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Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019

Wonder Woman cosplayers shut up trolls with Patty Jenkins’ tweet, Gal Gadot joins in

Sri Lankan girls trolled for their cosplay at Lanka Comic Con say that encouraging tweets by Patty Jenkins — director of Wonder Woman — helped them fight the haters.

books Updated: Sep 01, 2017 14:05 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Amaya Suriyapperuma and Seshani Cooray cosplayed Wonder Woman at the recently-concluded Lanka Comic Con 2017.
Amaya Suriyapperuma and Seshani Cooray cosplayed Wonder Woman at the recently-concluded Lanka Comic Con 2017.

Two Sri Lankan girls, friends from school days, couldn’t believe the coincidence when both of them decided to dress up as Wonder Woman, for cosplay at the recently-concluded Lanka Comic Con. Their hopes of garnering praise, however, were thwarted. The day their pictures were uploaded on social media, they went viral for being trolled for their choice of character.

Amaya Suriyapperuma, a 21-year-old student of BSc Psychology, shares, “When I came out of the premier of Wonder Woman in Sri Lanka, I knew that this is the character I want to cosplay, because the film didn’t focus on the superhuman’s gender, and the character believed in fighting hate with love. On day one of Lanka Comic Con, which was also my birthday, I dressed up as Wonder Woman, and went back home feeling so happy. But the next day, just before I had to take to the stage, dressed up as another character, one of my friends sent me a meme of my picture and I was shocked. People were commenting on my skinny frame. I had never been face-to-face with cyber bullying of this scale.”

Seshani Cooray, a 20-year-old architecture student, adds that the worst bit was “the body shaming posts” directed at her friend Amaya. “Her body was being compared to mine, and I couldn’t do anything,” says Seshani, who in anticipation of hateful comments about skin show, had she worn the characteristic corset bustier with a short skirt, decided to cover up in jeans and a jacket.

“Amaya wanted to wear a skirt and I supported her, but since I wasn’t comfortable, I wore jeans. Yet, this was the reaction. I thought I will never cosplay again, but then someone told me that people not just in Sri Lanka but across the world have come out in our support and are re-tweeting our picture. When I was informed that Patty Jenkins – director of the movie Wonder Woman – has tweeted our picture and praised our efforts, I joined Twitter and read the post again and again to get back my confidence,” adds Seshani.

Here’s what Patty Jenkins tweeted, and replied when the girls’ showed gratitude for her support:

Several memes were later pulled down, but here’s a sample:

A screengrab of one of the memes.
A screengrab of one of the memes. ( Facebook )

Another young girl, who chose to dress up as Superwoman, was also trolled for her attire. Humaiza Thassim, a 24-year-old law student, narrates her experience. “I was going through chronic depression for a few years and came out of it when I started indulging in cosplay. Every time I wore the Superwoman T-shirt, I could fight depression like a super woman. But, on the second day of Lanka Comic Con when I saw memes made on my photo, I felt shattered. Some of the memes were also directed at me being a Muslim and yet cosplaying. I don’t understand, what has my religion got to do with my choice to dress up as my favourite character — Superwoman? I know Sri Lanka is a third world country, and Lanka Comic Con Cosplay started here just three years back, but I believe in what Wonder Woman says in the film – It is easy to hate but love is more powerful,” says Humaiza.

Recently, Gal Gadot re-tweeted the picture of these girls too, and complimented their look.
Here’s what Gal Gadot tweeted:

Before Gadot re-tweeted the picture, Amaya had told HT that it did matter to them if the Hollywood actor showed support, “I’m really inspired by not just Gal Gadot’s portrayal of her character, in the film, but also by the person she is in real life. For me, it’s been an honour to cosplay Gal Gadot, that too on my 21st birthday.”

After Gadot’s tweet, Seshani says, “It has just made my day and I’m thankful to all those who supported us. What I want to tell other girls is — don’t stop doing what you like to do just because of the fear of being trolled on social media!”

Follow @htTweets for more

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 15:45 IST