I have an amusing experience to share xD.
I was around this area recently and decided to check out a nearby cosplay shop. Had been toying with the idea of possibly buying or renting a costume that I've been wanting to cos since 2006. And so I thought I'd check things out a bit. Friend and I went into the shop, found the costume I wanted, asked the questions i needed and turned our back to leave when the shop assistants started talking loudly behind us.
SA 1: Eh...who are they? (referring to friend and myself) ... new cosplayers?
SA 2: Em yeah, newbies.
If I were really a newcomer, I'd probably feel a little upset to hear that. Feels like before I'm even in the hobby I'm already being labeled and judged. And is it just me or are they kind of unprofessional to be discussing about their prospective customers like they can't hear them?
Oh well, I guess it makes for an interesting experience and a nice opening for the topic today; bots.
Bots = Bought Off The Shelves (costumes)
As everyone knows, I make my own costumes. Eh, okay, on second thoughts... I don't think everyone knows. People are always asking where I bought my costumes, telling me I must have bought it at so and so shop or commenting how I'm just wearing store bought costumes.
Well, I've been doing my own costume from scratch since the beginning. Mostly because I enjoy dressmaking and facing new challenges. I enjoy scouring for the most suitable fabric and material and I enjoy dissecting and designing my costume to best suit my body type. Even though it was always with a very 'Tsundere' kind of attitude haha. I'm forever going "why the fu*k am I sewing/doing this??!!!?" . Haha!
Of course, then there’s the money issue. The amount I can save from doing my own costume can be pretty substantial. But one of the biggest reason might be the fact that when I first started cosplay, nothing was available so everyone had to do their own costumes from scratch. And in the process, acquiring the skills and getting accustomed to it.
But recently, with the surge in easily accessible and cheap china costumes and wig. Things have changed (OMG I feel like an artifact x.x) Cosplay and Animanga is a fast moving community. The needs and wants of the consumer are quick to be answered.
With the growing of life commitments like work, life, etc etc... I'm finding it harder and harder to dedicate time to costuming. And the expansion of my fandom also meant I wanna cosplay more! Yes, I still enjoy cosplaying but my lack of time doesn't permit me to churn out costumes like there’s no tomorrow. Which is why I'm looking at bots or tailored costumes.
The convenience of bots means I can dedicate more time to other stuffs (like TCC , Cosplay props or my own life) instead of slaving over my costume. Which, nobody cares or knows I made it anyway x.x
A cosplay friend was lamenting to me long ago how she felt nobody seemed to care about costumes anymore. How it is all becoming some sort of beauty pageant and everyone is just looking at the face and photographs only. And I have to agree with her.
I mean yes, due to the nature of the hobby, cosplay IS a very aesthetically influenced hobby. How you eventually looked is the most important thing. And to look like a bijin/bishounen 2D character meant you have to become a bijin/bishounen yourself. Which honestly speaking...is difficult.
Personally, I think there is a balance to be had with regards to doing your costume yourself and paying someone else for it.
What do you guys think about this?