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Six Things to Know When Cosplaying

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elsaWith Halloween so close and New York Comic Con behind us, the season of costumes is in full swing. Which got me thinking about the many costumes I’ve worn for both conventions and Halloween. So many people stress over the perfect costume, whether it be to celebrate the best “holiday” ever, Halloween, or to get in touch with your inner nerd at a convention.  Here are my rules for cosplaying, or costume wearing in general.

1. A costume is never right or wrong.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from “haters” that a costume is incorrect because of how it is portrayed. It’s too sexy, the boots are wrong, the color isn’t exact. Keep in mind that many of these people are physically sewing and making these costumes themselves. and unless you are fabulous seamstress, mistakes are bound to happen. Heck, even my Rikku costume from Final Fantasy X-2 has a few flaws, but with all the effort I threw into it, I was very happy with the outcome. Don’t worry about getting a costume perfect. All that matters is that you’re happy with it.

2. If you want to make it sexy, go for it.vanille

I’ve seen too many comments towards cosplayers, especially well known females, targeting them for sexing up a character. Even Jessica Nigri, who just so happens to be one of my favorite cosplayers, has created some of the coolest sexy Pokemon costumes I’ve ever seen, and yet some of the comments she receives are only meant to condemn her. Forget the haters. I say, if you’ve got it, then flaunt it. Not only does she look damn good in her sexy costumes, they show off her creativity. If you want to sex up a costume, why not? It’s entirely up to you.

rikku and spidey3. Gender/skin tone/body shape should never stop you from cosplaying your favorite character, EVER.

There isn’t only hate towards sexy costumes, some people seem to think that if you aren’t the specific gender, don’t have the “correct” skin color, or body type you cannot cosplay a specific character. That’s like trying to make the little black girl be Disney’s Princess Tiana, or the Arab girl Princess Jasmine, just because they fit the mold. If that little girl wants to be Belle, Elsa, or Prince Charming, then she damn well can be. I’ve seen some of the most amazing cosplays from females dressing up as males. The best Sora cosplay I’ve ever seen was done by a female. And one of the best Tidus cosplays was done by a black male. So no, do not let anyone discourage you because of something so silly as how you were born or how you look.

4. Just because you can’t sew, doesn’t mean you aren’t a “real” cosplayer.

I’ve made my costume fully, made pieces of some, and I’ve outright bought some costumes. After making my costume entirely from scratch last year I swore I’d never do it again. I simply didn’t have the time and it was entirely too stressful for me. Instead, I’ve managed to find a fantastic website that sells well made costumes along with wigs, accessories and pretty much everything I need. The only stress I feel now is when I have to decide between all the options. Other cosplayers commission others to make their costumes. It all has to do with your comfort zone, the time you have on your hands, and how much money you’re willing to spend. If you aren’t careful, you can totally end up spending more than you intended!

5. Your tattoos/piercings are perfectly fine.

misty 2While some cosplayers may use makeup to cover up for their costumes, don’t feel like it’s a must. I, myself, have entirely too many tattoos to even bother covering up, so my Vanille, Elsa, Misty, and Rikku characters all apparently had a rebellious stage and decided to get inked and pierced. Hell, my Misty rocked a mo-hawk because that was my hairstyle at the time and I wasn’t feeling a wig. Remember, this is your interpretation of your favorite characters. Do what you like.

6. Have fun!

The main reason for cosplaying is to have fun. While some people make money cosplaying, most people are simply doing it to step into the shoes of another character for a day. That’s why I do it. I’ve done sexy, to fully clothed characters, but I do it because I love the characters. I love to play dress up. This a hobby, and no one should get discouraged because of hateful comments from people that don’t want to bother to understand. Let them bitch and moan that the costume isn’t this or isn’t that. If you’re having fun, then that’s what matters.

About Emily Horton

Emily is just your average twenty something girl who discovered her love for gaming at the age of three or four, all thanks to her older brothers. Mario, The Lion King, Aladdin, Zelda were her first loves, but Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Tales, and pretty much all Japanese games eventually fell into that category. She has an unhealthy obsession with Pikachu, hoodies, her 3DS, t-shirts, plushies, and purses. She may also fancy herself as an excellent lawyer due to number of times she has played through the Ace Attorney series. Outside of videogames, she is a Disney, Harry Potter, and Tolkien fanatic, while also recently discovering that she is now a hardcore fan of Supernatural thanks to Netflix allowing her to watch eight seasons rapid fire. She has elvish writing, the Deathly Hallows, a rather large Tinkerbelle and a large Yuna from Final Fantasy X all tattooed on her body, with only more geeky stuff to be added. Currently working on her own fantasy novel, she hopes to publish it eventually once all the kinks are worked out.

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