The Creepiest Things People Have Said To Cosplayers

The Creepiest Things People Have Said To Cosplayers

Most people enjoy cosplayers for what they are: folks hangin' out in cool outfits paying tribute to their favourite characters. Sadly, some like to totally miss that, and get all creepy.

Buzzfeed went to the New York Comic-Con with a ledger and pen, and asked some cosplayers to write down the worst thing someone had said to them while in costume.

The Creepiest Things People Have Said To Cosplayers

Some would make you groan. Some would make you roll your eyeballs. Some would, of course, make you feel incredibly uncomfortable, perhaps even fear for your safety.

Way to go, creeps!

What's The Creepiest Thing Someone's Said To You While Cosplaying? [Buzzfed, via Fashionably Geek]

The Creepiest Things People Have Said To Cosplayers


    At least they asked instead of just going ahead and doing it?

    “Wow, honey, nice legs!”
    "Are you married?"
    “Girl, you all kinds of fine. Thor, you’re so lucky, dude.”

    Don't strike me as creepy really although I guess context and the way it is said can change a lot.

    The rest though...yeah. People have problems.

    Last edited 17/10/13 9:45 pm

      I've been told by a number of gals that being called honey by a strange man is very creepy.

      Er, not that I learnt that through being creepy, lol.

      Not sure about the first one. Odd, sure, but not necessarily creepy. I might be misreading it though. Cosplayers can be odd characters, and typically the girls are worse RE boundaries. They don't ask, they just get their grope on.

      Yeah it's definitely all in the delivery. Something innocent can be turned into something sleazy easily by the wrong delivery.

      I'll be honest, 'I can't believe I'm really meeting you' doesnt sound creepy at all. From what I understand, it's not unusual for some cosplayers to have online fans, especially if they're pretty active on DeviantArt or something. Seems a bit over-sensitive to me.
      There's a few borderline ones, which would depend entirely on context, so I'll definitely give them the benefit of the doubt.
      The rest, creepy as fuck. What kind of social retards say these things to people?

    Isn't it kind of....bad? be appropriating the photo styling of the rape-photo campaign?

    Conflating the two issues and piggybacking off people's familiarity with the more serious one seems...disrespectful? Tacky?

      I wasn't aware of that campaign. I've seen the writing on board technique used in a lot of other ways from suicide prevention to religious affirmation videos. For me personally, I wouldn't associate this technique with one campaign in particular.

        Fair enough. This is what I'm referencing:

        Important bit is the "quote from my rapist" approach, mirrored in the above.

          I thought it was from the "I need feminism" campaign.... honestly the way I see it, they're all seeking the address the same underlying issues.

            You mean going for the gold in the victim Olympics?

            Last edited 18/10/13 11:44 am

      People have been doing the hand written sign thing for ages, it's not the purview of any particular campaign. I distinctly remember the whole 99% crowd getting into it.

      I think it's a bit of a disservice to say that sexual harassment is too trivial to even compare with something like rape. Both essentially have the same root problem of being due to misogynistic attitudes and feelings of violation.

      It'd be like saying "You were hit on the head when you got mugged? That's nothing, that guy over there got stabbed when he was mugged"

    The issue is that it's a comic convention, not sexpo. If a woman's costume is "sexy" and you like it, then say "I like your costume", not "You give me sexual thoughts and I would like to do things to you".

      So you shouldn't hit on women outside of sexpo?

      I remember hitting on a random girl in public 10 years ago with a terrible line about her butt. She's now the mother of my 2 children and wife of 7 years.

        My friend cosplays as a Storm Trooper and Spiderman at various charity events. He said when he's Spider-Man, women give his butt a real work out. He had it's bright red from all the pinching by the end of the day!

          I've got a friend who's pretty buffed and he gets way more than his fair share of attention from women. Some of the things they do/say...

            I get called Jesus a lot, and i mean A LOT, by random girls and guys on the street and out at clubs/shows. People go out of their way to come up to me and get in my face about it which is pretty damn annoying. All because I have long hair and a beard.

            I usually say "if you're going to compare me to a fictional character couldn't it someone cool like Thor?"

