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I’m not a cosplayer as I have never ever cosplayed once in my lifetime.
In my honest opinion I think the cosplay community is great because it adds this extra flare to the already existing and ever so humongous anime community. Cosplay is also a hobby for many that comes with several benefits like meeting new people, BUT I have several gripes with it. The biggest and most prominent one is the sheer abundance of absolutely bad cosplays. A good bad example would be the Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku cosplay done by some random guy who at the catwalk, advertised his own brand at Comic Fiesta 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
I know that people say “you do you, you don’t have to care about what others say” but there has to be a limit to how bad your cosplay can be (unless if it’s intentional; that’s fine with me). Next on the cosplay con list is the mind-boggling amount of money that is needed to cosplay. I could write a whole laundry list of things that are needed to cosplay a character decently but I won’t as I am too lazy after typing all the above. In Malaysia, the average price for a Re:Zero Felix costume is about 350-400 ringgit (from my personal account) and that’s not even including the wig, ears, tail, other accessories and makeup. Finally, there’s the whole issue of sexual assault or lack of respect for personal privacy or space by some, not all, “cosplay photographers”.
In conclusion, cosplay has many cons but honestly, without it, the anime community just wouldn’t be as diverse and interesting.
You have a great point about cosplay adding that extra edge to the ACG community, and you’re also right about cosplay being an expensive hobby. I would actually recommend learning to sew or make your own costume, as basic crafting materials are a lot cheaper than ready-made costumes. Also, making your own costume is a main part of the fun that comes with cosplay, which brings me to my next point.
While I do respect your views on how some cosplays may be seen as “bad”, cosplay is about having fun at the end of the day. Cosplayers cosplay as a hobby; it is not a job that they get paid for to do. I believe every cosplayer has the right to express themselves with their cosplay, even if it may not be the best or most well-crafted cosplay out there. It is also true that there are many ill-minded people with cameras out there targeting cosplayers by labelling themselves as “cosplay photographers”. I believe it should be a joint effort within the community to raise awareness against predators like them and to protect fellow cosplayers. There are many good and kind cosplay photographers who really do respect cosplayers and they shouldn’t be given a bad name because of those rotten apples.
If you ever feel like it, please do try to give cosplaying a go. I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun doing it, get a better idea about what the community is like and why many cosplayers still actively choose to remain in this circle.
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