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Encouraging Cosplaying

Cosplaying is more than just dressing up.

Someone is enthusiastic about a show or movie that they have seen. There is an issue, though: They are unable to see themselves in a character they wish they could. Among other forms of creativity, here comes cosplaying to save the day.

As stated initially, cosplaying is a form of creativity; it is a form of fan art. Some of the cosplay consists of using makeup/paint, some consists of mixing and matching the clothes that they already own for the particular style of the characters they admire, and some of it consists of a fan going all out and crafting parts of the cosplay they need to complete an outfit—such as sewing or papier-mâché.

Since a portion of the subjects of cosplay are fictional, it gives enthusiastic fanatics the freedom to add their own spin to the characters they dress as (although no one is or should be stopping a diverse group of people from dressing as real idols, too). If a character is a particular body type in a series, no one is stopping other fans or other body types from joining in on the fun. If a character is a certain gender that some fans aren't, they shouldn't be told that they can't dress as the character. If they want to add makeup or other accessories into their creations, they are free to express their interpretations to their heart desires.

There might be folks who are outside of fandom communities in general that might be confused about the point of cosplaying, but if those people take a good look at what goes into the costumes they prepare for, they might be able to see the origins of potential prop-makers, painters, sculptures, authors, actors, and any other careers that these fans might find themselves with enough skills to reach. Not only that, even if it takes a while for these cosplaying fanatics to realize the careers they're capable of in the long run, it still helps them bond with others who understand their passion and keep each other from feeling guilty about feeling different in one form or another.

Let's come up with a scenario: You've finally felt bold enough to try coming up with costumes inspired by your favorite idols or characters. Even though it can potentially bring you closer to a career path you'll enjoy, at least a few peers or family members might not be able to see the whole picture and focus it on you just wearing a costume and playing pretend long past a younger, acceptable age. You feel slightly uncertain about if your hobby is actually acceptable. However, you find out about a convention nearby and you feel brave enough to go to the convention and wear your costume that your peers initially made you feel self-conscious about. After walking around feeling like the odd one out for what you decided to wear, you eventually see someone else in a costume (maybe inspired by an anime, video game, whatever) and that one person you see turns into more and more people that you eventually interact with and you start to feel that same pride in your work that you used to feel when you first put it together. Sure, it's not the exact same quality as costumes cast members of plays and other productions make, but, at the end of the day, cosplayers are still just enthusiastic humans that consider being part of a community a huge bonus. Are some people evil for not understanding how far cosplaying can potentially go? No, of course not. However, with enough help, those same people will, maybe not get into it themselves, but at least encourage others who enjoy it to find joy in it without making them think it's taboo. Maybe someday, it can be normalized for people to encourage cosplayers for either coming closer to a career path that fits who they are or finding friends within what seems like a silly activity.

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Encouraging Cosplaying
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