            Truth be told I probably look more like Charles Manson :/

              Haha. When I had my beard I used to get similar comments. Not all the time, but sufficiently.

              We should start a cult.

                Me too. Used to have the hair, now I just have the beard. I got called Jesus by an old lady at a bus stop at Macquarie Centre once, that was rather disconcerting.

                  Did she comment on how well you looked for a 2,000 year old dude? :P


                  No, but she got creepy with the 'I'm a born again Christian' and 'I have a picture of Jesus above my bed'. Then, thankfully, the bus came and I fled.

                  Last edited 18/10/13 6:03 pm

              Are you white?

                This was about 2 months ago, beard is a lot longer now.


                  That's awesome! I can definitely see why people call you that. :D

                  I also see the irony of being called Jesus based on your comment above. :P

                  Ok then, when people ask you if you're Jesus, reply with "what do you mean ... I'm white"

                JESUS WAS WHITE, DAMMIT. And American. He wrote a book, maybe you've heard of it - the bible? If English is good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for everyone else, durnit!

                  I know he was a white American patriot, the real debate is what region accent he had. Most east coasters claim it was a classic Boston while I subscribe to the belief he had a clear mid-western. He definitely drank soda, not pop.

              I have a similarly Charles Manson looking friend whom I took to calling Jesus. But only because I took a photo of him once and the conveniently place light in the background glowed around his head like a halo, and he was doing some jesus like gesture with his hand. So, however unoriginal it was, he brought it on himself (clearly).

        It took 3 years for the Stockholm syndrome to kick in?

      Somehow I would like to think that even at Sexpo such comments are not necessarily appropriate.

      Best not to say anything at all these days. No matter how careful you are, someone somewhere will find your remark insulting.

        Nah, people just need to learn their place.
        Chicks think it's exciting to get hit on by an attractive guy, creepy to get hit on by an ugly guy.

        So to avoid making them uncomfortable, know your place - and if you're in the creepy category, live forever in quiet, lonely hermitage, forever on the outside looking in. Is that too much to ask?

          Yeah, those two internet anecdotes you once saw on Reddit sure counterbalance the constant objectification women face every day!

          That last bit made me think of the final scene in Being John Malkovich, where John Cusack is trapped inside the mind of the child Emily, forced to watch the two loves of his life from a distance, unable to interact with anything.

        I find that offensive, you're mocking the mute by imitating them. Check your privilege ableist.

        Last edited 18/10/13 11:44 am

        Actually, it's best that you don't say anything. Congrats on getting ahead on the curve!

    When I saw the word creepy in the context here, I thought of this

      Agreed. Half the lines in the OP link aren't sexist or creepy at all. Some are definitely crossing the line, but the others...if those are the 'creepiest' things those cosplayers have been told, I'd say they're doing pretty well.

        Perhaps not to you, but to those people they could be deemed very creepy.

          I'd say that's a personal problem for those people then, not the fault of the people making the comments.

    Nothing like some good old creeper shaming to kick off my Friday morning!

    Who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree?

    Cosplayers calling people creepy. Woop-woop: irony alert.

    As a cosplayer, I go out in costume to have fun. It's for me, not for anyone else. I like attention and complements but there are definitely good and bad ways to get that.

    Things I like to hear because you're complementing my skill and art:
    - great costume
    - you really look like the character
    - your costume is well made/accurate to the source
    - general things like "you look really cool, great work"

    Things I don't like to hear because you're objectifying me/its creepy:
    - nice legs/tits/other body part here (happens more often than you think. you're not complementing me, you're making me feel like a thing you're using for your enjoyment. keep those thoughts to yourself)
    - you look really hot (I don't mind if you think that, just keep it to yourself. If you tell me that I will instantly feel weird and sexualised in a way I have no control over)
    - that costume turns me on (that's nice, keep it to yourself)
    - can I touch [insert body party here]? (no no no no just don't ask this ever its so creepy. asking to touch props is okay though, as long as you don't mind a 'no' sometimes because they're often deilcate)

    Things that come down to personal preference: - Can I have a hug? (I'm almost always okay with hugs if my costume can handle being squished)
    - Can I get a photo posed like... (most in-character things are okay. I won't do anything sexual, like blowing kisses etc. Some cosplayers will)
    - The "can I take my shirt off with you" one is weird. I wouldn't like it, as it makes me feel like a random accessory, but some cosplayers again wouldn't find it weird. I don't really know why you'd want to do it at all though?

