Heroes of Cosplay is an awful show and SyFy should be absolutely ashamed of themselves for airing it – but they won’t be, because these are the people who came up with Sharknado. I have yet to watch a single episode start-to-finish because every time I've tried to watch it, I get an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don’t even feel like I need to, based on the conversation that happened in the most recent episode regarding body image. It’s clearly an absolute disgrace to the entire hobby.
In case you didn’t know, I’ve been cosplaying for about the last decade. So when this show got announced, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think. I love cosplaying and the people who I’ve met through doing it but turning it into a reality TV show didn’t seem like a great idea. I was pretty spot-on with that assumption.
While criticisms of the show have included typical reality TV show criticisms – over-dramatic nonsense, certain scenes feeling scripted rather than actual “reality” – the most recent episode featured a conversation that reflects poorly on the entire cosplay community. This conversation was about body size versus what people should cosplay – that someone heavy shouldn’t cosplay a skinny character, basically.
In my experience cosplaying, I’ve done a revolutionary girl, a fluffy puppy secretary, a spoiled vault brat, a potentially lesbian vampire – and her possible princess ex-girlfriend. I’ve been every guy’s bunny girl dream and the most dangerous youkai in Gensokyo. I’ve done both your obnoxious rival from Pokemon and the soccer-loving tomboy from Digimon. I’ve been a thousand-year-old witch and a young boy who’s soul is trapped in a robot so he can fight the greatest evil in the universe.
Do you want to know exactly how many times my body size has affected my cosplay choice?
I am not a wafer-thin anime character and I never will be. My bone structure does not allow for that (I have enormous baby-making hips). No matter your body type, you should be able to cosplay what you want. As long as your costume is made well and you genuinely love what you’re doing, you will have my respect. I know the same is true for probably most of the community as a whole.
I find it unfortunate that Syfy would rather play up catty drama than show cosplayers in a truly positive light. This show is not portraying us well. Please take my word for it – we are not all dramatic, bitchy people. Sure, we’re still human, and we’ll get stressed out over this stuff (I personally have two costumes to make in the next five weeks or so), just as anyone puts stress on themselves.
If you want to get into cosplay, go for it. Do whatever character you want. Don’t let these awful people on Syfy tell you that you can’t because you’re too heavy or too thin for whatever it is you want to do. Cosplay isn't about pleasing other people - it's about doing what YOU want to do.