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#NotaCosplayer is a photo-documentary project launched by cosplay culture blog Food and Cosplay to raise awareness of cyberbullying and body shaming within the cosplay community, especially in light of misogynistic stereotypes stemming from the pretentious geek girl. The anti-bullying campaign consists of a series of photographs in which cosplayers are shown with signs featuring negative or disrespectful comments they had received about their costumes.
On March 9th, 2014, Twitter user Food and Cosplay introduced the hashtag #NotaCosplayer. On March 13th, he explained the hashtag was part of a project collecting negative comments cosplayers had received while in costume.
On May 15th, he began tweeting out photos of cosplayers holding signs with negetive comments they had recieved while cosplaying, ending the quotes with the hashtag #notacosplayer.
On March 16th, 2014, Food and Cosplay created an album of photos culled from the Twitter hashtag on the blog’s Facebook page. He went into further detail describing the photo project, saying:
“Was chatting to a friend about how was told she wasn’t a cosplayer, and found that rude. And then wondered if anyone else experience the same. So I asked cosplayer if they have experienced nasty, negative or rude comments and asked if I can post them. Thought the project went well. It was more to raise awareness of people comments and how they should be more mindful about what they say.”
Within three months the post was shared over 150 times. The hashtag received most of its media attention after Food and Cosplay relaunched the photo project on May 29th, 2014. He explained he reasons behind the relaunch, saying:
“Lots of you have asked me to do this again to raise awareness of some of the negativity in both public and online, so was happy to do this project again. Now some people may say what is the point of showing the world the negative side of things, for one reason, to show these people that cosplayers do read comments and they are hurtful. Now you may also say, “they are in the public eye, they are bound to get them and need to learn to live with it or ignore it” and to that I have a zero tolerance to negative comment regardless if was meant in a joking way. Also everyone is different so some people will take the comment more personally then another cosplayer.
On June 2nd, the New Statesman published an article published “’You’re not a real cosplayer’: since when did dressing up for comics conventions lead to bullying?" which highlighted the photo project.
On June 5th, Tumblr user uncannycomicsmag published a post featuring a collection of #NotaCosplayer photos. Within two weeks the post gained over 18,000 notes.
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