When you hear the word cosplay, there are several things that could be going through your mind. For example, you might be thinking, “I don’t even know what that is.” Another thought could be, “That’s that weird dress-up stuff that nerds do, right?” If you are like me, you’re thinking, “I love cosplay! Can I please cosplay everything?”

Let me take a moment to explain exactly what cosplay is and why I find it so wonderful. The word cosplay comes from the term costume play. It’s basically where people take their favorite characters and dress up like them, bringing them to life. One cool thing about cosplay is that you can take these characters any direction you want; cosplay is a fun way to express your creativity .

When it comes to deciding what to cosplay there are many directions you could go. You could do a genderbend - this just means to change the gender of a character. For example, I am a lady, but I‘ve always wanted to cosplay Hades from Disney’s Hercules. He’s one of my favorite villains. Redesigning the characters to fit you as a cosplayer is part of the fun. There are limitless possibilities to where you can take a cosplay and the cosplay community is generally very accepting to any and all cosplayers. We’re all just out to have a good time and show our love for our favorite characters.

One of the best parts about cosplay is going to conventions. Many of you have probably heard of Comic-Con. That is one of the larger conventions. Cosplay can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. You can get supplies from thrift shops to save money and go to smaller cons; either way, you’ll have a good time. Conventions are a great place to meet new people and make friends. It’s pretty easy to find someone with similar interests at cons. If you see someone dressed up like Frodo Baggins it’s probably safe to assume that they are a fan of Lord of the Rings. Maybe that’s something you have in common with that person. Conventions are a great place to show your nerd love for things and not be judged. Just go and enjoy yourself. Show off your cosplay skills and admire the work of others. You’ll have a great time.

Cosplay is also a great thing to do with your friends. Group cosplays can be all kinds of fun. Maybe you and your ladies have always wanted to be Disney Princesses. Do it. Make your dreams come true. You can make all kinds of fun memories that way. Dress up as Mario and his gang and go racing around a park like Mario Cart. Cosplay anywhere. You can also use cosplay to help others. Many cosplayers dress up in their characters and visit kids in hospitals. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to bring a character to life for another person. The main goal of cosplay is to have a good time and there are so many ways to do that.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of having to make your own costume, because first off, you don’t have to! Buy a costume if you like. And second, cosplay is a skill you can grow in. I love looking at comparison pictures of people’s first cosplays and where they are now. It gives me some hope for where I can take my cosplays. I’m still a relatively young cosplayer. I’ve only done about three, but it’s something I’ve fallen in love with.

There are many benefits to cosplay. You can gain some new skills, make some new friends, create wonderful memories, help others, and express your creativity. Cosplay is for anyone and everyone, so don’t be afraid to try it.