Love All Cosplayers

Tolerance, Love, Freedom, Laughter, Creativity

Real Cosplayer?

on February 26, 2014

I want to talk a little bit about the cosplay community and representation. While I think that cosplay idols are not a bad thing, I feel that the majority of the cosplay community is either misrepresented or invisible. You see mostly on sites that are for “cosplayers” pictures of idols or pictures that have been photoshopped and taken professionally in a paid photoshoot. We do not often see cosplay sites represent cosplayers who are not as well known or do not have professional photos. To me, this is a bit of a lie because most of us cosplayers come from this invisible or ignored portion. Cosplay.com focuses a great amount of effort in their showcase to cosplayers who do have amazing costumes, but spent a lot of time photoshopping and/or have had a professional shoot. Not everyone can afford a professional shoot or do not have the resources or connections to have a professional shoot done for free. So, despite having amazing costumes, these others are tossed aside in favor of the cosplay idols.
Idols get more recognition while the rest end up having little recognition for their work.
Bottom line is, everyone should be recognized for the work that they do. Creating costumes is hard. It takes a lot of time and patience. Even commissioning costumes is difficult because you are still left with design and characterization. You still have to wear that costume and show it off.
What is a “real” cosplayer? Cosplayers are cosplayers regardless and honestly I have a distaste for the argument of “a real cosplayer does …..” No. Sorry.  A real cosplayer does not make their own costume or buy their costume. A real cosplayer does not refrain from selling prints or sell prints. A real cosplayer is not a model or is a model. A real cosplayer does not put down others who creates something differently. A real cosplayer is a person enjoying what they do and loving the costuming hobby whether for fun or for business.  So what if he/she bought their costume? They still rock it! So what if he/she is making money from something they love? Musicians and Actors do it too! Let us not judge others in our community (or out of our community! ~_^)
Cosplay is not just anime/manga, Japanese video games, comic books, other games, etc etc…It is a particular and creative form of costumery. I see things on my facebook feed about how cosplay has changed from just being anime and manga to being comic book characters, and I also see how some argue that comic book costumes are not real cosplay because cosplay is Japanese culture based. I think this is an unfair assessment because what the hell is cosplay exactly? A high and creative form of costuming. That’s it. There is no dictionary definition of what cosplay is becuase it is individual. Sure, cosplay is an important sub-culture in pop-culture Japan, but that does not mean it is Universal in meaning.
So when you see pictures of cosplayers in professional shoots or pictures of cosplayers showing off their costumes outside of professional shoots, let us admire all of them.

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