5 Ways to be a Good Cosplayer
It’s hard to define what makes a good cosplayer. Everyone seems to have a different idea about what separates the awful from the amazing. Some will tell you accuracy is key, while others believe that if you’re having fun, then you’re awesome. Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that being a good cosplayer is as much about being a good person, as it is about having a good costume. Cosplay helped me develop out of my angsty teenage shell, into the fabulous human being that I am today. With that in mind, here are a few things that I’ve picked up over the years, that I believe help make people good cosplayers.
1. Pick characters you actually like – When I first started cosplaying, most of the characters I dressed as were chosen for me by one friend, or another. They were all the quiet, sullen type, that didn’t do a lot of talking (like myself at the time). Then, one year, my friends got really into Marauder era Harry Potter, and I chose the wondrous Gilderoy Lockhart. I chose him for his ability to deflect any negativity. He’s completely unapologetic about who he is, despite being a lying coward, and I have never had more fun cosplaying than I did flouncing around in a Ravenclaw uniform, with a wand the length of my forearm (oh, the innuendo).
2. JUST DO IT – If you think you’d like to cosplay a character, COSPLAY THE CHARACTER. Don’t fret about what people will think, or about whether anyone will recognise you. Do it because you love the character, and because putting on that costume will make you feel confident, and happy. Don’t even worry if a friend is doing the same costume. Just do it, because sure it’s nice to have variety in a cosplay group, but chances are your friend will cosplay a whole bunch of characters from the same series, and they’re your friend. They won’t want to hold you back.
3. Don’t judge – As a teen, the reason I loved my cosplay group was that it was a place I could hang-out, and be a complete weirdo, alongside other complete weirdos. It was a judgment free zone, and it was exactly what I needed. Now it seems I can’t go a day without seeing a “Fat Cosplayer” page, some picture of a girl dressed at Harley Quinn with a series of slut shaming comments underneath, or even thinspiration slapped next to a picture of Jessica Nigiri. So remember guys, every time you judge another person’s cosplay, you make an ewok cry.
4. Be friendly, not creepy – One of the main reasons anyone gets into cosplay is to make friends with awesome, like-minded people. But there is a line between being friendly, and being creepy. If you see someone in an amazing outfit, it’s fine to say hello, ask for pictures, and maybe suggest you hangout. However, if they say no, or they have other plans, don’t try to persuade them, or stalk them for the rest of the afternoon. Be chill. Remember that they are just another human being, and respect their wish to be left alone.
5.Take pictures! – Not enough people do this anymore, which is a shame. One of the major cosplaying joys is having someone run up to you and ask for your picture, but unfortunately we tend to be an introverted bunch. So let’s make all make a pledge; if we see someone we want a photo with/of, we will go and get a photo with/of them AND we will post them in a findable place on Facebook. That way, not only will we have plenty of happy memories, but the person in the picture will too.
Phew, well, I’m done with my trip down memory lane…although I do have a sudden urge to dig my Ravenclaw tie out of the wardrobe. Still, before I do that, I’d like to ask what you think makes a good cosplayer?
Ciao mes ffrindiau!
P.S. Winner of the giveaway will be announced Thursday night!
P.P.S. I’d like to take the credit for these pictures, but most of it goes to my friends, Charlotte and DJ, as well as few other members of CosplayCymru (If you took one of these, let me know!).