A Little Piece Re: Bella Sparkles

A little thing about cosplaying.  Here's the thing, guys.  Girls.  Undecided, uncommitted, whoever you are.  Cosplay isn't about how you perceive a character.  It's not even really about how that character is portrayed in their own canon.  It's about how a fan relates to a character; it's about how a fan reaches out to be part of a community, to be part of something larger then themselves, and how they choose to express that through their own creativity and fondness FOR that character.

Photo used with permission of model
There's a lot of hate and nasty out there; people throwing rocks at cosplayers that don't fit their few of what a character should look like, either in costume style, body type, or even gender.  Particularly, there was an image of the beautiful Bella Sparkles in her fantastic Harley Quinn cosplay.  I'm sure you've heard about it, I'm sure you've seen the picture, and I've sure you've seen the nasty caption and comments left in its wake.

I've been turning it over in my head for a few days, and one phrase has stuck out in my mind.

How Dare You?

Who Made You The Gatekeeper?  Who Put You in Charge of People?

I mean, honestly.  We're all geeks here.  We're all trying to have fun, trying to embrace things we love, and trying to share that with a world.  Who are you to judge someone for who they are and how they do it?

This girl is beautiful.  Her cosplay is beautiful.  She has a fantastic career as a cosplayer in front of her, and even if she wasn't and she didn't this would still be out of line. This is why people sit in the dark, afraid to come out.  This is what gives people social anxiety.  Who the HELL are you to take something someone loves and condemn them for having fun? We've all spent so much time in the A/V closet and now geek culture is getting a chance to come out into the light, and all you can do with this bright shiny new day is insult and deride someone.

Cosplay isn't yours.  It's ours.  It belongs to every fan.  Sure, canon's a good thing.  We all like seeing our icons like they appear on the screen or the page, but, as far as a divide between canon-cosplay and inclusivity?  In the words of Shattered Stitch Cosplay:

"There isn't one. You can't help physical state. I'm 5'2" and cosplay statuesque elves. It's just not that serious. If a bald Thor was hardcore about accuracy, there are wigs out there. There are all kinds of "versions" of things. I'm a Canon aspiring cosplayer. I try to make it as close as I can. But I play my hand with the cards I'm dealt, and if people want to get shitty about that they can go bite a curb."

I agree. Get the hell out, mate.  You're why we can't have nice things.

Follow Shattered Stich on twitter @ShatteredStich , or Seamus at @seamustheking .  You can find Bella's cosplay page here.


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