Sunday, April 30, 2017

Why Do You Cosplay?

I have asked myself this question before when I first established this blog back in 2015. It was suppose to be my starting post but I can never seem to put them into words properly. A year or so later and the question popped up again while I was scrolling through my timeline. I grew up a bit since then and I was able to finally write how I really feel about it.

It started out as a simple fascination with costumes back when I was still very young. I discovered mahou shoujo and instantly fell in love. We've been taught that being strong has always been an attribute for men but this genre has showed me that you can be strong and still be feminine at the same time. You can save the world with love, gentleness, grace and beauty and I think that's amazing. I have always been a quiet child, a crybaby that is easily pushed around so I have always looked up to these female heroines and dream of the day that I'll be able to transform into someone as strong & beautiful.

Series: Princess Tutu

It was then that I heard of the term "cosplay" and it gave me hope that what I always wanted is not that far from reality after all. Unfortunately, circumstances didn't allow me to get into cosplay till later years of college. I've been slapped so hard several times in the face by reality that I never imagined I'd be able to do it now and even turn it into a hobby.

When I finally got the opportunity to wear my very first costume, I felt like an entirely new person. It was fun and exciting and I wanted to do it again and again and I never stopped since then.

Cosplay has become my therapy.

Growing up, I have always been plagued with issues of self confidence and insecurities. Cosplay has helped me cope up with these struggles. Maybe that is why I have always gravitated toward strong and independent female characters. Whenever I cosplay any of them, I take pieces of their traits to help build myself up.

K.K. - Kekkai Sensen | Photo by Mike Sabido

As quoted by Yaya Han, "...I can dress up as a character that's stronger than me, that is more confident than me, that is more beautiful than I see myself and through the act of dressing that way, you gain all of those attributes."


As the years go by, I also started to become fascinated with the arts and crafts that goes behind every costume. At first it was just to save labor costs by learning how to make my own costumes but eventually, I fell in love with it. Seeing your hard work finally come to life is the most wonderful feeling to have and it's even more rewarding when other people appreciate all the effort you put into that costume. It gave me a sense of accomplishment. I finally have something that I was able to do without feeling any doubts.

When there are no cosplay events to go to, I keep myself occupied with making costume. When I get in the zone, crafting at three in the morning clears the demons in my head.

But more than anything, I am grateful for the community and the fandom. I have met great friends along the way. It gives me a sense of belonging that there are also people who share the same passion as I do, who understands why I invest too much in something that does not even exist nor give me anything physical in return. That it is completely okay to just be who I am because I know that I am not alone.

Series: RWBY

I still do get insecurities every now and then, it is not something that I can easily get rid of. But when I put on that costume, all the negative thoughts fade away. The trolls, haters and toxic people? I try not to let them drive me away from the things I love. The community will just keep on growing and so are they but I'm here to stay.

Setsuka Heel - Skip Beat | Photo by Dan

To people who stumbled upon this post and read till the end, how and why did you get into cosplay?


  1. This was an interesting post to read! :) I've thought about writing about the same topic but, to be honest, finding the right words seems to be quite difficult.

    I got into cosplaying when one of my friends practically dragged me to Tracon (the biggest cosplay convention here in Finland). I had read about cosplaying seven years before that but well, I was too young to begin to cosplay back then (I was 9 years old when I got to know the term 'cosplay' and begun cosplaying when I was 16).

    There are many reasons why I got into cosplaying; finding new friends was probably my priority in 2012-2013 (and it's still great to get to know new people!). I had always hated sewing etc. but when I begun cosplaying I wanted to make my costumes myself - not the easiest way but that has taught me that there's no reason to give up when you face the first difficulty and it has also taught me patience.

    I've also taken part to many cosplay contests (I've never won anything though but I don't compete because of winning) and that has helped me to get rid of some of my "on stage anxiety"; before I got into cosplaying I was afraid of speaking in front of a class but believe me, when I got into competing I grew out of that fear quite quickly. I've even hosted some panels in conventions! :)

    So yeah, cosplay has helped me to develop my skills in sewing, problem solving etc., it has helped me over my fears and helped me to become more confident. Had I not gotten into cosplay I wouldn't be the person who I am nowadays.

    Thank you for the great post! :)

    1. You're welcome and thank you for sharing your experience as well! :D