By Chelsea Yolalan
By examining the effect of body image on a subculture, Positive Cosplay is a body-positive campaign that spreads positivity within the cosplay community. Cosplay is a portmanteau word formed using the English words, “costume” and “play.” Cosplay often refers to the act of dressing up as a character from a comic, manga, anime, cartoon, or TV series, but is not limited to only these categories. A problem within the cosplay community is that some people define ‘good’ cosplay as based on appearances and accuracy to the character, when in fact, cosplay embodies so much more than that–such as having fun and showing your love for a character and/or series.
The ultimate goal of Positive Cosplay is to make body positivity a more prevalent narrative in the cosplay community. Positive Cosplay creates a positive environment for cosplayers by having other cosplayers from all over the world pick an image of themselves in cosplay, along with a ‘cospositive’ statement. Each submission is spread through the means of social media, both Facebook and Instagram, using #positivecosplay. Both of the social media sites allow for a range of audiences to access the submissions. Uniquely, Facebook allows a means to share important events, submissions, and articles; and also provides a place to discuss and share these postings. In contrast, Instagram users, whether or not they are ‘followers’ of the campaign, can easily access Positive Cosplay submissions; when the submissions are published, they are categorized with multiple tags that relate to cosplay, body positivity, cosplay positivity, the series and the character itself. Outside of social media, Positive Cosplay also has a website.
The website contains the full collection of submissions from the project, talks about how people can get involved in this campaign (inside and outside the internet), and also shares news articles where people can read the latest positive news and advancements within the cosplay community. In two month’s time, Positive Cosplay has acquired over 600 followers around the world, allowing this campaign’s message to be spread on a global scale.