In keeping with the current theme of how the adult practice of enjoying comic books and other like pursuits are seen as childish this article tackles one of the biggest. Today we’re going to look at cosplay. Which, lets be honest, is a fancy word for adults playing dress up and pretend. Now calm down for a minute. If you remember anything from past articles this is not a bashing, but a way to help boost your self esteem for the things that you enjoy which others look down upon as mindless drivel. Also, as usual, we’re gonna give you some reasons to help you out when you meet with these snooty critics.
Just to forewarn you folks, we’re going start right in with the heavy hitting stuff first. That’s right, lets look at cosplay from the psychological angle. According to Ape Playground, who make and sell playground equipment, in a release of a pamphlet called, ‘
’, they list several reasons why play is important in a developing child. Here are some of the highlights courtesy of that pamphlet:
– Play gives children a sense of power and control
– Play promotes imagination
– Promotes investigation, repetition
– Stress depletion
– Helps with social interacting.
– Promotes language and communication
That really seems like a strong argument to continue playing. So then why is it, as adults, if these benefits are so good for us, do we replace “play” with “sacrifice”? The way we see it, those who participate in cosplay are ahead of the curve.
Given these reasons why is it so bad to dress up and play pretend for a couple of hours? One thought, and we’re just throwing this out there, perhaps others are too uptight to let themselves go and have fun because they might get caught having fun. There are all of these reports out there about adults and stress and the health effects and how important it is to relax and have fun. So why are cosplayers getting sneered at?
Consider this for a moment; actors and actresses get paid an obscene amount of money to play dress up and pretend for a living. Why aren’t they getting shunned like cosplayers? Everyone sees them dressing up in costume, but not only that, they’re paying money to see these people dress up and play pretend for a couple of hours. Does that make any sense? Why should they have all the fun?
Admit it; admit that it’s thrilling and exciting to don the tights or armor of your favorite superhero and pay homage to them as best as you can. For a little while you’re not John Smith or Jane Doe, but Iron Man and Wonder Woman who are two loved and widely recognized icons. You get that same childhood thrill that you got at Halloween when you got to wear your costume to show off as you went door to door collecting candy. Only as an adult it’s better because you look more like the character. As a woman you developed and as a man you were able to put on muscles to fill the suit better.
Although despite the mindset we really must ask that you cosplay responsibly. For example, don’t get too carried away as Power Girl and try to pick up a car or as Green Lantern don’t try to make the power ring work, or even worse, fly. Answering only to that character name is acceptable, but trying to show off your powers and abilities, not really.
If anyone doubts as to the fun that goes with dress up or cosplay, here’s a quote from Orlando Bloom; “I mean, I have a great job. I get to dress up and become somebody else, especially when it’s someone like Legolas, who’s this super-cool kind of otherworldly elf. It’s, like, I’m lucky, man, so why would I not appreciate that?” You heard it from an expert folks. Dressing up is a good thing.
Many of you are well ahead of the game we’re sure, but it never hurts to have additional resources. Here’s a list of places online to get great costumes and accessories. For those of you just starting out these are a great place to start.
So go forth and wear the spandex proudly. Remember, you’re not an immature adult; you’re simply exercising your creativity while de-stressing yourself. If all else fails tell people you’re trying out for a low budget superhero flick and that should take of things for a little while. The bottom line is this; you’re having fun!