Comic Con

‘Cospositivity': Finding Body Love in Cosplay & Fitness at NYC Comic Con

Kicking off this week after a COVID-19 hiatus, New York City's Comic Con is the city's first major convention since last Spring. Fans came together to talk about the importance of feeling fit and confident in cosplay

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What to Know

  • Comic Con returned this week after being forced to cancel last year's activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • One new panel discussed the importance of owning self-love in cosplay and fitness
  • To the group, there is no "one size fits all" mentality when it comes to building the character and one's own health

At limited capacity, Comic Con is New York City's first major convention since last spring. Hundreds of fans, artists and vendors returned to the Javits Center to celebrate everything from comic book to video game culture.

A Friday panel hosted a mix of cosplay and fitness lovers hoping to spread a message of empowerment this year, saying that the cosplay community should be a safe space for all people no matter shape and size.

"To me, cospositivity is freeing yourself from any expectations of who you're supposed to be so you can fully embrace yourself in the character you're trying to get to," Lindsay Jude, a group fitness instructor, told NBC New York.

To her, there are certain expectations from the cosplay community that, at times, can be problematic, such as racism or homophobia when taking on certain characters. "We need to address that, just because a character is drawn a certain way doesn't mean that it's supposed to be that way," Jude said.

A piece of advice from cosplay artist Patrick Diamond is to lean in on who you are portraying, grasping that character's confidence and just having fun.

"You can modify to work within whatever makes you comfortable. It's always your comfort first in regards to cosplay," Diamond said.

In regards to fitness, the group as a whole agreed that there is no "one size fits all" mentality. A character's body should not represent how a cosplayer should feel.

When people want to start their fitness journeys, do something that is different, or that they're afraid, I think that it's important to know: 1. You are more capable than you think you are and 2. You have to start loving the person you are at this moment to move forward mentally in that journey.

Rachel Lauria
Fitness Porfessional

Another perspective to consider is body neutrality, which passes on certain verbal positive self-reinforcements. Instead, it focuses more on acceptance.

"To me, body neutrality speaks more to me because it's meeting yourself more where you are day-to-day. It's more about accepting your body for what it is and allowing for that to change," said Robyn Warren, M.S.Ed.

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