There is something remarkable within the cosplay community where an unyielding force brings like-minded people of geek culture together. Some cosplayers spread this unity by endorsing other cosplayers, raising money for charities, or building a common ground to stand on. And one such force is the organization Cosplay Against Bullying.
Bullying seems to be a never-ending cycle, even as one gets older. With today’s infamous internet trolls, it’s hard to get away from crude and demeaning remarks. Cosplayers of all skill levels are extremely aware of this type of bullying, and CAB is looking to put a stop to it.
For those of you who have heard of this organization, but you’re not sure what they’re all about, we’ve gathered the top 5 Things You Should Know About Cosplay Against Bullying:
Cosplay Against Bullying is an online campaign that embraces friendship and simultaneously combats negativity. It all started with four administrators from the Philippines who decided to combine the idea of anti-bullying with “geek” culture. The group has since branched into countries all around the world from Norway, Canada, and the U.S.
Their social media presence is one of the few places in the cosplay community where you can start a discussion about your own bullying problems. Comments such as, “you’re cosplay isn’t accurate” or “your wig looks bad” are sometimes hard to hear. On their social media, you’ll find encouraging words from cosplayers going through the same type of harassment. It’s a way to unify those whole fall victim to those pesky online trolls, and a place where you can laugh it off together.
Their YouTube channel in particular shows interviews with well-known cosplayers (such as LeAnna Vamp) who have experienced years of ridicule under the internet microscope. Their entertaining videos follow Spiderman as he walks through conventions, gathering advice from cosplayers.
Or you can simply watch Spiderman giving out doughnuts, like the hero that he is.
Arthur, who heads the CAB leg here in the U.S, spends his time spreading friendship and positivity as a Spiderman cosplayer. However, it’s not just online and at conventions that he uses his Spidey skills. Recently, Arthur joined The Buddy Walk, an organization that spreads awareness to those effected by Down Syndrome. Though he was the only cosplayer at the event, bringing Spiderman on the scene brought out ton of excitement for those in attendance. Their goal is to attend more events like The Buddy Walk so they might lift the spirits of anyone hindered by their ailments.
The idea to join the cosplay community to stand against bullying started small, but man has it grown. In the U.S. alone, these cosplayers have expanded from Indiana to covering conventions in Orlando and New York. Now they’re hoping to increase their efforts to visit as many charity events and conventions as possible. Their hope is to lighten the sometimes lonesome burden of being bullied.
If you want to collaborate with Cosplay Against Bullying IRL, help them reach your local convention by endorsing them in their campaign on Go Fund Me.The donations will help cover costs to bring their enthusiasm and charisma to conventions all over the U.S.
And if you’ve experienced bullying, follow them on social media (links below). You’ll find uplifting messages, but there’s also some pretty hilarious memes for those days when you’re feel particularly down. Give them a follow and see how other cosplayers have joined their efforts!
At this point in the year, pretty much the highlight of discussion is the new Beauty and Beast live-action remake starring Emma Watson. We are eagerly awaiting the flood of new Belle and Gaston cosplays (and we see you, cosplay Instagrammers) to show their unique variations our favorite characters from the tale as old as time.
One cosplayer in particular, Megan Flockhart is well-known for being an Emma Watson look-a-like. She’s already ahead of the game, with her unique version of the live-action “peasant Belle” cosplay! We were thrilled and honored to talk to Megan about her viral recognition as a cosplayer (she’s even been noticed by Josh Gad and J.K. Rowling!), especially noting her Hermione and Belle.
Cosplay & Coffee wanted to get to know the real Megan. We talked to her about cosplaying, inspirations, daily life, and she even told us what she thinks of the new Beauty and the Beast!
Cosplay&Coffee: You have been widely recognized as being an Emma Watson look-a-like. How do you feel about that?
Megan Flockhart: It’s an amazing compliment, it always will be, but sometimes I feel like people now expect me to act and forever resemble her and that’s just not realistic! I’m Megan Flockhart — not Emma Watson. So I act different and I’m not always going to remind people of her. I’ve tried to tap into other cosplays that have no correlation to Emma and I get comments like “no, this isn’t you.” It’s totally ridiculous! But I mean, it’s a very minor problem I can ignore. All in all, it’s been incredible to be compared to my favourite celebrity!
