We all have our reasons why we cosplay! But sometimes, the cosplay community can be a little negative and can make people – even me – want to quit the hobby. I mean, I don’t make my own costumes. I just wear them. And while I’ve been trying to learn, I’m still at a point where I can probably walk away and refocus my time elsewhere if I wanted.
But I don’t quit that easily. That and… I just have way too much fun becoming another character. It’s really weird. So here is a list of what I’d like to call reminders of how and why I got into this hobby in the first place.
1. I love doing charity work.
You may have heard me talk about this before, but the Star Wars charity costuming organizations is really what got me started into this community in the first place. The Rebel Legion and the 501st are amazing organizations that strive to do good in the world. Honestly, I would love to get back into the charity side of costuming again, whether it’s with the RL and 501st, other organizations, or just little side projects I do myself or with a group of other costuming peeps.
2. I enjoy seeing the process of a costume being created.
Even if I don’t make my own costumes, I am still there from beginning to end with my seamstress. Sometimes costumes we decide to tackle prove to be challenging, but that makes the end result that much more AWESOME. Seriously. Being able to see (or make) a pile of fabric or other materials become this wearable THING is the most amazing thing ever.
3. I love seeing how creative others get with their costumes and it’s a blast being a part of a creative cosplay project.
Seriously, seeing someone take a design and completely redesigning it to their own style takes some talent. I look at character designs and I can hardly begin to figure out how to alter it to my own style. Genderbent characters fall into this category too because you can take a female character and completely switch it around and make the design masculine and vice versa. Stuff like this blows my mind.
Aside from that, there is nothing more exciting and fun than getting together with a group of friends and agreeing to cosplay a group of characters from a show, movie, or book. I’ve been in one group project and it was SO fun chatting with everyone, creating the costumes, and getting together at con all dressed up. Plus the looks on people’s faces when they see a group of cosplayers doing something together is pretty rewarding too! I totally intend to do more of these group (and duo) cosplays in the future!
4. I LOVE making kids smile.
Now, it’s already made up in my mind that I will not be having little nuggets of my own, but there is something truly heartwarming when a kid sees me dressed up in a character they love and they just practically explode with excitement. Kids’ imaginations are endless and there is nothing more exciting to them than seeing that cartoon character in real life. Part of the reason why I loved being a part of the Rebel Legion and 501st Legion was being able to attend hospital visits and brighten up their day.
I love making a kid’s day. And being able to do that simply by showing up as their favorite cartoon or comic book character is totally awesome in my book. Even if I were to quit going to comic conventions tomorrow, I would still make a point to do charity and kids events.
5. It’s an escape from the monotony of adulting.
Seriously, adult life sucks. We can pretty much all agree on that. College, work, bills, jury duty, errands, household chores… People get caught up in the monotonous and boring day-to-day schedule too easily, especially if you happen to work a 9-5 desk job in Corporate America like I do. I can say that I am definitely one of those people that agonize over the idea of doing the same routine over and over and over every single day. (There is a reason why I’m trying to find ways to work for myself and quit Corporate America.) Luckily, this hobby lets me escape from the day-to-day and no costume is ever the same. They come up with new challenges for you if you’re making them yourself and if you’re still learning things – like I am – it just ends up being a new skill to learn.
On top of that, being able to head off and escape into a weekend of convention madness is seriously like escaping reality. Work and the problems I face at home are completely forgotten for the weekend and I am able to just live in the moment. Maybe that sounds irresponsible to some but for me… it’s a necessary escape I need every so often.
6. It’s fun “becoming someone else”.
Seriously! When I dress up as a character I try to push myself out of my comfort zone and embody the character that I am dressing up as. When I’m not dressed as Harley, I’m actually pretty awkward, somewhat shy, and definitely not a demented little clown girl in an abusive relationship. I also definitely do NOT feel like I am a badass, but Rogue is a badass so when I wear my Steampunk Rogue, I get the chance to act like I totally am. Plus, I am a fan of theatre. After getting into cosplay, I can see why a lot of people enjoy acting.
7. There ARE amazing people in the community that I’ve met.
Unfortunately, there will always be people in any community that are self-centered, two-faced, or are just plain dickheads. I have met some of those in the community, but I have also met some absolutely wonderful and sweet people. I’ve made a lot of my friends through the costuming community, met some incredibly talented and well-known cosplayers and prop makers that also happen to be THE SWEETEST, and even more importantly… I’ve met amazing people that follow me too. Below are just a FEW of the friends I’ve made through the costuming community. There’s still so many more too. <3
On a side note, I’m still baffled at the idea that people look up to me in the community. I am just like any other silly little weirdo that happens to like comic books and video games and the like, but I get messages and people coming up to me telling me how I have inspired them. It’s not something I expected to ever achieve, but at the same time, I am humbled by it and it makes me feel so happy to know that I’ve inspired someone to go chase their dream in some way or another.
Yes, I got mushy there for a minute.
tl;dr: I LOVE YOU GUYS AND THERE ARE AMAZING PEOPLE IN THE COSTUMING COMMUNITY. HEARTS AND LOVE FOR ALL! <3 <3 <3
PS. I also met my boyfriend through the costuming community. Couples that costume together stay together, right? ;)
8. It helps me be less shy.
I just mentioned above that I have met some of my followers and while I still probably come off as awkward or weird or whatever, I do feel like this hobby has pushed me to become a little more outgoing. I still get surprised when someone comes up and asks me “Hey, you’re Itty Bitty Geek right?” and sometimes it takes me a moment because usually this is what’s happening in my mind: How do they know me? Oh wait I have a page. Oh my god they follow my page. DON’T BE AWKWARD. SAY HI. SMILE. GET EXCITED! God, why am I so awkward?
Yeah. Like I said I’m an awkward panda. But it’s so cool when you guys recognize me, come up, say hi, and want selfies with me! I might hesitate for a moment because I’m inwardly coaching myself to not be fucking weird, but once I get past my awkward pause I am usually just as excited to meet you as you are to meet me. Why? Because I LOVE being able to geek out with someone who shares the same interests as me! It’s the best feeling in the world!
Last but not least, you guys – my itty bitty army of fellow geeks – help keep me going. When you strike up conversations with me on my social media, send me an email about how you love what I do and want to know how I do it, or when you hunt my tiny ass down at conventions for a selfie, it’s a reminder that I am truly accepted here in this community. I’m not an outcast, a freak, nor am I alone. I am among a community absolutely full of people just like me with ten tons of interests similar to mine.
I love you guys. <3 And I can’t see myself walking away from this community anytime soon. I can’t wait for the next convention so I can see all your gorgeous faces!