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When you first hear of cosplay what do you think? Playing dress up? What is cosplay? Or I have heard of it and want to try it, but do not know where to start? Well, first you need to start with what is cosplay? Cosplay is a noun, and it is the practice of dressing up as a character from movie, book, or video game especially one from the Japanese genre of manga and anime. Then you can move on to what you want to cosplay. You can cosplay anything or anyone. Some of my favorite characters to cosplay as are Mituna from the webcomic Homestuck, Hikaru from the anime Ouran High School Host Club, Grell from the anime Black Butler, Juuzou from the anime Tokyo Ghoul, and also some original characters.
My advice for a beginner cosplayer would be to just be yourself. For most people, cosplay is a way to escape reality. Just because you cosplay a certain character does not mean you have to act like that character. When I cosplay I'm not worried about being too into character, I'm mostly in it to have fun. Which leads into my second piece of advice, have fun. Always have fun when you are doing anything, whether it be for cosplay or not. Having fun, to me, is one of the more important parts of cosplaying. Lastly, I wouldn't let other people get you down. If someone says they don't like your cosplay, or they say you're not doing it right, don't worry. I hear it all the time. "Your cosplays suck!" "Lose weight!" Yes, I'm hurt at the time. but then I remember how much fun it is/was to cosplay that character.
Where do I obtain my cosplays?
I make my cosplays. I found it is easier and cheaper to make them. There is nothing wrong with buying them but watch out for the sizing! Most of the cosplays I see online for sale are in Asian size, which is smaller than most other sizes. Some sites people use to order cosplays are CosplaySky, VCosplay, and BuyCostumes. So, you mainly want to just watch for the sizing if you buy your cosplay.
Did I find who I am through cosplay?
Yes. I smile a lot more since I started cosplaying. I feel more confident when I cosplay. As I stated before, cosplay can be an escape for some people. I know it is for me.
Cosplay can be relaxing, or energizing. For me it's a mixture of both. When I am home it serves as a relaxing hobby. At conventions it is energizing because I get to meet other amazing cosplayers.
Do's and Don'ts at Conventions:
- One of the most important things I can think of is always ask to take pictures. I know you might be excited to see a certain cosplay, or cosplayer, but always ask.
- Always ask for a hug or just to touch the cosplay in general. For example, I have been to cons where their have been furries, they might not what you to touch their cosplay. Always ask!
- Seal your makeup! If you have any face paint at all, always seal it. You will most likely smear it on another cosplayer's cosplay. Seeing I cosplay Homestuck, I wear grey paint, it comes off easy. I always seal my paint when I go to conventions.
- DO NOT run up and hug a random cosplayer. It is very disrespectful. My biggest fear is of cosplaying from a certain fandom and if someone knows the character they just run up and attack me. It will cause people to have an anxiety attack. DO NOT DO IT!!
- Do not judge the other person's cosplay. You don't know how long it took to make it or how proud the person was to finally make it.
- Don't hate on the cosplayer just because you don't like the character they are cosplaying. One of the last conventions I was at there was a cosplayer who I didn't like their character, but I still complimented them and told them I liked their cosplay. You could really hurt the cosplayer, and even make them never want to cosplay that character again.
I hope you learned something from this and I can't wait to hear about your cosplay experiences!