Cosplay&Coffee: It’s no doubt that you have a lot in common with Watson. Has she always been an inspiration for you?
MF: She has, since I was a child. In ways, she’s really helped shape who I am today because we do seem to (I don’t know her personally so I can’t say for sure, but judging by interviews, etc.) have so much in common.
When I was younger, she inspired me to always take my education seriously and to always be my unapologetic self. Then as I got older, she’s educated me on topics like feminism, sustainable fashion, and so many other issues. I feel like I wouldn’t be as clued up on if it wasn’t for her. I really owe her a massive thank you.
Cosplay&Coffee: Who else would you call your inspiration?
MF: I really look up to and am forever inspired/educated by Michelle Obama, Rowan Blanchard, Lupita Nyong’o, Carey Mulligan, Lily Collins, Amandla Stenberg, Douglas Booth, and Nev Schulman.
Cosplay&Coffee: In our original article about you (which also appeared on Movie Pilot), we talked about your fight for women. What is your advice to feminists or others who want to make a difference in the world for women? (Also, thoughts on Watson’s HeForShe?)
MF: I think I’d say keep doing what’s right. I talk to a lot of women nowadays that say they are scared of feminism because of how its perceived. It comes with this negative connotation that you’re anti-men when it’s really not the case. Gender is a spectrum; feminism is just about giving every single being equal rights and opportunities no matter what gender or race or sexuality. I absolutely love #HeForShe and how it’s encouraging men to raise their voice as well. I think it’s vital in the progress for gender equality.
Cosplay&Coffee: You’re a fashion blogger. How did you get started doing that?
MF: I actually had a lookbook.nu account and (at the time; it died a fast death for me a few years after) and it really took off! I felt like I wanted to do more than just post photos of my outfits. I wanted an online portfolio where I was free to be more creative and illustrate who I am.
“She inspired me to always take my education seriously…Then as I got older, she’s educated me on topics like feminism…”
Cosplay&Coffee: Besides cosplaying as Hermione, what other cosplays do you enjoy?
MF: Belle! Ironic enough that Emma is playing her because she was my first favourite princess. I watched Beauty and the Beast so much as a child that my parents still know all the words to the cartoon. But I’m also planning an Ariel cosplay that I’m really really excited about!
Cosplay&Coffee: Do you make your own cosplays?
MF: I don’t make them, but I do buy everything in individually. I had @youngjaneandlittlemeg_in_dland make my Belle dress and it’s absolutely breathtaking!
Cosplay&Coffee: How did you celebrate the Harry Potter movie premieres and the book releases?
MF: Usually by excessively fan-girling to my boyfriend or parents (people who expect me to fan girl) then I’ll re-read one of the books and watch a film!
Cosplay&Coffee: What is a day in the life of Megan Flockhart like?
MF: I’m from Scotland and I’m a student studying International Marketing. Honestly? I have the inner spirit of an 80 year-old, so I genuinely love cosy nights in! Sometimes with a prosecco, sometimes with tea. If it’s a weekend there’s normally prosecco involved though, haha. Other weekends, I’ll go out with friends or my boyfriend who I visit regularly in Manchester.
Cosplay&Coffee: Have you traveled much?
MF: I have! I’m an expat child so over my life I’ve lived in: Scotland, Canada, Abu Dhabi, Australia, and America.
Traveling wise I’ve been all over! My parents loved to travel, so I’ve been many places that I’m forever thankful for. But I’m really keen on visiting Thialand or New Zealand or Rome (I also love historical vacations.I’m a huge history buff)!
Cosplay&Coffee: What movie could you watch over and over again on repeat?
MF: Elf (no matter what season), Titanic (Leo was my first crush ever), Harry Potter (any one), Perks of Being a Wallflower, Love Rosie, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, any Disney film, The Other Guys, Step Brothers….and so many more I’ve forgotten and probably will forget at night!
Cosplay&Coffee: How do you get your morning started? Are you a big coffee drinker?
MF: No, I’m a total tea Jenny! I start my day off with tea, but I’m not a great morning person.
