What Is Cosplay?

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What Is Cosplay?

Nevaeh Peacock, Staff Writer

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Cosplay: the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, video game, etc.

What is cosplay? The word itself is a combination of the words “costume play,” but the actual activity is more lively than that bland definition. In the simplest explanation, cosplay is a celebration of Halloween, but all year long. People of all ages from around the world create or buy pre-made costumes of their favorite characters from shows, movies, books, or even YouTubers, and the list doesn’t stop there!

A lot of cosplayers take the hobby serious enough to make a social media account of their choosing to post photos of themselves in cosplay and to give updates on future events, known as Comic Cons (typically shortened to ‘cons’), they will be attending. These ‘cons’ take place all around the world and have paved the way for a great community to band together. I took the initiative to ask some influencers on Instagram a few questions about their cosplaying experience.

“I got into cosplay when I wanted to make a Tauriel (an elven character from the literature work The Hobbit) costume for Halloween. I made [the costume] and was extremely happy with it,” states elven.rose from Instagram, “I wanted to continue cosplaying other characters, and when I posted pictures of her (the costume), I got a lot of positive feedback and decided to continue on with cosplaying!”

One might ask, ‘Well, why does someone even want to cosplay?’ To that, I say, what a wonderful question. Costay.moo on Instagram has said, “My favorite thing about cosplaying is seeing peoples’ faces when they meet me. I love to make them happy and pretend to be their idol, even for just a couple of seconds. I’ve had kids cry tears of happiness when they see me, and it makes me smile to know that I can bring this much joy into someone’s life. Other cosplayers will say the same thing; they get into this to make either themselves or other people happy!” Cosplayers rarely start an account to ‘make it big’ or become ‘famous.’ The majority start this hobby to bring happiness to others and to enjoy something that brings happiness to themselves!

Many people who wish to participate in cosplay, but may not know how, tend to start off with Halloween, given it is the most acceptable time of year to dress up without any real reason. Personally, cosplay for me really started during last Halloween when I worked, eight hours straight, making a cape for a character that has steadily become my favorite (pictured below). I soon decided to make an Instagram account with the help of my friends who already had one, and this introduced me into a wonderful community.

“While there are definitely people [in the community] that are toxic, I’ve found the majority of the cosplay community to be very supportive and accepting,” says thefantasticrhi of Instagram, “It is amazing how quickly people can bond after meeting at cons or even just talking over social media.” Rhi makes a valid point here. I have made more friends at conventions from bonding over a mutual interest in a character than I have through the span of sixteen years being in the same town, and I would never want that to change.

(dearquesadilla on Instagram [spooky.quesadilla during October])

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