May 8th, 2020.
I freaking love and hate cosplay and I can’t tell which feeling is dominant. And I’m no newbie. I’ve pretty much been doing it on and off for 7 years and doing it somewhat seriously for 4-5.
I’m no stranger to cosplay. Hell, take a look at my cosplay family.
But I hate:
- Last minute drop outs to group shoots (aiya) AFTER the location is already booked
- The sacrifice of a limb to get cosplay photos
- The expectation to have a new costume every single convention
- Creepy NPC energy asking for hugs when you make eye contact
- The cliques between the “cool” cosplayers and the “popular” cosplayers and the “high school drama” group
- Always having no money because I cosplay
But I’m not a quitter. And there are so, so many good things.
- A community that shares resources and wants you to feel validated and loved – generally a loving and welcoming place
- Meeting like-minded individuals which blossom into great friendships that transcend conventions and the generic meet-twice-a-year thing
- The artistic way of seeing people interpret designs and bring them to life
- The toxic positivity
- Elitism becoming less and less relevant as the community becomes more mainstream
- f u n
There is something about dressing up and being not me for a day that I just love. I swear I used to like… wear colour contacts for 12-14 hours, but I am now old and I can’t wear a costume for more than 6 hours.
Don’t even let me start about how much money I’ve dumped on this hobby. Between shoots, convention passes, makeup, lashes, contacts, transportation, hotels, the costume itself, the 5 meters of fabric I bought just in case I messed when I only needed 2, the crafting tools, the accessories, the snacks… I am balls deep. I have a $100 Walmart sewing machine, a serger that probably needs servicing, and an embroidery machine that I have touched exactly one time. I am hella committed.
In all seriousness, I think everyone should cosplay at least once. It has helped me meet new people, be more confident, learn how to plan and finish projects, love my own body, and love myself. That last one is still a work-in-progress to be honest. We workin’ on it.
In the words of my queen Ru, “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an AMEN?”