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24 Mar 2011 - 20:5552910
Worried about Chavs/Bullying
Ok so today I was walking around college and Hartlepool with my blue fur leopard/cat hat and for a full hour all I got was abuse. Stuff ranging from "haha pussy hat" and stuff to "I'd bang that lass like derp derp"

Now I'm really scared because chavs have been saying they'd do me and other sexual stuff when there has been about 5 of them and me on my own and I'm scared they'll "Do" something.

And twice at Cosplay meet ups I've been attacked while in Cosplay and I've had a massive crying session today, but i really don't wanna have to stop wearing cosplay for meet ups or my cat hat because it's part of my individuality, which i rather like ^^ but yeah.

Any advice? I'n not new to cosplay so i've had this alot but the past few days i fear for my safety


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24 Mar 2011 - 21:2252915
There's not many ways around this. I've been attacked in these ways because I've dressed in an alternative way for quite some time. I'm also fat. Both make me ample targets it seems.

Two simple but often missed tips;

1. Avoid places you know they will gather. It sounds obvious but it's one of the best tools.
2. Try not to travel alone. You'd be surprised how even there being only two of you means they're less likely to start.

They lash out at people different from them. Avoid them and stick to well populated areas.

EDIT: Oh and most of it is bravado. They say things like that to impress their mates so it's very unlikely that anything'll come of it.

CosplayIsland Staff Member

Last edited by sjbonnar (24 Mar 2011 - 21:23)
24 Mar 2011 - 21:2852916
SJ couldnt have put it better. Let me just say that im not a small person nor am I a stranger to sticking up for myself but if im walking down the street cosplay or not and I see a gang of Yob I always give myself some space between me and them. Now it has nothing to do with not being proud of being a cosplayer or being a coward. Bruce Lee famously said If there are 5 people starting on you there really isnt much you can do regardless of physical strength. Its just about using your head with it and ignoring it when you can there insults are feeble anyways most of em in hull just make noises at you as you walk by because they cant think of anything XD

Tbh I dont really do public cosplay, not because of a moral standpoint it just dosent intrest me XD


Last edited by Captain_Marvelous (24 Mar 2011 - 21:52)
24 Mar 2011 - 21:4052919
Quote sjbonnar:
There's not many ways around this. I've been attacked in these ways because I've dressed in an alternative way for quite some time. I'm also fat. Both make me ample targets it seems.....
EDIT: Oh and most of it is bravado. They say things like that to impress their mates so it's very unlikely that anything'll come of it.

I'm also the same, I've been yelled a far more times than I can count (doesn't help that I live in UK's Chav hotspot, Hull!) and people have thrown shit at me too.

In relation to the above, It sounds sooo cliche, but just ignore them, be the epitome of uninterested and not bothered (at least on the outside), and they will let alone. I've had many a breadown in the comfort of my own bedroom because of something some yob has yelled, but just remind yourself that you're better than they are!

I have unfortunately made compromises, too, though. If I were cosplaying to an event or wearing something a little different such as a kitty hat or similar, I tend to get changed at an event, or bring accessories in a bag. It is very upsetting when you have to hide who you are but sometimes I find it is just easier :'(

24 Mar 2011 - 21:4852920
I'm worried about this as well. We have to walk through the middle of Birmingham to get to the train for Kitacon and back all 3 days and eesh, a little terrified about bullying to be honest D:

24 Mar 2011 - 21:5252921
I was coming back from Manga night this month and some adult chavs like 30 or so year olds grab my Cheshire scarf and try to take it/strangle me with it. But I just shouted in Japanese and they backed off XD I couldnt do much as my hands where gloved with massive cheshire claws ^^; but lucky I has my friend with me but i still as annoyed..... bleh Dont cosplay near pubs...... drunks love to be drunk =/ lol

24 Mar 2011 - 22:1052925
Quote Fables:

I'm also the same, I've been yelled a far more times than I can count (doesn't help that I live in UK's Chav hotspot, Hull!) and people have thrown shit at me too.

