A major issue facing cosplay today is the fear of not representing a character well enough. These fears can include anything from being the wrong body shape or having the wrong skin color or just plainly not having a personality to match the character you’d like to cosplay. The body image issues facing society span all cultures; especially geek culture. It’s something that we, as people, have to work on to improve. As cosplayers, however, we shouldn’t shame others for wanting to portray their favorite character if they don’t exactly look like them.
I believe that people sometimes forget that cosplay is supposed to be about having fun rather than a competition, although it certainly seems that there can be a competitive nature about it. We would all be better off leaving our cosplay critiques at the costume contests instead of in the convention center hallway. Some people do not share the same privileges that more experienced cosplayers do, and for those just starting out any amount of criticism might ruin the convention experience.
There is often a lot of backlash in the cosplay community when someone alters an aspect of themselves in order to better portray a certain character, but isn’t that the point? Obviously mass bodily modifications can be dangerous but ultimately isn’t it up to the cosplayer if they would like to wear contacts or not? And isn’t it up to us as the cosplay community to respect their decision and focus on having fun ourselves?
If you’re a new cosplayer and you’re interested in cosplay but have some doubts about it, check out Sachie’s website. It’s full of great tips and ideas to get you started and to help you overcome your fears. The following video shows Sachie’s point of view on why you should cosplay and where it can lead you. Whatever you cosplay, don’t forget that cosplay was built on good intentions of meeting other people that share the same interests.