Cosplay Definition Shirt Introduced, Pulled

The clothing store Hot Topic released a shirt that contained a "definition" of cosplay as "1. do it right or not at all." That seems like the kind of slogan a trendy company trying to be on the cutting edge would come up with. But the cosplay community saw what was wrong with it right away. Amy Ratcliffe of Geek with Curves put the feelings of the online cosplaying community into words:

There is no "right" way to cosplay. If you can't sew and instead make a cardboard version of a costume, that's fine. If you apply rule 63, that's good too. Not the right shape, height, color of the character you're cosplaying as? Doesn't matter. Cosplay the characters you love, have fun, and don't pay attention to what anyone says about it.

I hate the message this shirt screams. Hot Topic may not have designed it, but they could have rejected it and used the opportunity to create a tee that communicates a positive message about cosplay. Maybe they need suggestions. I have a couple:
- dress up like whomever you want, it's all right
- do it, have fun, everyone wins

It's bad enough for those of us in the community, but what kind of elitist signal is this sending to non-geeks or people who want to cosplay and have been too shy to do so? It's bullying captured in a t-shirt. Ugh.

See, that's one thing I really love about cosplayers: they are all about encouraging people to live their dreams, no matter how they may fall outside the norm. Ratcliffe's thoughts echoed the sentiments of many, and Hot Topic listened to the messages, blog posts, comments, and social networking posts about the shirt. It has been pulled from their stores. What's next? Will we see clothing manufacturers and vendors actually going into the communities they market to in order to find out what they're about? We shall see. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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