Are you a cosplayer? What's a cosplayer?

Ok so, I am so not asking for the wikipedia definition of a 'cosplayer'. But asking more in a figurative form…
what do you think defines a cosplayer?

Honestly, this is such a flammable topic but I just feel like talking about it so here it is. I can't remember when it started... but recently, I've started to feel weird and awkward to call myself a cosplayer. Before you start slamming me, calm down and read on.

Lemme explain. So, I've always felt somewhat awkward for liking this geeky sport and honestly its not exacy something I'd brag about throughout my 9 years of cosplay. So feeling awkward and embarrassed is nothing new. But that's another story for another day.

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What I've started to feel is a little different. Not awkward to be seen with an awkward hobby but awkward for the hobby to be seen with an awkward me. Very complicated, I know.

In simpler and humiliated terms, I've started to feel both guilty for not living up to the name of a 'cosplayer'  and confused over ... exactly WHAT is a cosplayer? I mean, its hard to meet a standard when you don't have an accurate gauge of that standard right?

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I've always been quite nonchalant about this whole definition thing because I believe everyone is entitled to their own interpretation. And by my own interpretation, I consider myself a cosplayer.

But as time progresses and the overall standards in cosplay quality improves, combined with the accessibility of ready made costumes. More and more commercial entities start looking to cosplayers for novelty profit. This is nothing new of course.But as more and more people jump onto the bandwagon, the definition of Cosplay gets more and more complicated.

Especially after the whole OTACOOL2 drama. It's starting to pry my eyes open to the commercialism and bastardisation of the hobby. I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m not against commercialisation. And apologies for the harsh words used here. But like many others out there.... I'm starting to feel the term  'cosplayer' just doesn’t seem much anymore. It's like anyone who dons a costume is a cosplayer, and they get acknowledged for it. For those of you out of the loop, there was a lot of hooha surrounding the publication, on how many of the cosplayers featured weren’t really “Cosplayers” but “Models”.

It’s like anyone who has a blog is a blogger. Anyone who sings is a singer. Anyone who can dribble is a basketball player. Which just makes me pull my hair in confusion and frustration… so exactly WHAT constitutes a “Cosplayer”?!

Suddenly, cosplay feels so easy and do-able. You don't even need any love for the character/Series anymore! Of course, I'm not penalizing cosplayers who buy/tailor costumes, most Japanese do it anyway. Also as a disclaimer, I don’t mind  people who occasionally goes to event, wear/borrow a store bought costume and started playing with everyone else. I believe everyone has the right to enjoy the fun lovingness of the community and I welcome them to join us.


What I'm disappointed with, is how the term “Cosplayer” is being used. I feel ashamed for admitting this because it just sounds so childish and whiny. But recently, this feeling has grown enough to make me feel like talking/blogging about it. But I guess we can't do anything about that, commercialisation and diluting of the hobby is eventual.

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Another side of me feels guilty for not being more 'dedicated' . Despite myself still continuing with cosplays, I find my own dedication to the hobby pale on comparison to other cosplayers around. A lot of cosplayers seem to live and breath cosplay and invests a big portion of their energy, time and money into it. But I don't. This is where I feel like I’m not living up the the name of a cosplayer.

I don’t have elaborate costumes. I don’t have HQ Videos. I don’t cosplay cute characters. In fact, these days I only seem motivated to cosplay if I can do something fun and novel. So, if by measurement of dedication, I think I fail haha ^_^ ;;;.

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Blah, I sound so whiny! But seriously, despite this post seemingly indicating otherwise. I'm actually really alright with not being a top notch/famous/popular cosplayer (okay, this is so NOT tsundere mentality). After all, cosplay has always been just a hobby to me albeit a very heavy one. I enjoy cosplaying the characters/series I like and I enjoy the memories etched.  And that's good enough for me =)

Alright, there really is no point to this entry, I just feel like sharing this thought with you guys. How do you guys feel about this whole “Cosplayer” identity' thing ? Share with me your thoughts !!!!

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