What Everyone Needs to Know About Cosplay

by Carmen Jhonson

Lately, cosplay has become trendy. Every Halloween, you see people trying to outdo themselves with cosplays. But what is cosplay? How did it start? Well, here’s everything you need to know about cosplay.

What is Cosplay?

Cosplay can the described as the act of dressing up as a concept or a character. These characters do not necessarily have to be live characters. Sometimes, they can be cartoon or anime characters. People who dress up as their favorite characters are known as ‘cosplayers’. Cosplayers sometimes even take things a step further by role-playing as characters (this can be done by copying the gestures and mannerisms of the said character).

The Origin of Cosplaying

The practice of dressing up as a character can be traced back to the early 15th century where people dress up as objects, historical figures, concepts, or even characters from popular stage plays. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s before the term itself was coined.

The cosplay that we now know in the modern era started at the 1st World Service Fiction Convention. Subsequently, we have had more people dress up as their favorite characters. In most cases, however, it is done at comic conventions or pop culture conventions. In such conventions (e.g. San Diego Comic-Con), you have lots of people who are dressed up as their favorite characters.

The Aim of Cosplay

The idea behind cosplays is to portray a character as accurately as possible. Cosplayers aim to copy the exact look of their character, making sure that they are as detailed as possible. However, cosplaying doesn’t have to be all about copying and pasting. Cosplayers can get creative with their designs making that look unique to them. Cosplaying involves the use of accessories, wigs, props, and costumes to bring a character to life.

Is Cosplaying Trendy?

Of course, it is! A few decades ago, cosplaying as well as other ‘geeky’ stuff might have been considered uncool. However, that isn’t the case today. There are tons of cosplayers all around the world who simply do it for the fun of it. Over the years, the cosplaying community has grown considerably. A practice once thought of as uncool is now trendy. Cosplaying has evolved greatly over the years as people have made a living out of it. Certain cosplayers have made this their careers and are paid well by brands to promote their products.

Is Cosplaying Open to Both Men and Women?

When it comes to cosplaying, there is no discrimination. It is open to people of various expressions, genders, and orientations. Interestingly, some cosplayers ‘cross-dress’. This involves dressing up as a character of the opposite sex. Thus, it is very common to see a male cosplayer dress up as a female character, and a female cosplayer dresses up as a male character.

Where in the World is Cosplay Popular?

Generally, cosplay is popular all over the world but it is more popular in countries such as South Korea, America, and even China. However, no other country seems to practice cosplaying better than the Japanese. There, cosplaying is more than just an act done for fun, but rather, it’s part of their culture. Since anime is one of the major sources of cosplay inspiration, it is not surprising as anime comes from Japan.

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