Seriously? I'm studying in Hull right now and the chavs here are NICE compared to Doncaster, I've even had a few polite ones who've smiled at me. Could just be that I've dropped lucky in my three years being here though. o_O

Echoing what others have said, if you feel that you are in danger go some place safe like into a store for example. Safety is a priority. If you are in a situation in which you feel unsafe at all, remove yourself from it as quickly as possible. Don't put yourself in danger in an attempt to stand up to a group of people just to save face.

If you really feel you must say something, simply respond with something alone the lines of, "Thats harassment and if you continue i'll take your photo and call the police." and leave it at that. Don't engage them or answer questions directed at you as it allows them to try and justify themselves to you. If push comes to shove and you do take a picture, you can show it to the police if they continue to bother you.
Also, don't loose your temper or swear at them. A lot of harassers want to get a rise out of you and by swearing at them or yelling abuse, they get what they want. Often totally ignoring them works really well. I did this recently to a group of really loud drunks who kept making lewd remarks and they just carry on and move on.

Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and leave your cosplay stuff at home though, or for bigger things like cons or recons held by your local Waterstones. As much as it sucks that you might have to dress down (because you should be free to wear what you like, within reason obviously), sometimes thre isn't much of an alternative. Or save your cosplay things for when you are in larger groups of friends, as that tends to keep chavs at bay.

Honestly though, think about where you are wearing cosplay items. Going into the middle of a crowded town centre is asking for trouble. Going past pubs in cosplay? asking for trouble. Wearing skimpy cosplay items in public? Asking for trouble. Sad, but true. Society doesn't work on fairness and equality, it works on 'The media/society says what you're wearing is weird, so I'm going to make fun of it/you.'

Take the time to think about where you're going to be wearing your cosplay items and prepare accordingly. For example, if you're going to a recon at Waterstones, put your cosplay on but cover it with a coat until you get inside the store.

Edit to add: Another technique which I use around groups of chavs and the like is if I see them from a distance, I casually cross the road. A lot of the time you can go by unnoticed.


http://youtu.be/SYhgRqJeuEo - Convention Etiquette

Last edited by Member-XI (25 Mar 2011 - 13:27)
24 Mar 2011 - 22:4452926
I've been in the alternative scene since...well actually it's been so long I can't remember XD but I was heavily into the goth look for like 6 or so years. I've learnt how to deal with it as well as having my Dad in a punk band I know how to deal with it all.

seans tips are pretty much what i would suggest. Avoiding being alone and walk/hang out in safe zones.

NEVER respond or show reaction to what they say. It makes them more annoyed/they will leave you alone better.

Keep an MP3 player on you. Sounds silly but it drowns out the noise of the abuse. I never leave the house without one even now my image is a lot more dull and boring in comparison.

And in certain areas that you know aren't safe, don't take the cosplay. Certain areas of my home town when I was younger/even now I won't go alone and would tone down my look for my own safety. As much as being individual is awesome but you have to put your well being before it.

edit: i'm from essex, doesn't get much more chavy.

Last edited by angel aiko (24 Mar 2011 - 22:47)
24 Mar 2011 - 22:5752927
There are lots of people who react rudely to anything different from what they know, that's just the way it is really, Chavs are rude about emos and cosplayers ect, but then Cosplayers and emos and so on are also rude about chavs, it's a nasty circle that's always going to happen

Personally I like to keep my cosplay life away from my personal life, I know that's not a case for everyone, but I'm always getting harassed for no apparent reason at all, I don't dress in any kind of style, so I think they are just mean to everyone, Just ignore them and they'll not bother you as much I know that's easier said then done lol but It kinda works, just try to stay in a group when your in cosplay, and stay away from really bad areas and don't walk alone at night That's all the advice I can give ^^

24 Mar 2011 - 23:2552928
As pretty much everyone has said, sadly there isn't much that can be done about people like that other than avoiding them.

Even in normal clothes, it happens where I live. It was in a different town, but I've had abuse shouted at me for eating a sandwich -_-.
My point is that some people are just looking for reasons to hurl abuse at strangers and wearing cosplay in public is giving them a big one. Heck, I've had stuff said to me for no reason at all - just seems like some people want to show off.

The only thing that you can do is, if your cosplay doesn't look like it could be normal clothes or if you're worried about being harrassed, change into it at the event. Your safety is paramount.


