We cosplayers go through a lot of hell for our favorite characters: our own blood, sweat, tears, and hard earned money go into making or buying out costumes; then we wear these costumes in public for who knows how long. Cosplayers love what they do, but there is always a dark side to every fun time.
During NekoCon (an anime convention in Hampton, Virginia), Cosplayers were asked, "What is your cosplay nightmare?". The Choices were the following: 'A tear or part of the cosplay breaking', 'When you order something and it comes in the wrong material/color/etc.', 'When your cosplay no longer fits', and 'Assholes and their labels'. Which do you think was the most popular answer? It's surprising.
'Assholes and their labels' made up 45% of the answers
Labeling was the most common answer in the poll. In the comments of the survey, stories were told of how cosplayers were being called out because of their race, weight, and especially the quality of costume. They told how horrible they felt when they were compared to other cosplayers, how they were put in a separate category for their race, and how they shouldn't cosplay certain characters.
Second was 'Part of the Cosplay Breaking' at 22%
It always sucks to put so much effort into a costume, and have it break in the middle of a con. It can happen anywhere and it can cause horrible problems based off it when repairing it or trying to enter competitions. It also created unnecessary stress.
But what does this mean?
Cosplayers go through a lot of stress in making/repairing/buying their costumes. When nearly half a group of cosplayers say that judgement is their biggest problem, it means there's a cultural problem.
A word to the wise: cosplayers did not go through hell for their costume just for you to label it. That is all.