Firstly I will admit that when I saw this shirt, I laughed. Personally I hardly, if ever, wear t-shirts so it's not something I would ever even buy. But I laughed- and most of that laughter was over the sheer amount of hate and rage that SO many people were directing at Hot Topic and this particular shirt.
Let's take a look at the words that have so many people in a tizzy:
"Do it right or not at all."
Most of the comments I have read about this have been "not all of us have the money", "not everyone is so skinny", "not everyone is pretty", etc etc and the like. SO MANY people are equating doing it right with being rich, pretty, skinny, attractive, or essentially the perfect anime girl.
But who is defining "right" here? Who says "right" means you have to be a Jessica Nigri clone? What if "right" simply means you have fun. Because what exactly would be the point of cosplaying if you weren't having fun? Personally I really believe that's what cospaly is about- having fun and showing your love for the material!
However I will not forget the aspect that this probably only made it onto the Hot Topic radar because of the "Heros" of Cosplay show recently aired by SyFy... but this is a whole other can of worms I don't even have enough words to talk about >_o
So listen up. It's a shirt- it's an attempt at product placement from what Hot Topic sees as a passing fad. Remeber, this is the same place that carried Sailor Moon goods 10+ years ago, has had Charlie the Unicorn goods, Doctor Who, Adventure Time, Justin Beiber, and anything "PunkXRawk" you could think of. It's a trend store. They're going to try to bandwagon and sell things they see are a trend. Such trends that their Halloween costumes this year were labeled "cosplay" and were terribly overpriced garbage! (I did a review of two such costumes.)
(I'd like to note that the backlash WAS so negative that Hot Topic has removed the shirt from their online stores. Checking in with the local mall shops it appears that it never made it to physical stores.)
Cosplay: HAVE FUN