Written by Lena Ye
Cosplay can be a complicated and intricate process. Between finding the right clothes, wigs, accessories and makeup, trying to become another character in appearance and persona can take a lot of time and money. “It’s better to start off with easier characters who don’t require anything like armor or weapons,” freshman Mira Wong said.
Conventions are multi-day events, usually hosted at event centers, hotels or college campuses, where cosplayers can participate in activities, panels and workshops. “I’ve been to Fanime and I plan to go to many more conventions,” Wong said. Attending conventions introduced Wong to others who share her interests. “We usually have a lot of fun,” Wong said.
In the beginning, Wong’s parents reacted negatively to her participation in the activity. “At first, my dad was really against [cosplay],” Wong said. “He said, ‘Don’t do this. This is for people who don’t have a life.’”
Wong’s mother also opposed cosplay because of the costume expenses. Creating a cosplay costume usually requires a few months’ work and can be an expensive process. “I try to think of my parents’ situations, because I’m using my parents’ money,” Wong said. “Usually around two hundred dollars [is my] maximum—and that’s only for simple [homemade] costumes.” Normally, Wong purchases her more complex costumes.
Fortunately seeing her finished work warmed Wong’s parents to embracing her unique interests, and thus, Wong began active cosplaying.
“Cosplay lets you become another person with another personality without people’s judgment,” Wong said. “The cosplay community is so welcoming to any new cosplayers because we have all been in their place.” According to Wong, the caring community is the most unique and defining aspect of cosplay.
According to Wong, cosplaying is a way for her to express herself and meet new people. “Cosplaying is a way people can find links to other people and get relief from stressful daily life,” Wong says. “It lets shy people become characters and personas that they might be afraid to be in real life.”