What do you do with cosplay?
If you’re new to the cosplay community, then you might be asking yourself this question. Yes, buying a costume online sounds easy. But what are you supposed to do while in cosplay? Are you supposed to act a certain way? Is there a certain thing you must do while in costume?
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WHAT DO YOU DO WITH COSPLAY?
To be honest, cosplaying is really not that complicated. Once you put on the costume, it’s really up to you what you want to do! Whether that’s roleplaying, having fun with friends or expressing yourself artistically, cosplaying opens a wide variety of ways to have fun and be creative. So there’s no formal code or procedure you have to follow while cosplaying; the world is your oyster!
In this post, I’ll show you 10 things to answer the question, “What do you do with cosplay?” So by the time you put on a cosplay and attend a convention, you’ll know exactly what YOU want to do with cosplay!
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. DRESS AS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER.
We all have our favorite characters from an Anime, comic, video game etc. And a lot of us want to dress up as that favorite character! This in essence is why we get into cosplay; to show our love and appreciation for a certain fandom. So if your favorite character in high school was Sakura Haruno from Naruto, what better way to show that off than to cosplay as her?
My first ever cosplay was Sora from Kingdom Hearts! And even though it was pretty bad by my standards, I still had a great time at the convention with my first cosplay. I didn’t need to think about anything. Dressing up as Sora gave me meaning to cosplay at that convention.
So to get started with cosplay, why not figure out your favorite character in the fictional world and cosplay as them? This is one of the most natural ways to break into the cosplay community. You won’t have to think about what to do with cosplay when you’re dressing up as a character you like. It’ll come naturally to you!
2. BE A MODEL (OR PRACTICE BEING ONE).
You know what’s fun about cosplaying? Because so much emphasis is on getting cosplay photos due to social media, you get to be a model! Yes, you get to do various poses and facial expressions while cosplaying. And these poses and facial expressions can vary, depending on the character you’re dressed up as.
So if you’ve always wanted to look better in photos, then cosplaying is a great way to practice that. As you keep doing more photoshoots, you’ll eventually get better at modeling and being on camera. Soon, you’ll start looking as good as the professional cosplayers.
If you’re interested in learning how to improve your cosplay game, click here to check out my article about it.
3. TIME TO ROLE-PLAY.
You can’t spell “cosplay” with “play!” Literally, cosplay is a portmanteau of “costume” and “play.” (Although I have a different definition of cosplay, which I talk about here). When you dress up as a character, you can pretend to be them. And they can be the total opposite of who you are. So if you’re an introvert, you can cosplay be and someone outgoing and outrageous, such as Haruhi Suzumiya! Or if you’re a happy bubbly person, you can cosplay someone emo and angry like Sasuke from Naruto. Or best yet, you can dress up who resonates with you. For me, Roy Mustang is the type of guy I like and aspire to be, which is why I cosplayed him. It’s totally fun to cosplay various characters from all genres and fandoms.
4. SOCIALIZE WITH PEOPLE.
To me, this is a BIG reason why cosplayers go so far to work on their costumes and take part in this hobby, whether they like to admit it or not. The social opportunities you get from cosplaying is so valuable. Whether it’s dressing up at a convention or simply meeting up with friends for a private photoshoot, cosplaying always gives you an opportunity to socialize.
As I mention in this article, cosplaying is a great way to make new friends. You can be into the same fandom, or it’s a great excuse as an icebreaker to talk to someone new. For example, if you’re into Final Fantasy, it’s totally fun and awesome to meet someone who is also cosplaying from FF, because they’re into the same series. Getting these opportunities to meet new people is important for cosplayers, and this is probably the biggest reason why we cosplay. Hence cosplaying is a great excuse to socialize.
5. TIME TO ESCAPE.
Being able to cosplay and be a different character, even for just a little bit, can provide a lot of happiness for you. It allows you to live a fun, fantasy world while you’re dressed. Even if what’s going on with your life isn’t the greatest, by dressing up as your favorite character, you can forget about life’s problems and just enjoy the moment. Not only can cosplay be fun, but it can allow to appreciate the positives of life.
That being said, using cosplay as escapism can be taken too far. Spending tons of money on a costume to escape your issues is not a very good idea (if you’re interested in that topic, click here on my article about this). But as long as you strike a balance between having fun versus actively avoiding your problems, then you’ll be okay.
6. EXPRESS YOURSELF ARTISTICALLY.
Cosplay is an art, especially if you’re the one who makes the costume. When you sew and craft your own cosplay, you have the ability to customize it the way you want. Whether it’s adding some beautiful embroidery or modifying the character look, you have total control over how you look. When you cosplay, you’re expressing yourself to others.
When I cosplay Marth from Fire Emblem, I’m expressing how noble of a prince I am! Or when I cosplayed Hyuuga from Kuruko No Baske, even though it was a simple cosplay, I should that I enjoyed basketball. For most cosplayers, we truly find the art of expressing ourselves in costume…a lot of fun! So if you’re asking yourself what to do with cosplay, you can express yourself artistically!
7. SHOW OFF YOUR SEWING AND CRAFTING SKILLS
Do you know how hard it can be to make a cosplay? It takes some serious sewing and crafting skills to make the best cosplays.
Part of the joy of cosplaying is wearing the costume that you poured your blood, sweat and tears into (figuratively, not literally!). Having people ask for your cosplay photo after you made that same costume with your own hands is oh so satisfying!
So when you’re wearing your cosplay, embrace and be proud of the finished product you made through your sewing and crafting skills.
8. RELIEVE SOME STRESS.
Cosplaying can be such a stress reliever!
Cosplay is a hobby, first and foremost. Hobbies are a way for us to have fun and relieve some stress, similar to watching Anime and playing video games. Which by the way, go hand in hand. Because many cosplayers are into Anime and video games! Dressing up as a different character is a lot of fun and helps you relieve stress.
9. LEARN NEW THINGS.
In my experience and for many others, no matter how you often you cosplay, you’ll likely learn something new each time you do.
I mention this a few times on this blog, but there’s a lot of nuance that goes into making a cosplay look really good. You could be wearing a simple cosplay like Lola Bunny, but there’s a lot of stuff you can do to make yourself look better: makeup, using the right poses, using high-quality material, shooting in the right setting, etc. If you’re the observant type like me, then you LOVE to notice these little things when you cosplay.
The last photoshoot I did, I was cosplaying Kaeya from Genshin Impact. One of the pieces of my costume kept falling off and someone told me I should carry bobby pins with me for situations like this. We called this Cosplay Malfunction. For me, trial and error is fun to learn and that’s what makes the cosplaying experience so enjoyable.
Or even when I interviewed Rae Cosplay, I learned so much from her! Things such as being okay with wanting to cosplayers that fit your style or look. The more you cosplay, the more you learn. So if you’re looking for a learning experience, cosplaying is a great hobby to get into!
10. HAVE FUN!
Let’s face it; if cosplay wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t be part of this hobby. Being able to dress up as our favorite characters, getting the opportunity to socialize, getting away from our problems (momentarily) and being able to express ourselves. All these things are what make cosplay so great and fun.
To summarize, here are 10 things to answer that question, “What to do with cosplay:”
- Dress as your favorite character.
- Be a model (or practice being one).
- Time to role-play.
- Socialize with people.
- Time to escape.
- Express yourself artistically.
- Show off your sewing and crafting skills.
- Relieve some stress.
- Learn new things.
- Have fun!