and this is something I loved seeing from fellow cosplayers.

We are cosplayers, and we stand united!