Sometimes I wonder why I enjoy cosplaying so much… Or why I have become so fascinated with it. I guess at the core, these 5 reasons explain my feelings behind cosplay and why it’s become such a big hobby for me so quickly.
1.) Tribute: In a way, cosplaying to me is like paying tribute to the creators of the source material, be that an anime, comic book, TV show, etc. You clearly enjoyed the work enough that you want to copy one of the characters for a moment. I am not willing to cosplay a character that I don’t like or from a source material that I don’t know. I mean, it’s pretty flattering, I’m sure to see your characters walking around (or at least nerds dressed like them) momentarily in real life.
2.) Opens up Dialogue: Sometimes it’s hard to strike up a conversation with a random stranger. Cosplaying at a convention opens this up. Not only are people willing to approach you but also willing to ask questions or take photos with you. In a way, it’s stroking your ego… But mostly, to me at least, it’s giving you an opportunity to meet someone in real life that enjoys a show that you like as well. I usually don’t shout “NICE OUTFIT” at someone on the sidewalk lest I be carted to the funny farm. This also attaches heavily to making other people happy. I love seeing people’s faces when they recognize the cosplay, particularly children and seeing them get excited about the outfit and the character.
3.) Role-Playing: For a moment, you get to step outside the confines of just being yourself and leave the real world behind for a moment. People don’t judge as harshly on a convention floor and you can see all manner of individuals embracing things that they love. No one will judge you or stare at you weird for saying that you’re an avid Spider-Man fan when Spidey just walked out of the Men’s Restroom a second ago behind you.
4.) Seeing It Come Together: To me, cosplaying is often me purchasing items rather than sewing. Not that I can’t sew but I just choose to see if I can work it out without having to spend all the time slaving over a sewing machine. So, seeing items come sometimes from far oversees to my front door, opening them and then piecing it bit by bit together and then adding makeup and finishing touches is like putting a puzzle together. Sometimes you aren’t positive it will come together the way you imagined and sometimes last minute crunch adjustments have to be made. But, it’s exciting when you get that finished cosplay, go to a convention and have people’s faces light up with recognition.
5.) Friendships: Going to a convention by yourself is okay, for sure. I’ve done it a few times. But going with friends? Heck, that opens up a realm of amazing especially if you are all cosplaying. Cosplay groups are my absolute favorite as well. It also connects to role-playing, depending on your group, as you can each act in character around each other for added hilarity. My friend dressed as GoGo from Big Hero 6 saying, “Welcome to the Nerd Convention,” still cracks me up when I think back on our first con as that group.
Do you cosplay? If so, what are some of YOUR reasons for cosplaying?