There are a lot of misconceptions about Cosplay. I find this surprising, considering how much cosplay has been implemented itself into the mainstream media. Yes Cosplay is short for Costume Play, but that;s not to say that you can't learn anything from it. Here's my list of five lessons I've learned from cosplay.
1. Self Confidence- After completing a costume, wearing it is the next step. The first time I wore one of my costumes in public, I was a complete mess. I was so nervous!! I wasn't sure what other people would think of it. Did it look good? Was it ugly, Oh and on top of that, hoping that it didn't fall apart! Strutting around in public wearing something homemade can be really nerve wrecking especially if you are new to that sort of thing. However when you display confidence, you really trick yourself into believing in yourself and your abilities. Fake it 'till you make it in a sense. Pretend you have confidence enough and you'll start to get it, right?But you have to believe it. I started off trying this and feeling like a complete fool several times before I noticed that I wasn't freaking out about how I looked the whole time. I wasn't glaring over my costume and myself anytime I passed a reflective surface. I was able to interact with other people and not worry as much. Its funny, when you stop freaking out and worrying , everyone else seems to take note. Not only do other people see you as being confident, you also seem to be more approachable (which is a whole different issue I have that I'll dive straight into in the next bullet!
2. Friendliness- I'm one hundred percent introvert. I don't get out and socialize, nor do I particularly want to most of the time. Cosplay has helped me to become more conversational. I've run into people at conventions and felt compelled to tell them how much I love their costume. Often times this leads to a full conversation and becoming acquainted with the person. This is something that would more than likely not happen prior to cosplaying. I have seen people I wanted to say hello to, or give a compliment to, but decided not to say anything to them for fear of seeming weird. But now, I will hand out compliments left and right! At work this has helped me to become more accepted among my coworkers. Prior to that no one spoke to me because I never spoke to them, now when I pass someone, I say hello and they do as well.
3. Resourcefulness- Cosplay can be an expensive hobby, so creating things and being budget conscious are a must. Anytime you find an object that has more than one use, you've instantly increased the value (cosplay wise) of said item. What kind of item you're using determines its usefulness. Your own closet is a great place to start. Because the majority of my costumes are sewing based, I start with the clothing I already have and then move on from there. As an example, my Zatanna costume came from 90 percent of clothing items I already owned. My black 'tuxedo' jacket was altered from a light jacket I already owned.The collar shirt I also altered from an existing button down top as well as her black bottoms (Which are really a pair of pole dancing shorts). I already owned a pair of black heel boots and fishnets. The only things I didn't have right off hand were the gloves, bow tie and hat.
When it comes to having to create or buy pieces you can still get a lot of use out of a single item. Both my Baroness and Catwoman costumes use the same corset and bodysuit. I originally created the bodysuit for Baroness, but I got the idea for catwoman after seeing a pair of really neat steampunk goggles I wanted.
from the neck down, the only difference between these two costumes would be Baroness has the chest armor and the corset on the inside with the zipper up. Catwoman has the zipper down and the corset on the outside. In addition to multi use items, you also learn to look at things with an open mind. Almost anything can be a prop or accessory for cosplay, and Dollar Tree is a goldmine!
4. No fear of new things- I am a creature of habit through and through. I like the same things, I like to like the same things. I like my routine, and when something deviates from the norm or the expected, I get freaked out. I know that I am a naturally creative person. Cosplay has helped me home my abilities with sewing and crafting. I've taught myself about fabrics, stitches and sewing all around. With crafting, I've learned to work with different mediums as well. When discovering prop building I learned about working with EVA foam which I had never used before. I learned about different painting techniques, attaching pieces, and all around learning new things. In life it's important to keep learning. This doesn't always have to pertain to crafting, this can apply to your entire outlook on life!. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new, or trying something a new way gives you a completely different angle and this helps tremendously when faced with challenges.
lotsa love to ya!
Von is a lifestyle blogger based in Massachusetts. She has a passion for nerd culture, food and movies. To find out more about Evon, and this blog, take a look at the About Me page!