Reenacting fictional books, movies, and TV characters has become an increasingly popular trend in the cosplay community. Some enthusiasts take on one character at a time over years of conventions, while others set out to portray numerous roles simultaneously across multiple genres. What pulls these people into this hobby? Is it simply about bringing to life something that they loved? While this is undoubtedly an aspect, many enthusiasts say that reenacting characters inspires and motivates them to create their art.
It Allows You to Learn More About Yourself
Reenacting can be an act of introspection, imposing another person’s mindset upon yourself and thinking about how you would interact with others. “I like to take other characters’ attitudes and adapt them to my personality,” says cosplayer Meagan Marie. Some people even go so far as to create their own stories for the characters they portray.
Additionally, it allows you to be something that you usually would not have been able to experience had it not been for the event, situation, or place in which you found yourself. You will learn how it feels to walk on a red carpet while donning the cosplay resources associated with a character from your favorite movie. You may discover that playing a villain is more fun than being “the hero” and that you rather enjoy chewing on a cigar while playing the part of a mob boss.
You Get to Belong to a Community
It can be gratifying to belong to a community of people who share the same interests. Often, these communities are a diverse group of individuals, each with unique talents and skills. Some communities embrace the motto “Familia Obscura,” which means that everyone is welcome despite race, religion, or sexual orientation.
People affiliated with this type of fandom find it less alienating than other communities, where the fans may lack diversity. “Cosplaying allows for minorities or people who feel they don’t fit into mainstream culture to have a place to go that is accepting, regardless of their background,” says Meagan Marie.
Cosplaying Can Improve Your Life
According to Jennifer Hatton, reenacting fictional characters can also affect how you view yourself and your life. “You can be virtually anyone you want to be, which means that if there are parts of your personality (good or bad) that you don’t like or wish to change, it’s much easier to do so within the context of the costume you are wearing,” she says.
Reenacting can also help you meet new people with similar interests, giving you something in common with them right off the bat. Additionally, it has helped many people come out of their shells and become more outgoing.
It is an Opportunity to Learn New Skills
Another advantage of cosplaying is that it can help you learn a new skill or improve upon a current one. “When I was first starting as a customer, everyone told me that I needed to go to conventions and start making costumes,” says Jennifer Hatton.
Many people come away from the convention feeling as though they have learned something new and improved their skills, leading to a growth in self-confidence. Other participants noted that cosplaying had assisted them in learning new things about different types of people who share the same love for a fandom or genre.
Cosplay is a great way to branch out, explore new interests, and meet people with whom you have something in common. While it is not correct to say that everyone should cosplay, it can be an invaluable experience for someone who wants to learn more about themselves and engage with others on different levels.