The benefits of cosplay!

Today I wanted to discuss cosplay on a more positive note! I mean, it’s not too hard to find negative stuff regarding cosplay. A quick Google search about cosplay community and all those good things and you’ll find tons of negative things to read about.

But I wanted to focus more on the serious stuff; the positive things that this cosplay hobby can bring.

What are the benefits of cosplay?

From the cosplayers, photographers and vendors I’ve worked with in the community, everyone says that cosplay brings a positive energy that is always exciting. The benefits of cosplay and being involved in this hobby are numerous, including: being able to express yourself artistically, learning real-life skills such as sewing and crafting, and feeling more confident in yourself through modeling and with social opportunities.

In this post, I’ll go through 10 of the benefits of cosplay! While cosplay can burn through your money fairly quickly, you may not notice all the great things this hobby actually brings to your life.

Let’s find out what these things are!

1. Artistic expression

Paimon Cosplay
Cosplay allows you to express yourself artistically! Paimon knows what’s best for you! Cosplayer: mingmihoo.

Here’s our first of the benefits of cosplay.

Cosplay at its core is an art, especially if you’re the one who makes the costume. When you sew and craft your own cosplay, you have the ability to customize it the way you want. Whether it’s adding some beautiful embroidery or modifying the character look, you have total control over how you look. When you cosplay, you’re expressing yourself to others.

When I cosplay Marth from Fire Emblem, I’m expressing how noble of a prince I am! Or when I cosplayed Hyuuga from Kuruko No Baske, even though it was a simple cosplay, I showed that I enjoyed basketball (which I genuinely do). For most cosplayers, we truly find the art of expressing ourselves in costume…a lot of fun!

2. Escapism

cheers crowd (benefits of cosplay)
You can forget about life problems for a bit with cosplay! Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Being able to cosplay and be a different character, even for just a little bit, can provide a lot of happiness for you and “get away from it all.” Cosplay allows you to live a fun, fantasy world while you’re dressed. Even if what’s going on with your life isn’t the greatest, by dressing up as your favorite character, you can forget about life’s problems and just enjoy the moment. Not only can cosplay be fun, but it can allow appreciating the positives of life.

That being said, using cosplay as escapism can be taken too far. Spending tons of money on a costume to escape your issues is not a very good idea (if you’re interested in that topic, click here on my article about this). But as long as you strike a balance between having fun versus actively avoiding your problems, then you’ll be okay.

3. The social opportunities of cosplaying

Mahou Dreamers Love Live! Cosplay Group
Mahou Dreamers Love Live! Cosplay Group. Cosplaying allows you to meet new friends and provides social opportunities.

I feel like this is a highly underrated aspect of cosplaying. Whether it’s dressing up at a convention or simply meeting up with friends for a private photoshoot, cosplaying always gives you an opportunity to socialize. As I mention in this article, cosplaying is a great way to make new friends. You can be into the same fandom, or it’s a great excuse as an icebreaker to talk to someone new. For example, if you’re into Final Fantasy, it’s totally fun and awesome to meet someone who is also cosplaying from FF, because they’re into the same series. Getting these opportunities to meet new people is important for cosplayers, and this is probably the biggest reason why we cosplay.

4. The confidence boost you get

Feeling confident at Hyuuga!

While it’s true that seeing a bunch of beautiful and “perfect” cosplayers on social media can make you feel down on yourself, I know so so many cosplayers who have gotten more confident because of cosplay. The hobby can challenge you in many different ways. Whether it’s making a complicated cosplay that requires advanced techniques. Or even something as simple as wearing a more revealing cosplay. This hobby can make you feel great about yourself.

I remember my friend a few years ago saying that the Cosplay Community improved her self-esteem I asked her about her post a few weeks ago and here’s what she said:

“I did post that the Cosplay Community is a BIG CONFIDENCE booster for me, it still holds to this day.”

Another thing overlooked is that when you see all these great and beautiful cosplayers, it serves as motivation. Whether it’s for the attention, likes or recognition, I have seen so many cosplayers become motivated to become better and improve themselves:

  • Hitting the gym to lose weight or gain muscle
  • Improving their cosplay skills to make better-looking costumes
  • Learning how to use makeup or wig styling to look pretty
  • Even learning social etiquette to make more valuable friends in the community

All these things can definitely be confidence boosters!

5. You always learn something new

You always learn new techniques and ideas from cosplay, especially from costume-making.

No matter how you often you cosplay, you’ll likely learn something new each time you do.

I mention this a few times on this blog, but there’s a lot of nuance that goes into making a cosplay look really good. You could be wearing a simple cosplay like Lola Bunny, but there’s a lot of stuff you can do to make yourself look better: makeup, using the right poses, using high-quality material, shooting in the right setting, etc. If you’re the observant type like me, then you LOVE to notice these little things when you cosplay.

The last photoshoot I did, I was cosplaying Kaeya from Genshin Impact. One of the pieces of my costume kept falling off and someone told me I should carry bobby pins with me for situations like this. We called this Cosplay Malfunction. For me, trial and error is fun to learn and that’s what makes the cosplaying experience so enjoyable.

6. An excuse to act differently

You can be a different person while cosplaying! Cosplayer: luckyeliee.

