What do you say to someone who’s walking down the street dressed up as a character from Japanese anime? Probably not any of the things below, unless you want to find out for yourself whether that sword is metal or just looks like it.  A bunch of people on the Cosplay.com forums put together a list of the most common (and least accurate) stereotypes associated with people who spend hours, maybe more like months, putting together insanely detailed cartoon character costumes or creating elaborate armor.

Here are the most, by which we mean least, popular ones and the real truth… well, the real truth as claimed by cosplayers, but who’s counting?

Cosplayers don’t (and can’t) have normal social lives…

News flash. 90% of cosplay is about dressing up and going out in to the big bad real world to meet other people. Okay, other people who like dressing up in costumes too, but this already ought to make cosplay qualify as the most social nerdy hobby ever invented. (Compare it to say, oh, computers.)

Diablo 3 Cosplayers
Source: www.diablofans.it

And, when you ask cosplayers, it’s really just a hobby. They have other hobbies too, like going out with friends or playing musical instruments or watching anime or talking about anime. Chances are if you met a cosplayer out of costume you wouldn’t be able to tell them from anyone else on the beach or at the movies.

Cosplayers are “permanently single”…        

A lot of them are in relationships and quite a few of them are married. Yes, their significant others often cosplay too…  They can even make baby cosplayers, as seen below.

See, even cosplayers can have families.
Source: http://blogs.pop.com.br/nerd-e-geek/cosplays-da-semana-cinema/

Cosplayers are hardcore nerds who love Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, playing in band, and doing theater…            

The theater one is actually pretty accurate. Dressing up as a Japanese anime character isn’t too far away from dressing up as a character in a play, so there are a bunch of cosplayers who are really into theater. The acting, prop building, and costume design skills come in pretty handy… and this goes double for cosplayers who stage skits and the like. Acting is actually a huge part of cosplay.

As for Star Trek, and Dungeons and Dragons… well, yeah, there are a bunch of cosplayers who are into those. But not all of them. The “D&D crowd” is more the extreme hardcore side of cosplay.

Cosplayers are devil worshippers…

Well, there’s a story about a (real) nun who got into an elevator with a guy who was cosplaying (read: dressed up) as the devil… but NO, there’s really no connection between cosplay and religion. There are devout Christians in cosplay just as there are atheists and people of other faiths. Tell a cosplayer that their hobby is satanic and they’ll react the same way as if you told a trick-or-treater the same thing on Halloween.

Except maybe this guy, who is literally wearing a Diablo costume.

Diablo, Lord of Terror
Diablo, Lord of Terror, in his living room. Source: www.dorkly.com

Cosplayers are unhealthy, unhygienic, acne-ridden denizens of their mothers’ basements…

A lot of cosplayers are teenagers, so acne and living with their parents is part and parcel of who they are… cosplay or no!

Though, yeah, even if there’s plenty of cosplayers who smell fine, there ARE a lot of people at conventions who need a shower. It’s because they’re so enthusiastic and into it, though, and they have great hygiene the rest of the time. Definitely.

Cosplayers are ‘weeaboos,’ people who want to be or pretend to be Japanese, and tend to use Japanese words randomly (and poorly)…         

There are few terms that cosplayers dislike quite as intensely as ‘weeaboo.’ In case you didn’t know, it’s a (not very nice) term for Westerners who get addicted to Japanese culture. And, while there are cosplayers (particularly the 13 year old ones…) who are, ahem, over-enthusiastic about the super-saturated world of Japanese entertainment… most cosplayers understand what’s appropriate and what’s just weird.

Source:  http://bit.ly/1eZkdhN
Source: http://bit.ly/1eZkdhN

All cosplayers are immature…

Cosplay attracts people of all age groups. Some of them are mature, and some of them aren’t. (And it’s not necessarily the young ones who are the immature ones.) Yes there are cosplayers who are immature, but it’s definitely not all of them.

Cosplayers are acting out a sexual fetish…

Well… many of them do end up taking their costumes to bed. Hey, if playing dress-up was good enough for J. Edgar Hoover…

But not everyone in costume is horny, as you’ll find out the hard way if you’re too eager coming on to them.  Not even the guys looking at this Jessica Rabbit cosplay girl.  Really.  No really.

Jessica Rabbit Cosplay.
Source: http://fashionablygeek.com/costumes/this-jessica-rabbit-costume-will-turn-heads/#!BIlUP

Check out some interesting pictures and videos from the most famous cosplay events and you may change your mind and end up dressing up yourself at the next cosplay event:

http://www.costumecollection.com.au/blog/cosplay-conventions-the-world-over/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/kingofthenerds/24-of-the-best-cosplays-ever-77y5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJiqo4TnNtE

  • Karen Enos

    It’s really funny that a lot of people think of cosplayers this way. Well, I can’t blame them. Maybe it’s how they’re culture looks at cosplayers while they grow up.