Cosplay&Coffee: Are you excited for the Beauty and the Beast movie? Which scene are you most looking forward to seeing in the remake?
MF: Yes I am! So incredibly excited. Every time I see a clip it’s like I’m a child again! Honestly, I’m not excited for one specific scene, I’m excited to see all of it! I’m so inspired by Emma Watson’s take on Belle,.I applaud her so much because I feel like it does Belle so much justice and it’s so important for young children to see such an independent, unique, open-minded, and strong Disney princess!
Cosplay&Coffee: What Beauty and the Beast cosplays are you doing?
MF: Just Belle, at the moment!
Cosplay&Coffee: Any advice for those who want to make a Beauty and the Beast cosplay?
MF:Do it! Embrace it! Make it your own and I’ll love it 🙂
Welcome to the fifth session in our series of TEN interviews, each featuring one of Cosplay & Coffee’s official Instagram page models! Each of these girls offer incredibly well-crafted and stunning cosplays, so here is your chance to get to know them a little better.
Today, Cosplay & Coffee fans, you get to meet Cheryl a.k.a WhoaNerdAlert. We first discovered Cheryl back in October whilst looking for the Best Harley Quinn Cosplayers. Since then, Cheryl’s cosplays have only grown and we are honored to have her as one of our Instagram Page Models.
Cosplay&Coffee: What is the harshest criticism you’ve ever received as a cosplayer and how did you deal with it?
Cheryl Lawrence: Honestly, cosplaying Suicide Squad ‘s Harley is the hardest and where I’ve heard the most negative comments: “Halloween is over , you’re not Margot.” Or my favorite saying that she’s not the “real” Harley and that I must just have watched the movie and jumped on the bandwagon.
It was really was hard at first and discouraging. I would try to defend myself and engage with those negative people at first. But then I realized that I don’t need to justify myself to them. Being Harley makes me happy, and that’s what matters… that I like it! So now I just ignore people and focus on the positive comments I get instead 🙂 Which out-weigh the negative big time! I no longer let the negativity bother me.
Cosplay&Coffee: What conventions can we find you at this year? Will you have a booth?
CL: I’ll be at Wondercon in CA next , and after that you can always check my IG (link at bottom) profile for what’s next. I’ll always update it with my next con 🙂
Cosplay&Coffee: Where do you get your wigs? Do you love ‘em or hate ‘em and any advice on wearing them?
CL: So I try my best to cosplay blondes since I hate wigs . However, when I do get wigs I get them from Wigisfashion (I always buy front lace wigs, by the way). However I always have to brush and trim them before I’m happy with them. I get them from Wigisfashion because I love how thick and long they are. Also, they are easy to work with in my opinion. I must note that the lace front is more expensive, but looks a bit more realistic which is important to me.
Cosplay&Coffee: What is something your friends and family know you for?
CL: Always being cold. Seriously, always. I mean I sleep with a heating pad and have a heater under my work desk. So yes, I’m that girl.
Cosplay&Coffee: What is one question you wish people would ask, but never do?
CL: Not many people know this, but I grew up on Marvel. Xmen, Deadpool, and Spider-Man were like my only comics for such a long time . The D.C. Universe is much newer for me so I’m still getting to know all the characters and still have to ask ” who’s that ” once in awhile.
Cosplay&Coffee: How did you meet Dynamitewebber?
CL: So funny story: I wanted to do the Jim Lee version of Black Canary and she wears a mask. I had no idea how to get a mask to stick to your face so I thought, hey I follow a guy who always wears a mask! I’ll ask him.
Then we bonded over cosplay, comics and cartoons; our crazies matched so we decided to give this dating thing a go… and here we are ! I seriously can’t wait to do more couple cosplays with him. He’s the most talented person I know. I’m lucky to have him .
Cosplay&Coffee:What type of music do you listen to?
CL: All kinds: punk, alternative, pop, country, metal, but rock mostly.
Cosplay&Coffee: What did you want to be when you were little?
CL: Oh so embarrassing, but I wanted to be a rockstar! Totally learned to play bass and everything!
Cosplay&Coffee: What tattoos do you have?
