If you’ve ever seen pictures of regular people dressed as superheroes, you’ve seen someone doing Cosplay. It stands for costume play, and it is a hobby that started in Japan. Cosplayers do not just dress like superheroes; they draw their inspiration from movies, television shows, books and more. There is a passionate and thriving Cosplay community in the United States, but that does not mean it is always welcomed.
Cosplayers have an amazing gift. They inspire and embody everything that geeks and fans love. They not only love their characters, but bring them to life. This is true of people of all races and they celebrate the diversity. One sad reality though is that some in the community is pushing back against cosplayers that are of the opposite race. They complain about “authenticity”. While it’s true that the more that cosplayer looks like the original character the better the costume there should be no limits on skin tone.
There is a psychology to Cosplay that opens the negative effects to Cosplay.
- While Cosplay can be an act of fandom, it can be an act of obsession.
- Opens up a new breed of discrimination.
- In America, we do give off the wrong impression of what Cosplay really is in Japanese culture.
- Cosplaying just to address self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-image issues.
- Calling yourself “Otaku”. In Japan, Otaku has a negative impression. Decades ago, an “Otaku” kidnapped many young girls and took videos of their dead bodies. This otaku serial killer has caused a lot of panic in Japan. Ever since, most Japanese think that to be called “Otaku” is very insulting.
The skies the limit when you’re creating costumes about your favorite characters or original designs… and that includes accepting diversity and innovation. We’ll talk about ways cosplayers can challenge discrimination or shaming, and find ways to make sure your Cosplay is the best and most inspiring it can be.