24 Mar 2011 - 23:3652929
Quote Sora:
Dont cosplay near pubs...... drunks love to be drunk =/ lol

Or a McDonald's. That's like a chav breeding ground.

Anyways back to main point.

It doesn't matter what you wear or do nowadays. If you look and do the opposite of them, your a target. Usually they don't even care, it's mostly the ones who tend to show off or make themselves look big.

I've been looked down and insulted by chavs in my normal clothes and cosplay. Yes, they are hurtful and it does make you intimidated, but at the end of the day you shouldn't let them and fear get to you and make you change what you like and style of clothing so they can stop picking on you.

You shouldn't let them get to you. It means that they win and they're right when you know damn straight they are not.


Last edited by Petchy-mon (24 Mar 2011 - 23:38)
25 Mar 2011 - 00:2452932
You get it when dressed "normally" too sadly, these type of people start on anyone. Once some girls walked passed me in the street and one said "She's a lesbian". I was like "Wha? You don't even know me!". And kinda a lame "insult" because if I was I wouldn't care. I'm also from Essex and today in town some nasty Chav girl shouted really loud for everyone to hear at someone else: "You're a spastic!" Charming.

But yes they are more likely to pick up on what's classed as "different". Same advice as everyone else really, if you want to avoid it cover up costumes when travelling or tone down your appearance in certain areas. If you don't want to change your image, even temporarily, then ignoring is the best option. I put my ipod on loud and act oblivious to them and like I'm determined to get somewhere, no-one's ever followed me. I tend to get comments or looks then I'm left alone if I don't react. Getting sexual comments isn't nice but I doubt very much they meant it as a serious thread, it's just showing off.

25 Mar 2011 - 01:0052933
Wow, this sounds all to familiar, and as everyone here has recommened, use and mp3 or headphones to block the retards out. Where i live in London, theyre at every corner (North London). Back when i used to go college and being a huge anime and game fan myself back then, along with a mixture of gothic clothing, i got targetted on my way home and attacked also, unfortunately no one told me that if you stick up for yourself against them that it fuels them and well, p****es them off, so i got targeted even more. In the end i had to dress like a hoody/chav female to blend in so theyd leave me alone, and honestly I hated every second of it, but it was the only way to get in and out of that place without anyone bothering me, well, kinda, cus dressing like them just got the retarded guys talking to me -_-.

But my point is, dont change who you are for these morons, theyre scum of the earth and thats how i see them, and the fact that they hang around in groups ALL DAY LONG just picking on people who walk by who arent dressed like them proves how pathetic they are. Wearing headphones or scouting the areas that they usually hang around in is the best thing to do, ive noticed at certain times of the day (mon-fri) there are less of them, then once 3pm onwards hits, theyre there to stay.

Just be careful and keep your guard up, but never change who you are hun if in doubt, cover up a bit or mix and match

25 Mar 2011 - 01:3752934
You know, I can't believe I forgot this in my post, so here it is:
Act confident. Confidence is quite often the best defense that you have. Because if someone is looking for a victim, they are looking for an easy target. They aren't going to waste their time having a go a someone they think will just brush off their insults or worse - laugh at them. They want someone they can upset, because the act is all about making themselves look and feel good.
So if you walk down the street in cosplay, don't hunch up and look embarrassed, just stroll as though you're wearing River Island or something XD. Let the insults just bounce off you and they should lose interest.

It helps to have a thick skin. I wouldn't say that I'm thick-skinned but I've dealt with OCD and depression since I was quite young and that alone pretty much set me up to be ridiculed my entire school life (funnily enough nobody seemed to care about what I wore or listened to :/); so there isn't really much that can be said to me that I haven't heard before.
Just expect this stuff when you're out and about and it does become a little easier to deal with. Fortunately a lot of people who feel the need to build themselves up with negative action are all talk. But when it looks to get physical, you need to take action.


25 Mar 2011 - 12:3052937
[ thought i'd add my experience to see if it can help you in anyways ]

I know a lot of people say to 'listen to your ipod, or ignore them'
But i've found out that listening to your ipod provokes them, they want to show off and you ignoring them makes them just as angry as telling them to 'f**k off'
Standing waiting for the bus, put my ipod in to block out the insults ended up getting punched in the face.