CL: I have so many. I have half a candy themed arm, a mom tattoo, a poem, a cross , some flowers , and my little girls name 🙂
Cosplay&Coffee: Who is a cosplayer or photographer that you would love to do a shoot with?
CL: Honestly there are so many talented photographers. I’ve gotten to shoot with a lot of my favorites already . But I’d love to shoot with Kcstudios68 ( Ken ) again. Ooooor do a shoot for cosplay magazine ! ( hint, hint )
Photo by: Through Eagle Eyes
Be sure to follow Cheryl at WhoaNerdAlert on social media. See her links and her cosplay gallery below!
Welcome to the third session in our series of TEN interviews, each featuring one of Cosplay & Coffee’s official Instagram page models! Each of these girls offer incredibly well-crafted and stunning cosplays, so here is your chance to get to know them a little better.
The Collected Mutineer is a Californian cosplayer. She’s a writer for the fandom blog, The Collective. In fact, she’s also a contributing writer for Cosplay & Coffee. Her cousin is The Collectress, and together they are taking over sunny CA to cover as much cosplay ground as possible.
Photo by: @gerikramerphotography
Cosplay&Coffee: How long have you been a cosplayer?
Collected Mutineer: I’ve been dressing up since I was a kid! But real honest-to-goodness, dedicated cosplay started happening in 2014. In only 3 years, I have grown so much as a cosplayer, and I want to keep improving!
Cosplay&Coffee: Is there a particular character that got you into cosplaying?
CM: Yes. I have a weakness for Lady Loki.
Cosplay&Coffee: What are your passions?
CM: I am a huge bookworm, and I love writing. I’m passionate about learning, expanding my worldview, and being creative. I think that cosplay fits into the things I love pretty well. It’s an opportunity for crafting and self-expression, just like writing is.
Cosplay&Coffee: Which character has been the hardest for you to cosplay (from wardrobe malfunctions, to just not feeling the character)?
CM: I did a “casual” cosplay of Peter (Petra!) Parker at Long Beach Comic Con last year, and it just didn’t work out the way I had wanted. I went casual for the day because I wanted to take pictures of other cosplayers, and the outfit I wore was supposed to emulate one of Peter’s from The Amazing Spider-Man. But it was way too hot, and didn’t feel the way I had imagined it would. I ended up ditching half my outfit so that I could breathe properly! I would like to redo it in the future…but maybe only in the winter.
Cosplay&Coffee: What was the last TV show you watched? Tell us about it!
CM: I’m watching season 4 of The 100, and loving it! I write about it occasionally for The Collective. My cousin @collectresscosplay and I are also binging the Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix, which is about Drew Barrymore turning into a zombie. It’s hilarious, but also a little gross, so don’t watch it while you’re eating dinner!
Cosplay&Coffee: Have you cosplayed a character from that show? Do you want to?
CM: I would love to cosplay Lexa or Octavia from The 100. They get the cool warrior/post-apocalytic clothes, armor, and weapons!
Cosplay&Coffee: If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be?
CM: My list used to include 3. Jared Padalecki, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hiddleston. I’ve met the first two, so Tom is next! Although I think I would probably cry and possibly faint.
Cosplay&Coffee: What advice would you give your high school self?
CM: Don’t care about what your classmates think. Stop trying so hard to fit in.
Cosplay&Coffee: What is your aesthetic?
Expectation: The 1940s. Think Agent Carter or Casablanca.
Reality: Lazy cat lady.
Cosplay&Coffee: We all know it takes special motivation to be a dedicated cosplayer. Coffee helps us! So, what kind of coffee do you usually drink?
CM: I love hazelnut flavored coffee, and any of the blends you can get at Disneyland. I’m also a sucker for chai and English Breakfast tea (hey, it’s caffeine—it counts!)
Be sure to follow The Collected Mutineer on social media. See her links and her cosplay gallery below ?
Recently, I met with Erika Cosplay in Miami to talk to her about her experience as a professional cosplayer. It was fantastic getting to know her out of cosplay. And, as a newbie, I really appreciate her tips on cosplaying (see also, Erika’s Tips and Tricks)!
Get to know Erika in Cosplay and Coffee’s first video interview below. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!