Confidence can be hard to find in any aspect of life. There are times when it’s difficult to look at yourself in the mirror and believe you deserve praise, whether you receive it or not. Cosplay is no different. There are so many cosplayers out there with advanced skills in sewing, prop making, and foam work, so it’s hard to not feel discouraged. And it’s easy to compare yourself to the biggest and the best out there and feel ashamed that you’re not as talented, but in order to be happy within your skin and your costumes you need to learn confidence! This article will highlight some key points in helping you be full of confidence and proud bliss in your cosplays.
Blog post and photos courtesy of Taylor Boswell People are going to love you REGARDLESS of your skill level. For the most part, spectators at conventions across the world are not looking for the highest skill in craftsmanship. They’re looking for someone that dressed up as one of their favorite characters. For example, my first costume (Gaige the Mechromancer from “Borderlands 2”) had a lot of pieces made out of cardstock. YEAH. CARDSTOCK. I hated that I didn’t have the money or experience to work with other materials, and I ended up feeling very uncomfortable in it, which made for a miserable time leading up to the convention. When I arrived at the convention center though, I had so many people coming up to me and complimenting me on my work – some even told me that I looked exactly like my character. I realized that people don’t care what you make your costume out of, they care that you took the time to make something and show your appreciation for something they share your love for.
Cosplay isn’t a competition. Cosplay is about different cosplayers coming together. You being a newbie to the convention and cosplay scene does not make you any less of a cosplayer than someone who has been doing it for years, just less experienced. Cosplay is about having fun and letting your nerd flag fly. As stated before, someone is going to love you for it and will go home with a smile on their face because they saw someone dressed up as a character they fell in love with while watching that TV show or playing that video game. When you get over the whole “I don’t want to look like a joke standing next to that person,” you’ll feel so much better and start having more fun.
YOU MADE THAT COSTUME! You put your time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into something just to show your appreciation for it. That’s a lot more than what many people can say. You should be proud of that. You hit bumps and cracks in the road, but did you give up? NO. You continued to make that costume, and now, here you are, months later, wearing something that you worked really hard to put together. The only thing that could make this costume better is a smiling face when people ask for pictures.
You can only get better and better. As you start to cosplay more and begin to learn about new materials and techniques, you become better at creating costumes. You can even go back and work on older ones, improving them and seeing how far you’ve come. I did that with a few parts from my first costume and I felt even better as I took pictures with people because I realized I had come such a long way. It’s a personal triumph that really boosts your confidence like nothing else.
The cosplay community loves you. We don’t care what you look like or your skill set. We consider you one of us and we love you! We will always lift you up when you do not feel comfortable in your costume. We have all been there, and we just want everyone to have a good time. Whether it’s sharing your picture on social media, or commenting on how shiny your foam work, is we want you to feel confident because everyone deserves that. We’re also here to offer advice on anything you need, because, at the end of day, we’re all just big nerds who need support in a world that thinks we’re all a little weird.
Confidence can be hard to come by while cosplaying. There are cosplayers all around with amazing talents. It’s a hard hobby, and sometimes it’s just hard to find the strength in ourselves to say, “Hey, I look great.” Feelings of inferiority may come. Worries of being laughed at for your lack of skills may arise. Fears of being shunned … It’s hard to push it all aside, I know, but you have to realize that you have every reason to feel confident in yourself!
Regardless of how you made the costume or how long it took you or if things are falling apart, you are a cosplayer and people are going to appreciate that. Someone, somewhere is sitting at home playing a videogame or reading a comic book or watching a TV showing and thinking, “I wish I could meet this person!” Be that person. Get out there. Make your costume. Make someone smile from ear to ear. Happy cosplaying, everyone. Remember: I love you!