This has happened quiet a few times, so instead if i'm alone and they say 'Dirty dyke' i'd smile at them or just stand there and take it.

I'm considerd a easy target. I'm small, petite and look younger than i am so really listening to your ipod sometimes does more harm than good.
I took up Tae kwon do after a while, since my i feared for my safety but also loved the sport, never had to use it since all because i'll either, agree with what there saying, or just shrug it off or smile at them..

i'll tear down the sky if it'll save her
25 Mar 2011 - 18:3452954
I find that this is at its worst when I am alone in cosplay.

My way of dealing with it is avoid showing any weakness. When it comes to bullying in general its often some idiot trying to act cool in front of people or doing what they can to try make themselves feel/look good. In reality, they often have their own weaknesses and try to redirect them at those who are seemingly weak and vulnrable. I know that well over the years of being bullied at school.

I tend to show a brave face and have a 'don't care' attitude, and make it seem that I am no different from everyone else. Act normal and be treated normal.

Some lads were teasing me on the tram a few months ago. When they asked for my number I told them thats 'it is none of their buisness' in a brave voice, just as if I was any other person. For the rest of the journey they did'nt even look at me and kept quiet.

Confidance is the best way to shut them up Even if you are shy just try to be as brave as possible. At the end of the day we are just more willing to show our geeky side and are proud of it! Don't let anyone make you feel down over it and be proud of who you are!

Alcon 2016

25 Mar 2011 - 18:4552955
Hm, I've gotten a few mean comments before since I travel to expos/cons in cosplay and east london is a breeding ground for chavs. =__= I have an extremely short temper, but as time passed, I got sick of making comebacks and if anyone ever made comments about my cosplay or something, I'd just nod, smile and say 'ok then' and walk away, it actually irritates them an awful lot. *-*

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25 Mar 2011 - 20:5452961
Quote Leonie Heartilly:
Once some girls walked passed me in the street and one said "She's a lesbian".

I've had this issue. It's amusing how quickly they fleed when I went "Yep... you know, you're really hot. Wanna come back to mine? *wink*"

It really freaked them out.

I don't recommend it though - you never know what they will be like.

I live in a county known for being inbred, slow, backward and with towns that have "small town mentality"

I wear my black hat with pink furry ears and balls with PRIDE! Yes, I mainly get nasty comments (apparently, that hat makes me a slut, whore and mentally disturbed!) but I also get nice ones. It's easier to focus on the mean, but I'm sure you probably got compliments and even enquires to where you got it from.

My friend gets nasty comments about how she dresses. She has a brilliant sense of style!! But where we live it's "weird"

And it's not like you can win anyway. Chavs will be nasty no matter what you wear.

Oddly enough, when in cosplay they're generally too freaked out to do anything - If you're cosplaying a popular character, they can actually be quite nice lol. We have a chavvy guy come up to us and ask about what we were doing and if we needed a Mickey cause I was armed with a cam corder and my two friends were dressed as Sora and Riku.

You also mention it happens round college; report it. It's bullying and they will be cautioned for it. if they're making sexual comments there as well, then it's highly likely they'll be expelled.

Street wise, if it's really bad report it to the police. They are clearly scaring you, and the fear of being attacked is enough to report it - it's their JOB to make sure no-one is in fear of being assaulted.

Ayacon Plans
25 Mar 2011 - 20:5952963
Wow I cant believe how horrible some people can be. Why randomly insult someone you don't know? I don't get it :/

25 Mar 2011 - 21:1752965
It's all very strange isn't it, I mean I think as cosplayers there will always be people that don't understand and think we are merely silly kids playing dress up, they don't see the hard work we put into finding the perfect material and the sewing and everything that goes into it, Thats why it's nice that we have expos that we can show off these and chat to others into the same thing, it;s like out little secret life

25 Mar 2011 - 22:1752968
I got jumped by a group of chavs in Telford, after I took a wrong turn while trying to find my hotel, dressed in my goth stuff before a Midlands Expo a few years ago. They had a problem with what I was wearing.