When you’re cosplaying, you have an excuse to act a little more wild and eccentric than usual! I know for me, I’m usually calmer and reserved when I’m a normie going about my adult life. But when I’m in cosplay, I let myself act a little more wild. I’ll say random geeky things that other cosplayers understand. I let myself do some role playing, depending on the character I’m dressing up as. And I know a lot of cosplayers who do the same. It’s not unusual for cosplayers to act completely different from when they’re not in costume!

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can act recklessly. There are definitely lots of cosplay rules you should follow, and respecting other cosplayers is very important. If you want to know more about these cosplay rules, check out my article. No glomping or Yaoi paddles allowed though; those days are over!

7. Stress relief

Being able to cosplay can relieve some stress! Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

I can’t tell how often it feels great to cosplay at a convention. Cosplay is a hobby, first and foremost. Hobbies are a way for us to have fun and relieve some stress, similar to watching Anime and playing video games. Which by the way, go hand in hand. Because many cosplayers are into Anime and video games! Dressing up as a different character is a lot of fun and helps you relieve stress.

8. Cosplay is challenging, but in a good way

sewing kit (benefits of cosplay)
Finishing a costume you handmade yourself is very fulfilling. Image by Gabriele Lässer from Pixabay.

Learning how to make your own costumes can be frustrating and at times difficult. But cosplay makes for a fun challenge. And it feels so rewarding when people appreciate your finished costume at a convention by asking for your photo!

Because no matter how you often you cosplay, you’ll likely learn something new each time you dress up.

I mention this a few times on this blog, but there’s a lot of nuance that goes into making a cosplay look really good. You could be wearing a simple cosplay like Lola Bunny, but there’s a lot of stuff you can do to make yourself look better: makeup, using the right poses, using high-quality material, shooting in the right setting, etc. If you’re the observant type like me, then you LOVE to notice these little things when you cosplay.

The last photoshoot I did, I was cosplaying Kaeya from Genshin Impact. One of the pieces of my costume kept falling off and someone told me I should carry bobby pins with me for situations like this. We called this Cosplay Malfunction. For me, trial and error is fun to learn and that’s what makes the cosplaying experience so enjoyable.

9. A sense of community

My friend helping me with my Marth before a shoot.
My friend helping me with my Marth before a shoot. Having a friend accompany you during a shoot is always helpful!

Let’s face it. As much as we try to admit that we’re independent (which is probably true), deep down we also want to be included and be part of a community as well. This is based on my own experiences.

The Cosplay Community loves to talk about negative incidents. Which is fine because we all want to solve the issues going on in the community. But you wouldn’t believe how many random acts of kindness from cosplayers that I’ve witnessed and experienced.

Once I was at a comic convention and randomly chatted with these cosplayers. I was pretty hungry because I didn’t eat for the whole day. So as I was about to go buy overpriced food at the convention, when out of nowhere one of them said, “Hey would you like some of this poutine we bought? You can have it!” It was a nice gesture because I’m a sucker for poutine! But she also said, “That’s how we are. We cosplayers take care of each other.” And I totally agree with her.

The funniest story – I was about to do a Fire Emblem photoshoot at a small convention. Since I hadn’t worn my Marth costume in a long time, my wig was pretty off in terms of styling. But out of nowhere again, this random girl (at the time) came up to me and said, “Hey, I can help fix your wig and style it for you!” I gladly accepted. Needless to say, she did a fine job styling and cutting my wig for the shoot. The photos turned out great!

I’ve lost count how many times various cosplayers helped me out during a cosplay event. I don’t expect it, but I’m always thankful for what they do.

And I take care of the cosplayers in my community. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I’ve had a lot of people thank me for what I’ve done as a cosplay organizer. And a lot of people come to me for advice, and hopefully that helps them as well. As long as people treat me with respect, I do the same for them and they definitely appreciate it.

We’re called the Cosplay Community for a reason – we take care of each other!

10. It’s fun!

Cosplay is just fun!

Last but not least of the benefits of cosplay. You can’t spell cosplay without “play.” Just remember that!

Cosplaying in general is so much fun! You always learn something new. You always have fun and memorable moments at cosplay conventions. And for many people, this hobby serves as stress relief from all the stuff that’s going in your life.

How can you NOT have fun dressing up as your favourite characters?

When you’re cosplaying, you have an excuse to act a little more wild and eccentric than usual! I know for me, I’m usually calmer and reserved when I’m a normie going about my adult life. But when I’m in cosplay, I let myself act a little more wild. I’ll say random geeky things that other cosplayers understand. I let myself do some role playing, depending on the character I’m dressing up as. And I know a lot of cosplayers who do the same. It’s not unusual for cosplayers to act completely different from when they’re not in costume!

Summary

To summarize, here are just 10 of the many benefits of cosplay:

  1. Artistic expression
  2. Escapism
  3. The social opportunities of cosplaying
  4. The confidence boost you get
  5. You always learn something new
  6. An excuse to act differently
  7. Stress relief
  8. Cosplay is challenging, but in a good way
  9. A sense of community
  10. It’s fun!

And there you have it; 10 benefits of cosplay!

While cosplaying is never perfect and there will probably be times where you don’t want to be part of this hobby, it’s all normal. Just don’t forget there are a lot of great things to be had with cosplay! What are some of your favourite benefits of cosplay? Are there some benefits of cosplay I didn’t cover? Let me know in the comments below!