Response to ZacharyByronHelm’s ‘Why Cosplay Girls Annoy the Shit Out of Me’

Getting Stabby Over How Other People Dress

This is a response to zacharybyronhelm’s “Why Cosplay Girls Annoy the Shit Out of Me,” originally titled “Why Cosplay Girls Make Me Stabby” (because it’s always okay to want to kill someone based on how they dress….)

I wanted to post this as a comment on his site, logged in from my Facebook account, but unfortunately I got an error even though I was logged in. I decided to post it here instead. The comment follows below:

WordPress Error

It took you until the very end of your post to get to it, but you did: you were made fun of and left out, so now you feel like these girls owe you something.

They don’t.

Why don’t you think about it from the perspective of the girls who are cosplaying?

They exist in a culture that places value on how they look, where slave Leia is hot and General Leia is criticized because women shouldn’t age. So they conform and dress in revealing outfits, only to be met by shame and criticism and people like you (and the photographers who are taking pictures up their skirts, as you pointed out).

I’m not a fan of anime, costumes made up of two strips of fabric, or oversized anime swords either, but I do think it’s important to let people express themselves, especially when women and girls are finally ‘allowed’ into a space they’ve been kept out of for years.

Do you know what it’s like to be a girl? What you are – a girl – is used as an insult. Throw like a girl. Cry like a little girl, etc. So if a girl can find a shred of positive recognition through cosplay, she should own it, because she’s already starting off with half as much positive reinforcement in her life as anyone with a penis.

If you aren’t a fan, don’t take a picture of them. As a photographer, you’re the arbiter of what makes the cut. When I cover conventions, I tend to take pictures of original efforts and intricate costumes.

To go out of your way and shame these girls has everything to do with your own insecurity and nothing to do with them. Life has already put them in the back seat – why are you so worried about them getting some kind of recognition?

I would *love* to podcast or stream on this topic with you. I’m easy to find if you would like to follow up.

Do you have additional comments about Zachary’s post? Please add your comment below.


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About Tara M. Clapper 288 Articles
Tara is a lifelong geek and the founder and publisher of The Geek Initiative. Her interests were forged in an early appreciation for "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Jurassic Park," and many historical fiction and fantasy novels. Tara is a game designer, LARPer, and frequent convention attendee. The author of over 1,000 individual blogs, her content has been featured on HelloGiggles,,, and The Billfold. She holds a B.A. in English from McDaniel College and has attended many events as press (including New York Comic Con). Tara has a professional background in marketing and publishing. She lives in the Philadelphia area. A Marvel fan, her favorite superhero is undoubtedly Thor. View her portfolio at:

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