Amanda’s Monthly Cosplay Tip: Explaining Cosplay

Hello cosplayers, and Happy December!

One thing that makes December so special to me (other than my birthday lol) is all the time you get to spend with friends and family. I remember when I was younger, we have company over, and it would always come up in conversation at one point or another. “So what kind of hobbies do you have?”  Whenever this happened to me, my mom would always go on and on about the crazy costumes I make and wear to conventions and sometimes, would even tell me to go “Put one on to show off.”  So, I present to you, some tips on how to explain what cosplay is to people who have no idea what you are talking about!

1.       Explain the meaning of the word cosplay.  Cosplay is a word, that is made up of the words “costume” and “play”,, which explains why it’s not just all about wearing a costume, but embracing the character as well and acting like them.  The word cosplay was coined by a man named Nobuyuki Takahashi when he first visited the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) in Los Angeles in 1984.  He saw all of the people dressed up in costumes and he wrote an article for the Japanese magazine My Anime about what he saw.

2.       Create the setting.  Many people who aren’t familiar with the art of cosplay or even the convention scene itself will be confused on why someone would want to do this sort of thing.  Explaining what conventions are like, including the different panels, shows, concerts, guest interactions, and cosplay contests can set the tone for why people enjoy dressing up the way that they do.  My parents were always confused on why I enjoyed anime and, by extension, cosplay, but they were always supportive when I told them how inclusive of a place a convention can be and how so many of my friends were involved as well.

3.       Show off your skills.  If you sew or craft your own costumes, don’t be afraid to bring out a couple of your newest or best pieces to show off.  Tell them about the different techniques you used or materials you chose and explain how you made the piece and what it is for.  If you don’t craft your own costumes, show off your photography poses or even a few photos of you in a group setting with other characters or a video of you performing in your costume.

4.       Own it!  Don’t let people make you feel silly for the things you do and enjoy.  Just because they may not understand or enjoy the same sorts of things you do, be proud of your work and your passions!

Have a wonderful holiday season everyone and we will see you in the New Year!  Otafest is only 5 months away, so happy cosplaying!  ;)