How to Dissuade Yourself from Becoming a Cosplayer

So you’ve either gotten yourself into anime or video games, possibly both. Along the way while you where enjoying your fandom, you’ve either found pictures of cosplayers or maybe you’ve attended a convention and met them. Somehow you’ve got the notion in your head that you’d like to start cosplaying too! Since everyone you know can give you thousands of reasons why to start, here you will find many reasons to stop!


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    Find five different pictures of any character you like. Make sure each one is by a different cosplayer and, if you picked a character from a popular series, you just hit upon the first major problem of cosplaying. When you’ve chosen a character to cosplay, always assume that someone has already attempted it. Therefore the previous incarnations are possibly way better or worse than what you could assemble yourself. Take a good look at those photos you’ve selected and you will see that this statement is true.
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    Scrutinize the photographs carefully. There will always be good cosplayers and bad cosplayers. If you’re a cosplay photo collector, then you're probably quite experienced at identifying which one is which. Don’t kid yourself, the public can see the difference too! The public also could care less if you do it just for fun. They want to see great cosplayers. Nobody wants to see a bad cosplayer!
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    Judge your size in comparison to the part you hope to cosplay. Since most anime characters have beyond normal proportions, be mindful of your size. Anything could offend fans of the character. If your body is less than perfect and you decide to risk wearing costumes which exposes enough skin to overpower the costume, you better be tough as nails to deal with the kind of insults some people will dish out.
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    Check your bank reserves. It takes a lot of money and skill to make great cosplay. If you can’t sew, you’ll have to pay someone to make your costume and props. It is difficult to find an inexpensive, responsible tailor who isn't planning to simply take your money and run. Buying online may seem like a good decision, however some sellers will put up pictures of great costumes from another website and send you a version that looks as though it were constructed by a four year old.
    • If you can sew, you’ll have to pay a lot of money no matter where you shop, for the best fabrics, trim and accessories - Most importantly wigs! Wigs can be what makes or breaks your costume. If you don’t have a wig you’ll end up with that Halloween costume look. It's so much worse when the cosplayer decides to spray-paint their hair the color of the character's hair. Then, there are always those cosplayers who wear cheap wigs. Trust me, the public can tell when you're wearing a cheap wig. Great cosplayers get their wigs styled whether it's long hair or short.
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    Prepare yourself for an undertaking in high-level modeling. Making the costume is just one part of being a cosplayer. Modeling is also a major part of cosplaying. You can’t wear a costume and not know how to model it! People have and it looks really awkward. Modeling is very difficult because its something that needs experience in order to truly learn. You can study other peoples photos like crazy, but until you're actually there you’ll never know how to do it. Confidence is key--if you don't take pride in your work, people will never notice you!
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    Steel yourself for practicing a lot and for photo shoots. Practicing helps big time and personal photo shoots are a must to give you that hands-on experience. Now you're going to have to think fast and try to remember all those cool poses that you found other cosplayers doing. Sitting around looking cute only works for so long. It's actually quite sad when you realize those so called cool poses actually make you feel stupid once you attempt them. If not, then you're trying to go that extra mile straining your body to learn martial arts poses. Either way holding a pose for more than ten seconds hurts no matter what you do.
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    Expect imperfect and royal fails. You’ll find the flaws in your costume quickly during any photo shoot. Whatever character you’ve made yourself into, you now have a limited range of poses you can do based on the mobility of the outfit and the characters personality. Think along the lines of Mecha suits and Emo guys. While its fun to go out of character once in a while, a great cosplayer can stay in character for every single picture taken.
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    Set your resolve to clean and repair a grungy, tattered outfit on an ongoing basis. Afterward any activity, take a good look all over your costume and count the dirt stains you’ll have to wash out later. Forget what location you choose, you're going to get your costume dirty no matter how careful you think you are. Hopefully, you made your costume machine washable. Unfortunately, most costumes aren’t. So now you’ll have to work on hiding those new stains the next time you go out cosplaying.
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    Plan on making your outfit and cobbling it together. Never get a store bought costume. When attempting cosplay, it may seem like a good idea to just buy the costume. However these costume are always of bad quality and a horrible fit. Store bought costumes don't last with regular wear and are never machine washable. And they look cheap and lazy in at the convention.
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    Plan ahead of time to fall short in your portrayals. Accuracy is hard. When cosplaying as a character who wears regular clothes like Nathan Drake or Niko Bellic, it is incredibly hard to find clothes 100% accurate. You could spend hours shopping for just one item and only find something 50% accurate. A lot of the time, it's easier to just say close enough, but many cosplayers want to be 100% accurate.


  • You’ll have no trouble finding plenty of merchandise to buy at any convention but having the right amount of money on you at that exact moment is tricky. It's no fun to go to a convention broke.
  • Even if you promised yourself you would attend more workshops and panels, you’ll only find that everything you want to attend takes place at the same time or you're too tired to go to it.
  • There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable in costume and carrying bags of souvenirs, not to mention personal items with you all over the convention hall.
  • Bringing your own food is risky, how do you keep it cold and from being squashed? Lugging around a personal cooler all day is not fun!
  • Unless you actually live close to the convention, bring plenty of money for parking fees as you may feel the urge to drive out elsewhere for food. Thus, you will have to pay for parking multiple times.
  • Constantly returning to your hotel room on the ninth floor, via the crowed elevator full of convention attendees, just to drop off souvenirs you happened to purchase in the dealers exhibition room can get very exhausting.
  • Traveling may be wonderful for those who lead an active lifestyle, but convention hopping can be financially draining. Not only will you have to pay for your convention badge, but you may also have to get a hotel room and pay for your own meals.
  • Now if you live in a different location than the convention, there’s also airplane tickets that need to be purchased before you can even go and that’s a pretty penny right there. Seeing that it will most likely be a round trip, so think through your expenses.
  • You’ll eventually get tired of hearing the phrase “Can I take your picture?”; especially when you're starving or have to use the restroom. Attendees only want to enjoy themselves and they will not stop to think about your personal needs.


  • Beware of photographers taking candid shots of you randomly during conventions. Some people are just too shy to ask and where others can’t physically reach you, the zoom button on their camera can!
  • When attending conventions be alert. Attendees always have sudden urges to rush out and glomp cosplayers. Especially if the character is from a popular series.
  • Staying in a group does not lower your risk of being glomped. The risk factor increases when you're with a group of characters from the same series, and are all very good cosplayers, and it just so happens to be a popular series.
  • This article doubles as a list of areas in which to improve and was not intended to mock the fine art of cosplay.

Article Info

Categories: Cosplay