Good cosplayers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. There are almost no limits on cosplayers except the ones they put on themselves.
I say almost, because there are some socially enforced limits. Cosplay is not dressing as the KKK, it is not portraying Hitler (though in some situations the Stooges’ portrayal as in You Nazty Spy! can be acceptable), or mocking a traumatic event in recent history, such as the Twin Towers Attack. Good cosplayers realize what is socially acceptable and fall within those parameters.
A good cosplayer is someone who positively influences others by either making them smile or inspiring them in some way. It only takes a few seconds to make an impression, either good or bad. A good impression may not stay with someone long, but a bad one will stick with them forever.
What Makes a Cosplayer
- They compliment other cosplayers. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cheap Halloween costume, a few pieces of tape, or the most expensively, elaborate cosplay out there. There is always going to be something about it that can be complimented: their creativity, their enthusiasm, their choice of character, even the color of their nail polish.
- They help others when they need it, whether it is with a piece of cosplay or to direct someone to the bathroom. They might not go out of their way to help others, but they also don’t avoid it. You can always hold a door for someone with a stroller, or direct a cosplayer to a costume triage. Big or small, it is all help.
- They don’t trash talk costumes, cosplayers or patrons. Just don’t! Do you want others talking like that about you, your child, or your parents? Then don’t do it to others.
- They watch their language when kids are around. Nothing spoils an image for children faster than hearing Superman or Wonder Woman cursing up a storm. It doesn’t leave a good impression with the parents or others around you either.
- They have fun and encourage others around them to have fun.
What Does NOT Make a Cosplayer
- Money – I have known cosplayers that can craft awesome cosplays with little to no money but I also know cosplayers that will spend a fortune on their cosplay. Some of these costumes can stand side-by-side and you would not notice the difference.
- Time – By the same account, there are cosplayers who throw something together in a few minutes and others spend months doing it.
- Detail – Some cosplays are accurate down to the tiniest details, others are a rough proximity.
- Sex Appeal – Some cosplays are sexed-up with as much skin exposure as is legally allowed, while other people find creative ways to portray the same character without exposing as much skin.
- Popularity – There are cosplayers out there who will only portray mainstream characters because they are popular and known. There are also people who will only portray the movie version because it is easily recognized. However, there are also people who go for obscure characters either because they like them or they want a challenge. Then there are those that chose a character just because they like them.
It doesn’t matter what size, shape, age, color or skill level you are. Everyone can cosplay. Everyone is there to have fun, meet new people. and hang out with friends.