This week we talk about a hobby, career, competition, that has come out of fan convention obscurity to mainstream reality shows, how-to videos, and even casual wear influenced by the are of: COSPLAY! We welcome Alley from the Rick & Alley Twitch stream. We talk about it’s fluid history and beginnings. Switching to the But Why Thos: we discuss how it’s come to create inclusive communities, inspire children, become the ultimate form of representation, and has become the base for fans to do good in the world.
A very special thanks to Alley! thank you for sharing your expertise with us! Make sure you drop her a follow and a like at the links below!
Fan But Why Thos:
David Dunlap via FB
For my family, it’s not about being recognized or getting a ton of pictures, but about doing something together and having fun. Whether it’s crafted from scratch, or purchased, or thrifted… it’s the journey to become the character for a few hours and spend that time together as a family. (Even if our cosplays are from different fandoms or eras)
Ashley Scoggins via FB
To me as a designer, cosplay is about opening up the world to not only myself but others as well. It’s about making fantasy become a reality for someone. That feeling of pure elation after a project is finished and worn… a mix of ecstasy and pride. Sort of like a fairy godmother!! Haven’t earned my wings yet but I hope to someday!
Manuel Morales-Torres via FB
To me it was a natural progression and melding of being a nerd a performer and a maker of things
Laura Stringfellow via FB
For me, it is an expression of passion through art. It also gives me an avenue for charity work.
Jessica Cochran via FB
Mostly because it’s just really, really fun. I love making costumes, even though I’m definitely not the best seamstress. I like going to thrift stores looking for materials and I love looking at pictures of other people’s cosplay online. I like it best when it’s a group project–when my whole family gets involved and we all make costumes to match. I think I’m ultimately just a bit child-like (or childish) and I never stopped loving playing dress up and pretend. So I go to costume events–cons, ren faires, theme parties–and I love every minute of it. I also like using cosplay in my aerials, as I’ve done trapeze routines as Mario and Ariel before. Taking the concept of a costume, designing it, putting it together, going to a con and being recognized by people all brings me such great joy that I always wind up beaming the whole con. It was hard to be Narcissa Malfoy because I was trying to make a dour face the whole time but I just kept smiling
Quinn (find Cosplay Corner here)
I started cosplayin gbecause I saw other people doing it. I thought it was cool and was so stunned at the craftsmanship, that I had to try to do it myself. I absolutely love the cosplay community. Everyone is so supporting, so friendly, and so helpful. It’s like being a part of an extended family. You might only see them once every other yearbut,, when you all get back together again, you’re thick as thieves. Just with about everything you do, there are drawbacks. The obvious one is that cosplay is costly, no matter if you make the costumes yourself or you buy them. A personal drawback is the stress that it puts on you. You often make a costume for a specific convention, so it becomes a battle against time. It’s also stressful to show other people your costume. It’s scary. You made your costume by hand, put your heart into it. It’s frightening to have this piece of you potentially judged by thousands of people. Cosplay matters because it’s inclusive. It gives people hope. Seeing your favorite characters walking, talking, breathing, it inspires you. It makes you want to engender all those characteristics that endear you to that fictitious person. Just look at the people who dress up like superheroes and visit sick children.
Cory McCoy via FB
Latino Comic Con yesterday was an important reminder why it matters. Kids get to see their heroes in real life doing things that help others. To be able to see people that look like them in huge. Some kids may not have enough positive role models in their lives and that interaction can help their parents. Cosplay matters to me because myself and so many others have used it to make real differences in our community. My first real cosplay was a reward for my nephew as I taught him how to read with comics. He really wanted to be Wolverine, but Logan needed his best friend Wade.
Seth Thistle via FB
To me it was the first time to really express myself. I got to be myself as well as another character. Without cosplay I probably wouldn’t have the friends I do today. It has helped me grow as a person and overcome so many social obstacles in my life.
Abel Mondragon via FB
I’ve always wanted to do it but I thought I lacked imagination until I met my boyfriend who supported me and cosplayed with me as well. I think it’s a blast, it’s so great to visually portray my favorite comic and anime characters, I almost exude the same manners and confidence that those characters would. It’s fun and empowering.
Jermuel Floyd via FB
I’ve always wanted to cosplay but I never knew how to sew. My mom tried teaching me once, and after 30 minutes i thought i was a pro. But after failing to make my ex a costume I thought cosplaying was not for me. But then life happened and a year later my mom taught me to sew again. This time I actually listened and learned. So i started making costumes for myself and it felt great, the creativity and challenges felt so worth it once it was all complete. Jesus, I remember wearing women’s leather tights from forever 21 NOW I can make them! It gives me confidence, and thats so important. Cosplaying is a community of amazingly supportive people who truly encourage others to succeed in all aspects of life. I know nurses, bus drivers, moms, and even government works who cosplay. It brings us together. You can’t see skin tone underneath armor, you only see the hard work they put into the costume and the amazing way they happily interact with others. I love making costumes for others and introducing them into the world of cosplay. Even though there are problems within the cosplay world(NOTHING IS PERFECT-EXCEPT BEYONCE) if more people cosplayed, maybe the world would be a little less judgmental!