Suiting Up

Cosplaying provides students with creative outlet, unique experiences

Julie Freijat, co-editor in chief

For some, dressing up on any given day and attending an event that revolves around comics, TV shows, books and movies would be considered an unusual experience. But for others, it’s an average occurrence that leads to new friends and good memories.

Juniors Carter Newport, Janie Nugent and Emily Mullins and sophomore Sabrina Lin all take part in the international entertainment phenomenon also known as cosplay.

Cosplay is essentially the practice of dressing up as a character from any form of entertainment source. Nugent said cosplaying is like putting on a mask.

“It’s a persona — a Halloween costume whenever you want,” she said. “It’s really fun.”

Cosplay and events like Comic-Con don’t discriminate. People of all ages, races and genders participate — all of them are there for a dif
ferent reason. Lin said she began cosplaying after her first experience at a convention.

“I remember seeing my first convention, taking pictures of everyone and saying, ‘This is so cool,’ — so I decided [to start cosplaying on] my own,” she said.

Despite stereotypes attached to cosplaying, Newport said they have received positive reactions to it.

“Most people we run into are really supportive.” he said. “They’re like, ‘Oh can we take a picture or get a selfie?’ It’s a lot of fun.”

Comic-Con is an all-day event, often times spanning multiple days. Lin said the convention organizers do a great job at keeping the atmosphere safe and happy.

“They have repair centers and places where you can sit down and relax,” she said. “They encourage you to drink and eat food — it’s great.”

Cosplay requires creative thinking and artistic skill and often times can lead to hours of dedication to a single aspect of a costume. Sometimes, cosplayers find themselves fixing up their costume as the day goes by. It’s not uncommon for a cosplayer to be faced with challenges in creating their character. Nugent said the cosmetics were difficult to master.

“The makeup was really hard,” she said. “I’d never used fake eyelashes before, and I had to. I was like, ‘What is this?’”

The reason behind the choice to cosplay differs from person to person. For Mullins, it was the opportunity to share a fun experience with her friends.

“I probably wouldn’t go if I was by myself,” she said. “I’m way too insecure to go in full cosplay alone. But when you cosplay with all your other friends, it’s fun.”

All in all, cosplaying allows people a creative outlet and a different kind of bonding experience with their friends. Nugent said it is a way for her to escape her quiet self and live a different life for a day.

“Cosplaying gives me a sense of confidence,” she said. “I’m normally not very outgoing, but when I’m in cosplay, I can act in a different role. It’s really neat, and I’m glad I got my friends into it.”