Something that a lot of people go through in life is bullying, and that is an extremely unfortunate thing. Everyone knows someone who was bullied in life at some point, or maybe you were the one who was bullied growing up, or maybe, just maybe, you’re being bullied right now. It still happens nowadays, no matter how old you get, or whatever walk of life you enter, it seems to follow as we grow. And cosplaying is no stranger to it. Someone may not like the way you styled your wig, or maybe they think your make up isn’t perfect, or maybe you’re not the exact same measurements as your favourite character but that didn’t stop you from cosplaying (and good, it shouldn’t!). Some people in life just find bliss and happiness in putting down others, but one amazing organisation is attempting to unite people in the cosplay world and put an end to this. You could say that they’re superheroes in their own right!
We got to interview Arthur from Cosplay Against Bullying about the organisation and his hopes for the future!
The Arcade: Why did you set up the organisation ‘Cosplay Against Bullying’?
Arthur: I didn’t actually set up the organization. The organization started in the Philippines. I found the organization through my acquaintances David, Myk, and the others were the ones that asked me to start the US branch. I’m the most active admin primarily because I do the most cosplay related activities and I edit the YouTube videos.
What has the response been to the page and campaign?
The response has been great. Everyday our audience grows, and there are so many people that love what we do. I hear people constantly saying “I love what you do,” “this page is so inspirational,” “what you’re doing is great.” Every time I read something like that it makes everything (money, time, energy) we’ve put into this is all worth it.
Have you had any success stories, like someone finding your organisation has helped them personally?
As for success stories I have several success stories that have happened. I had a follower of our page say they had a falling out with a friend, she tried to mend fences but it didn’t work out. So we did what we could to encourage her to just move on and she did. There’s another girl that was bullied so bad online that she almost gave up cosplay altogether. But we encouraged her to simply stay with it and not listen to them and she chose to stay with it.
What is the future for Cosplay Against Bullying? What would you like to happen?
The future of Cosplay Against Bullying is more followers on our social media, more funding from donations, and being able to do more. We already have big projects in store for the future that involve creating more content online and having it reach more people. We find meeting people in person raises awareness. I’d also love to see more people take action. Bullying happens everywhere and it’s impossible for one person (i.e. myself) be everywhere. If we inspire more people to get out of apathy we can in fact watch bullying drop. The primary reason bullying proliferates is because people do nothing.
We’d like to thank Arthur for his time and the work of the group! As with every aspect of our community, we want people to respect each other and to be as kind and generous with their time and energy as possible. Cosplay and other such activities of engaging in fandom are amazing, fun ways to get into the greater nerd community and find friends. Unfortunately, everywhere suffers from some bad eggs and cosplay is no exception. If you are someone who is feeling bullied, harassed or otherwise in such a community, we encourage you to reach out to Cosplay Against Bullying, or any similar groups in your area. Help is available and we’re glad you’re here and would like you to stay!