    My worst experience is when I was cosplaying when I was 14 years old, and a guy told me "your boobs aren't big enough, I'm just not feeling your costume because of that". That would be unacceptable enough now I'm overage (stop staring at my boobs! stop making standards for my boobs to meet?!), but to a kid who was pretty clearly young, SOOOO not okay.

      I don't buy that physical compliments are catch-all inappropriate. If someone is saying 'hey, nice boobs', sure, that would probably be uncomfortable to some people, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find people that would take 'you have beautiful eyes' or 'you have a wonderful smile' as inappropriate.

      This isn't directed at you, but generally: There's no 'one size fits all' solution to boundaries being innocently crossed, because everyone has different boundaries and different expectations. Some things society can broadly accept as inappropriate, like touching without permission, but otherwise as long as people are communicative of their limits and respectful of the limits of others, there's no point in getting worked up about limits being inadvertently crossed because it's something that will always happen. It's just one of the pitfalls of interacting with other people.

      The 'shirt off' remark seems pretty obvious. The girl is wearing a fur bikini, the person asking for the photo is probably trying to join in on the theme with a 'shirtless barbarian' look.

    I suppose one aspect of this I find troubling is that society seems to instantly run to "hot" girls these days to show how cruel and horrible nerds are.

    What about the websites dedicated to "ugly" cosplayers, where people who are -also- just trying to express their fandoms are raked over the coals by a gaggle of anonymous bullies? Why don't we have these people hold up papers bearing the insults they receive and why aren't people rallying to defend them? If they are, I'd love to see a link to offer my support.

    If we want to be equal and we want real respect, we need to address the problem as a whole, not just weep for the beautiful princesses.

    A better caliber of convention attendee is required across the boards, I'd say.

    So while you could say, "Hey fatty, why are you trying to stuff your giant ass into that Sailor Moon costume", you could equally say, "Hey hotty, if you don't like the creepy comments, why do you wear sexy costumes around a gender that's visually stimulated".

    Which is more valid? Neither. But I think it's necessary to expand this project to ALL cosplayers who receive unwanted attention, be it a come on or a gross out.

      This makes me sad. I think that as long as you make your costume appropriate (as in, if you're a bigger person, don't make the costume a size too small) then you should be treated like every other cosplayer.
      At Pax this year I saw someone wearing a shirt that was a size too small and so created a muffin top effect. I was disappointed because I knew that if she'd just made it a bit bigger, it would've fell in a much better and flattering way.

        Or, you know maybe she likes to wear tight things and shouldn't have to feel like she needs to dress in a "flattering" way. In saying this you're being just as abhorrent as what you're claiming to be against. As long as she was happy with what she'd made, that's all that matters. She doesn't have to look a certain "flattering" way. It's not about you as a viewer, it's about her as a cosplayer and what she gets from it. That's the whole point of this article and the comment you're replying to.

          It may not be about me as the viewer but I'm not the one that's going to abuse them. =/

            Except you just did. By talking about her "muffin top" and judging her because of it. That's my point. You're contributing to what to you're saying you're against. A cosplayer should be able to wear whatever they want without people treating them as a sexual object. And by commenting about it not being "flattering" for her you're contributing to that. A "bigger person" doesn't have to conform to anyone's idea of sexiness any more than anyone else does. She didn't have to look the way you thought she should.

            I'm not trying to make you feel bad, I'm just trying to get you to understand.

          Was that the whole point of this article? i'm pretty sure it was 'creepy men say the darnedest things'.
          Also, welcome to humanity; we like to critique others efforts, including the fit of people's clothing. Unsurprisingly, this happens in what is essentially a costume creating community.

    As a cosplayer, I've not really heard of this problem much in Australia. In fact, the worst comment I had was from a friend.
    "You know, he's going to go home and masturbate to that, right?"

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