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EllaHM

Australia

Cosplay

February 13, 2015

FREE WRITING

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There a lot of assumptions made about cosplayers, and most of them are wildly incorrect. Apparently we are simply in it for the attention, wearing anything that will make us feel ‘important’ or ‘included.’ And of course anyone with a passion to ‘dress up’ is most certainly a social reject with no friends and struggling to find a place in this world. And let’s not forget the generalisation that all cosplayers are so insecure and confused about their identity that we feel the need to impersonate a fictional character.

The least amount of time I have spent on a cosplay would be close to 11 hours. That’s 11 hours of searching, spending, cutting, sewing, gluing and injuring myself. To be a cosplayer, you must enjoy the hard work of cosplay, because it really is hard work. In short, there are easier ways of getting attention, and I did not sew a hole through my finger for a few glances and photos.

As for being social rejects, have you ever tried starting a conversation with a dedicated fangirl/boy in relation to one of their fandoms? We can talk for HOURS. I morph into a social butterfly if you mention Captain America or Attack on Titan around me. The community of cosplayers is so large and vast that you cannot avoid making new connections while in costume, because a cosplay is a walking conversation piece. Cosplayers are also usually part of groups that create a lot of happy memories together, and it’s fantastic to find out how much each of us know about creating outfits.

My identity has, if anything, become clearer through cosplay. I’ve discovered that I love a lot of things I would never have expected to. Part of my identity is someone who loves to learn new things about sewing and makeup techniques, and in no way does this show that I am chasing a disconnection from reality. Some cosplayers do tend to get into character more so than others, but it’s all in good fun and as soon as the day is over, we go back to an ordinary life with money, health and school to stress about.

 

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