I have decided to attend my local comic-con and want to wear the Captain America Cardigan and Captain America Football Tee. But due to past experiences, I am very nervous. Last time I did a ‘casual’ cosplay of the 11th doctor, I got attacked and slandered because of my weight. Is there any advice you could extend to help me deal with these bullies or what I could possibly do to hide my weight? Or should I not dress up at all?
-Captain America Fan
Dear Captain America Fan,
I am so sorry to hear that the insensitivity of others has caused you to question whether you should dress up for your local comic-con, when it definitely sounds like you want to do so. I am also sorry that you have had to endure nasty comments about your weight, especially when these comments have made you feel like you need to hide yourself. You should never have to hide anything about yourself.
If you want to show your Captain America pride, then I hope you will do so. Yes, there may be cruel people at the convention who make comments. There are mean people all over the world, unfortunately. The best strategy for dealing with them is to do what you can do not to take their comments personally. When bullies at conventions make comments, they do not know who you are. They have not talked with you, and they cannot see whether you are smart, or kind, or funny, or know a LOT about Captain America and the Marvel Universe. Of course, it is hard not to take cruel comments personally, but I hope you can remember that these people know nothing about you.
There are many ways to deal with bullies, and none of them are easy or comfortable. You can, of course, ignore them and just focus on the people you know. It might be helpful to attend the convention with a friend—someone who knows you well, and who likes you for who you are. You can lean on your friend for support if you feel you need to. One thing that might take bullies off-guard is to turn around and introduce yourself to them, with a smile on your face. You could say, “Hi, my name is so and so, and I’m a big Captain America fan. Who’s your favorite superhero?” When bullies have to look you in the eye and shake your hand—to see you as a real person—they might actually back down or stop talking. Perhaps this would show you how powerful you truly are. Of course, if your instincts tell you that the bully is not someone you want to interact with, then trust your instincts, and do what you can to ignore them. Focus on your friends and the great artists you are there to see instead. If someone is truly harassing you, however, please let security know. The entire convention might benefit from their being asked to leave.
All in all, I hope you will not let the cruelty of others stop you from expressing yourself, showing your fan pride, or enjoying the activities that you enjoy. Since you have already picked out your Captain America outfit, I hope you will wear it with pride! When you do, please remind yourself of who you are—someone with interests and passions. Remind yourself that you are a powerful person, just like Captain America.
Wishing you all the best,
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