Some of the best moments of cosplay are when I take that first step in another character’s shoes. Wriggling into that tight corset, pulling on the outfit, putting on the accessories— when a character comes together like that, it feels nothing short of miraculous. It’s the product of many days and nights struggling, swearing, and poking yourself with a needle, and when it pays off and you get that first look at yourself in the mirror, it feels like the sun is coming up. I love getting into costume and letting my ordinary problems go for an afternoon; being a character for a day is exhilarating, like stepping into your first roller coaster.
Another awesome part of cosplay is seeing the reactions I get from each of my costumes, especially children. The way a child’s eyes light up when they see their favorite character come to life is a big reason why I cosplay. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.
Struggling to make something work sucks. It’s hard enough trying to make a regular dress, or pants, or skirt. But when you’re trying to make armor? Or a body suit? That’s when things get really tricky. It’s never fun to try and make a movie accurate costume only to find out halfway through that you did a seam wrong. Sometimes you have to scrap a whole outfit and start it again from scratch, which is not only frustrating, but also incredibly time-consuming.
The worst part about cosplay is probably the people— fans and artists alike— who feel entitled to your body and what you do with it. It’s no secret that the cosplay community has its fair share of body shaming. I’ve seen nasty comments on people’s weight more times than I can count.
It doesn’t just stop at weight, though. Size, shape, promiscuity, modesty, even cosplay accuracy can be targeted by both fans and fellow artists for no discernable reason. It can be incredibly discouraging to new artists who aren’t familiar with the community, and damaging even to those who are.
However, the cosplaying field is generally a fun one to be in, with an overall good community and atmosphere of body-acceptance. I’ve made countless, lifelong friends in the cosplay community, and forged a network of support that doesn’t just help my costuming, but gives me advice from all sorts of different perspectives. I feel honored to be a part of the community, and I can say honestly that despite some of its flaws, I love it from the bottom of my heart.