Right off the bat, I want to admit that I absolutely love cosplay. I’ll spend long periods of time checking out photos from Comic Cons to see what those crazy nerds have come up with now, and finding myself wishing I had the time, money, and dedication, to do what they do.
But, at the same time…I can’t help but wonder when cosplay became “legitimized” as opposed to just being another round of playing dress up. Or, maybe the better question, as I posed it on Facebook before deciding to write this article today, is: Where is the line between cosplay and dress up?
I’m guessing that no one really believes there’s a difference between the two, and that nerds just like to use the word cosplay to make their art sounds a little less childish. (I have to admit that I still think cosplay sounds like some sort of role-playing sex act, but perhaps all the sexualized versions of beloved pop culture icons has something to do with that).
I guess part of my issue with the word Cosplay is that I just don’t like it. I mean, I totally understand wanting to shy away from calling the act “dress up”, but I just think there could have been a better word to use. I mean, it’s just a shortened form of Costume Play…which really just sounds like playing dress up anyways, doesn’t it? I mean, have you ever actually tried saying the word? It doesn’t come out of the mouth attractively…especially for those of us with problems with S sounds (which, if stereotypes hold true, would be most of the people who actually practice this artform).
Couldn’t it be something cooler sounding like, I don’t know, Cool Adventure Fun Time In Costumes, or, you know, CAFTIC? Okay, yeah, that one sucks. I’m not really good at naming things…read my books, you’ll find out. All the same, I don’t like the word. I want someone to change it.
But, I don’t want people to stop it. I love the artform. Especially when it comes down to the amazing amalgamations that occur. I’m not just talking about seeing sexualized Daleks, which are still pretty awesome, but you know, things like Darth Batman. I mean, here is where you really start to see the art that is cosplay. Folks who are coming up with even cooler costumes than those which already exist and are giving a big middle finger to licensing agreements to put them together into something new and awesome.
Now…I just need someone to build me some amazing costumes that I can go around in public with. Perhaps I should talk my wife into building me a sweet Rocky Horror/Conan the Barbarian amalgam costume…Of course, there would have to be a lot of muscles built in. And some lifts…And a face transplant…
I’m not very good at cosplay.
Guess I should just stick to writing.
Have fun out there!