I’m sure all of you reading this have been asked this in the past. A non-cosplay friend with no knowledge of the community may have stumbled upon a picture you’ve been tagged in, where you’re fully clad in your best costume with other people looking equally as strange. The next time they see you they honestly cannot resist to ask what it is, closely followed by “But why do you do it?”
I have seen a great number of replies to the question. Some people react calmly, they sit there and explain what cosplay is and why they like it. Other people take the short approach where they state that they like it and it shouldn’t matter why, and others get too embarrassed to explain. In my case however, even though I took approach number one it lead to yet another “But why?” And it was at this point I started to falter. You grow so accustomed to one simple response to that same God damn question and yet when someone tries to pry a little deeper you don’t know. I was caught like a deer in the headlights, all of a sudden I had no idea why I spend so much money on Worbla and wigs and why I sat there night after night sewing beads into the corset of a dress no one would even recognise. This question made me question why on Earth I was suffering with glue gun blisters and stab wounds from pins I forgot to take out my dress. I started to question why I chose to take this up as a hobby and it made me scared how quickly I could change from loving it to wondering if I should stop.
It was this beautiful sense of satisfaction. This feeling that all the hairspray I had inhaled was actually worth something. Not only was I portraying the best female antagonist from my childhood, lots of people were insanely happy that I had done so. So even if most of my costume was glued and bits of my wig occasionally fell off. It’s through this hobby I’ve met some of my closest friends, and I continue to meet more and more people each year I take part. It is also something I immensely enjoy, I love sitting in my room and sewing together a dress that a few years ago I would have told myself I could never make. I’ve even ended up making things I never expected to need to know how to make (A tongue. I spent a day making a fake tongue.) I love challenging myself to more complex designs and characters who I once told myself would be impossible to cosplay has become a reality. For me, it gives me this sense of confidence that, if I put my mind to it, I can achieve anything I set out to achieve and I’m surrounded by lots of people who can help me along the way. I feel most at home when I’m wearing something that has taken me what has felt like forever to make, when I’m surrounded by loads of other people doing the exact same thing as me. I enjoy this hobby so much, it has taught me a lot about myself and the limits I previously placed on myself.
Tell me why you cosplay! What does cosplay mean to you? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I love reading your responses to my articles.
Or feel free to contact my cosplay page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/IzZyBOOM-Cosplay/869517049744145
Writer / Cosplayer from the UK.