Cosplay is indeed fun and exciting. It allows you to transform yourself into the character from your favorite anime series, video game, or superhero comic. Cosplay is also the cornerstone of every anime, video game, and superhero convention in the world. (Even third world countries are getting into the cosplay spirit!) Although this is a fun alternative to escaping from the various challenges of the real world, there are some ground rules that you have to follow when it comes to cosplay, especially in public!
Although we’re passionate about the culture that’s centered around otaku fandom (conventions, cosplay, etc.), we have to know that we’re normal people just like everyone else. The last thing you wanna do is cause irreparable damage to the reputation of a fandom/community that a percentage of the world already finds weird. So to that we’re gonna give you the five Golden Rules of what to do, and what not to do when cosplaying in public. Remember, cosplay is not consent!
The Golden Rule of Humility: Humble Yourself
When cosplaying in public, you’re probably going to get asked this question numerous times, “Are you in a play?”. To that we say humble yourself and be polite to people who are a just little bit curious about your costume, because the only time most people ever see cosplayers in public is during conventions, never ‘in the wild’.
The Golden Rule of Self-Awareness: Know Where You Are
Depending on the type of venue that you plan to attend, it may not be a good idea to wear any cosplay that may have controversial themes, or may be offensive/scary to small children. Any characters you decide to cosplay as that have on masks or wear something mask-like (like Tokyo Ghoul) might not be okay for places like malls, banks, or venues of that nature.
The Golden Rule of Honor and Courtesy: Respecting One’s Space
If you’re going to do a public cosplay photoshoot, make sure you do it in a space where it’s not going to interfere with traffic of any kind. Be respectful, be courteous, and most of all, don’t invade other people’s personal space.
The Golden Rule of Role-Play: No Killjoys
We’re not sure how much this needs to be stressed, but we’ve heard enough stories about these incidents all among the web. If you’re going to RP (Role-Play) while in cosplay, don’t drag complete strangers into the act who have no idea what’s going on, or what you’re doing. It’s bad enough a percentage of the world thinks cosplayers are weird, so don’t add fuel to the fire by doing something that you and the rest of the anime community might regret down the line.
The Golden Rule of Leadership: Stand Your Ground
When you cosplay in public, you must remember that you’re representing that fandom as a whole. You have been entrusted with the responsibility of carrying your fandom or community’s good name. If you do or say anything that your mother, grandmother, former kindergarten teacher, peers or pastor might find offensive while in cosplay form, that fandom’s image and reputation (or the thought and idea of cosplaying in public) will fall faster than a house of cards. A wise man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility!”.
Sure, cosplay in general may have its good and bad moments, but those moments depend on the actions of the individual wearing it. There are some cosplay that non-cosplayers and normal people may recognize; such as Marvel and DC characters, while others are a bit curious. Not everybody is comfortable with cosplaying in public unless it’s during a con, but for the percentage of fans who do, just remember these golden rules before making your way out the door in your cosplay.
The greatest Golden Rule of all: Have Fun!! 🙂