Update : I notice some people might have misunderstood some of parts of this entry and re-reading my own words again, I admit my terminal objective might have been buried amidst the rant. But just a disclaimer, I am not hating on non-cosplayers for being curious and I definitely am not hating Cosplay. If I was, I wouldn’t be doing it and even going as far as having a Blog & Youtube about Cosplay. The point of this entry is to share my very truthful experience and anxiety as a Cosplayer who is also very much human. I know not everyone have the same experiences as me and I understand experience is what the individual makes of it. I also admit I haven’t been superbly confident and I’m still learning the ropes of living gracefully.
Ironically, this post is put out here for non-cosplayers to get an insight into what a Cosplayer really thinks when they ask questions like “What characters do you cosplay?” , “What is your most successful cosplay?”, “Why didn’t you choose a sexier costume?”. This is a post to remind everyone (Cosplayers & non-cosplayers alike) that we are all just PEOPLE! not a category of something based on our hobby of choice.
I blogged about why I hate talking to non-cosplayers in April 2012 and almost 2 years later, I found myself back at this problem again. So here I am, with a second installment of my thoughts.
I've recently received some well meaning talked-to. There were mostly a bunch of non-Cosplay related talks and encouragements but today I just want to focus on talking about Cosplay because that's what this blog is about. So this very nice person who is both wise and helpful gave me a much needed talk. While I agree mostly with him/her, a wilful part of me couldn't help wishing he/she never knew I Cosplay.
I don't remember how or when I told her I Cosplay, I only know he/she knows. And it seems like she/ he feels that that can be a problem in my life. Not because of the hobby itself but the fact that the hobby itself takes up too much time and effort that otherwise would have been better used elsewhere.
With Yuanie @ AFA2013
Does anyone around you tells or make you feel so? Comment and let me know.
I confess, there are times I think like said person too. Some times I look back and wonder to myself , if I never found Cosplay would I have become a more accomplished individual ? Would I have spent my time on more worthwhile things that can better help the society or elevate my social standing?
While we can go on to debate that that is an outcome nobody can predict henceforth theoretically incorrect to discuss for there is no basis for comparison ... What I mean to say is sometimes I have these "What if ? " in me too.
I’m sorry I digressed =(
Let’s focus back on to the question. Why do I hate talking Cosplay to non-Cosplayer or anyone not actively in this anime/games/manga and photography community?
Everyone has a family. I am no different.
Before anyone jumps into any conclusion , I am by no means hating on non-Cosplayers. So many of the people I value and respect in life are nowhere near this hobby. I simply just dread talking about Cosplay to most of them. I said most because there are some who genuinely appreciates this hobby. Most of them however, gives me an otherwise impression.
Now, some people might wonder why am I so against curious people asking harmless questions about the hobby and other people are of the opinion that we should never give up sharing this hobby as that is the only way to let them understand the hobby itself.
To those commenters just let me say… I agree with you wholeheartedly!
That's right, there's absolutely nothing wrong with people being curious and yes! Cosplay needs to be shared so the public can have a better understanding of this mysterious and often misunderstood hobby. That's totally the reason and motto of TheCosplayChronicles!
I totally understand and agree with all your points ...but you know what? This might sound selfish but I just don't wish to be the one having that talk in real life.
With Cvy @ AFA2014
Being an active cosplay Blogger and Vlogger who well, talks a lot about this hobby, I know this might be hard for you to believe. But I'm actually a very private and low profile person in real life. I'm not an introvert nor am I uninitiated, I'm just very subtle and I am comfortable this way. I really don't mind not talking about Cosplay, we can totally chat about other things that the other party is more aware of.
I have no problem sharing about Cosplays at the right platform but most of the time I was caught unprepared and in circumstances I'd rather not get affiliated with Cosplays. Things get tricky when they are from people I have to face on a relatively regular basis. Meaning to say, if I screw this up, their impression of me is screwed.
Like it or not, everything we do is used by people around to judge us. And I can't say I'm ready to be judged because of my hobby. I'm nothing like the characters I cosplay. Cosplay is just something I do, not who I am!
I am a person with Opinions, Values, Dreams, Knowledge, Ambitions and Hardwork and I don't want Cosplay to blur all those up. I know it's superficial of me to hold this front and some people might be of the opinion that we should be proud of who we are, Cosplay, Anime and all.
But I AM proud of myself !
I just don't see a need to express it outwardly nor turn it into a dinner conversation. I'm proud of who I've grown into and what I've learnt from life , NOT what I've cosplayed! I might be quiet and unassuming but that doesn't mean I have no pride or think I am lesser than someone else.
I spend so much time and effort on things outside of Cosplay and Anime. I cried so much because of the things that happened outside of Cosplays. I got hurt and learnt so many life experiences outside of cosplay. I am pressurised for so many things outside of Cosplays. I need to be held responsible for so many other things outside of Cosplays.
Why am I still being judged for a hobby that holds so little in my life on comparison to other things I hold dear to? And let's not kid ourselves, we all know how majority of the society looks at Cosplay.
You are either:
a) an immature person with kiddish taste,Either of the above options puts me in a losing situation and takes me twice as much effort to prove myself. Granted there are still some sane people out there who looks at Cosplay with respect but we all know those are few and far between.
b) an attention whore/slut
c) an overly artistic person that they cannot fathom so they associate you with sex and all sort of weird things. You are an outlier.
d) a socially inept Loser
Even if they do respect and fancies the hobby, there's no saying they won't magnify the hobby as the root problem causing you to miss your assignment deadline/flunk your exam/arrive late at work/forgetting your household responsibly etc in the future.
Cosplay may be a little different but its a completely legit hobby! However it is very misunderstood by the mass and I know I cannot completely blame them.
Personally, I Cosplay because it is an artistic outlet for me. I love playing as a character. I love putting myself into their shoe and think of ways to present them as realistically as I can. To me it's about being realistic and not pretty (granted 2D characters are almost always pretty -_-;)
While I don't mind sharing about Cosplays with non-cosplayers, what I don't like handling is the torrential side effects that comes with it. While I can alter the things I say , there is no way for me to alter someone else's perception ( except through sheer sincerity, time, effort and a lot of opportunities by God. Erm... I'm sure there are better ways to use my time. )
surveys & pollsHow do you feel about this? Do you have a better way to deal with the above concerns? please comment and share your opinions. I'd love to read them.
Check out my vlog rant on this topic.