Being 6ft 2 I don't tend get much in the way of trouble so by reflex, without thinking/paying attention I told them to go fuck themselves and whatever council house the crawled out from. I then realised there were like 5 of them.... By that time it was already too late to back down and I refused to run, (Couldn't anyway, had all my cases with me) so ended up in a brawl. Got clipped around the face, and nearly got a broken nose, but gave as good as I got and eventually after hitting one of them in the side of the head with a suitcase full of guns they ran away. God Telford is a shithole.

I suppose the moral of the story is pick your battles, but I much prefer to stand up for myself and what I believe. I would have felt much worse backing off and letting them 'win'. I'll be damned if some chav will dictate what the fuck I choose to wear and when.

But if you cosplay in public outside of a con setting on your own you will look like a twat and the public will treat you as such.

Last edited by Leadmill (26 Mar 2011 - 00:19)
26 Mar 2011 - 19:0252988
After arriving in telford and dealing with chavs last year I wouldn't ever arrive to an event in cosplay again.
If travelling to an event that's in a chav zone, for the love of god don't go in cosplay.
Travel in groups and go to places you know you could be safe or within range of say a shop or restaurant or such.
At Minamicon we went to Macdonalds in crossplay. That was hilarious, got comments, but words only make me burst out in laughter.

I personally get alot of stick for the way I dress, the military look is in... provided you aren't actually wearing the nicer looking stuff from a real military... even at university. Since the average student wears only cheap nasty indie clothes, they see anyone who looks the least bit different as being odd. I get shouted at in the street and even get funny looks from bobbies.
The way around it? Personally I laugh it off, ignore it or play into their unfunny jokes. Remember if they feel insecure enough about themself they need to comment on others, it makes them the lesser form of life. Not you.
Being 6' I'm probs lucky in the violence department, the look of general scorn is usually enough.

26 Mar 2011 - 20:5052996
Quote Jeff_Kamiki_Jurai:
I personally get alot of stick for the way I dress, the military look is in... provided you aren't actually wearing the nicer looking stuff from a real military... even at university. Since the average student wears only cheap nasty indie clothes, they see anyone who looks the least bit different as being odd. I get shouted at in the street and even get funny looks from bobbies.

TBH I agreed with everything except this.

This entire thread is about the negativity of groups judging the clothing that alternative dressers/cosplayers wear...but are you not judging the clothing of an "average student"?

Also I think it depends heavily which military it is who's uniforms you're wearing around town.

CosplayIsland Staff Member

28 Mar 2011 - 02:1353042
Ive never been Telford before, i had no idea the idiots were that bad there, London is enough for me *shudders* If only there was a way to band them from MCM Expos aswell, forgive me for saying that, but i have my reasons...

MCM Oct 2008 I went with a group thinking they were quite nice even though they were hoodies (they were nice around me, but one particular one was just a big headed bastard)
When we were standing in the line I got excited and started taking pics of cosplayers cus it was great seeing everyone enjoying themselves and seeing the outfits, there was a DBZ group of teenagers whom i thought done a great effort on their costumes as everyone else i saw, but one kid who dressed as Mr Satan/Hercule just got picked on and humiliated by the effing jerk i was with for wearing a big fake mustache and being dark skinned....the kid looked like he was gonna burst into tears, I had to apologise to him and give him a thumbs up in the huge crowd as he moved away quickly, i felt awful for him, poor thing... I havent seen him at another expo since, keep hoping i'll bump into him some day though and i hope hes still cosplaying to.

Im sorry for saying this but mcm should make a new rule somehow targetting pigs like that who ruin other peoples fun just because they dont approve cus we're not the same as them. I wish MCM security would pay more attention to that than hassling cosplayers for being in big cosplay groups and taking photos -_-;

Last edited by RevolverKitty (28 Mar 2011 - 02:28)
28 Mar 2011 - 06:4853048
I know that this doesn't count as bullying or anything but for the October expo last year, I cosplayed as Chrona from Soul Eater and had to wait for the bus at Stratford and a bunch of religious people thought that my cosplay was to make fun of them. O___O I had no idea what the hell they were shouting so I made a run for it. XD

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