What I’ve noticed throughout the few months of being into the anime scene is that it is highly judgmental if you’re male or female when watching certain anime.
Although, I do love that anime has recently become more gender neutral over the past few months as I have gotten deeper into the fandoms.
Attack on Titan, for example, showcases situations that females would normally be the “damsel in distress” but they put everyone at risk for death, not just females. Noragami also caters to a gender neutral audience. It’s just when you get into the anime’s that feature women with abnormally large busts, yaoi and yuri that are obviously catered to a specific audience in mind.
What I would like to see in the future is less about the gender of the viewer and more of why that person decides to watch a certain anime. I watched Attack on Titan and Noragami because of the recommendation of my roommate but I only kept watching it because I was interested in the content presented.
As I made my way back to school on Wednesday after my break, my roommate and I were talking about the upcoming con we are both going to and who we plan to cosplay as for the weekend. The number one issue we both noticed concerning our cosplay ideas? Body image.
I spoke about doing a “sexy” version (one which requires a push up bra) of an Attack on Titan character for one day, while she spoke of doing a cosplay involving a bathing suit cut bottom. We are both hesitant simply because of what society tells us what we should look like as women and we definitely don’t fit that “norm.” Some might say we are doing it for the attention, in which we are not, but we want to do it because that’s who we like most and we just want to be our favorite character for a day.
The two categories or groups that cosplayers tend to receive the most negative feedback are African Americans and overweight people. I fall into that overweight category.
When my roommate had her 19th birthday party, it was a costume party so I made a casual cosplay of my favorite Attack on Titan character and I had a blast that night. Being able to be someone who, even though is fictional, inspires me to be me is one of the best feelings one can have. I haven’t been into anime for long, but it’s something that I want to do without worrying about people judging me simply because I am not a size 4.
Why can’t we just let people cosplay who they want and not judge them if they aren’t the same skin color or weight? We are talking about fictional, 2D animated characters. No one will look exactly like who they cosplay.
Cosplaying is supposed to be fun and exciting for everyone and most people don’t know how much money and time goes into most of them. My only wish is that one day we can let go of what society wants us to look like once we step into the convention doors and just have fun.