Why i hate talking cosplay to non-cosplayers part 2

I haven't done a discussion entry in a long time. Today's topic might be a bit heavy and introspective so I apologize in advance. 

Update : I notice some people might have misunderstood some of parts of this entry and re-reading my own words again, I admit my terminal objective might have been buried amidst the rant. But just a disclaimer, I am not hating on non-cosplayers for being curious and I definitely am not hating Cosplay. If I was, I wouldn’t be doing it and even going as far as having a Blog & Youtube about Cosplay. The point of this entry is to share my very truthful experience and anxiety as a Cosplayer who is also very much human. I know not everyone have the same experiences as me and I understand experience is what the individual makes of it. I also admit I haven’t been superbly confident and I’m still learning the ropes of living gracefully.

Ironically, this post is put out here for non-cosplayers to get an insight into what a Cosplayer really thinks when they ask questions like “What characters do you cosplay?” , “What is your most successful cosplay?”, “Why didn’t you choose a sexier costume?”. This is a post to remind everyone (Cosplayers & non-cosplayers alike) that we are all just PEOPLE! not a category of something based on our hobby of choice.

i am not just a cosplayer

I blogged about why I hate talking to non-cosplayers in April 2012 and almost 2 years later, I found myself back at this problem again. So here I am, with a second installment of my thoughts.

I've recently received some well meaning talked-to. There were mostly a bunch of non-Cosplay related talks and encouragements but today I just want to focus on talking about Cosplay because that's what this blog is about. So this very nice person who is both wise and helpful gave me a much needed talk. While I agree mostly with him/her, a wilful part of me couldn't help wishing he/she never knew I Cosplay.

I don't remember how or when I told her I Cosplay, I only know he/she knows. And it seems like she/ he feels that that can be a problem in my life. Not because of the hobby itself but the fact that the hobby itself takes up too much time and effort that otherwise would have been better used elsewhere.

With Yuanie @ AFA2013

Does anyone around you tells or make you feel so? Comment and let me know. 

I confess, there are times I think like said person too. Some times I look back and wonder to myself , if I never found Cosplay would I have become a more accomplished individual ? Would I have spent my time on more worthwhile things that can better help the society or elevate my social standing?

While we can go on to debate that that is an outcome nobody can predict henceforth theoretically incorrect to discuss for there is no basis for comparison ... What I mean to say is sometimes I have these "What if ? " in me too. 

I’m sorry I digressed =(

Let’s focus back on to the question. Why do I hate talking Cosplay to non-Cosplayer or anyone not actively in this anime/games/manga and photography community?

elpheal on Instagram - Google Chrome 1722014 115849 PM.bmp
Everyone has a family. I am no different.

Before anyone jumps into any conclusion , I am by no means hating on non-Cosplayers. So many of the people I value and respect in life are nowhere near this hobby. I simply just dread talking about Cosplay to most of them.  I said most because there are some who genuinely appreciates this hobby. Most of them however, gives me an otherwise impression. 

Now, some people might wonder why am I so against curious people asking harmless questions about the hobby and other people are of the opinion that we should never give up sharing this hobby as that is the only way to let them understand the hobby itself.

To those commenters just let me say… I agree with you wholeheartedly!

That's right, there's absolutely nothing wrong with people being curious and yes! Cosplay needs to be shared so the public can have a better understanding of this mysterious and often misunderstood hobby. That's totally the reason and motto of TheCosplayChronicles!

I totally understand and agree with all your points ...but you know what?  This might sound selfish but I just don't wish to be the one having that talk in real life.

With Cvy @ AFA2014

Being an active cosplay Blogger and Vlogger who well, talks a lot about this hobby, I know this might be hard for you to believe. But I'm actually a very private and low profile person in real life. I'm not an introvert nor am I uninitiated, I'm just very subtle and I am comfortable this way. I really don't mind not talking about Cosplay, we can totally chat about other things that the other party is more aware of.

I have no problem sharing about Cosplays at the right platform but most of the time I was caught unprepared and in circumstances I'd rather not get affiliated with Cosplays. Things get tricky when they are from people I have to face on a relatively regular basis. Meaning to say, if I screw this up, their impression of me is screwed.

With Noshuu @ AFA 2013

Like it or not, everything we do is used by people around to judge us. And I can't say I'm ready to be judged because of my hobby. I'm nothing like the characters I cosplay. Cosplay is just something I do, not who I am!

I am a person with Opinions, Values, Dreams, Knowledge, Ambitions and Hardwork and I don't want Cosplay to blur all those up. I know it's superficial of me to hold this front and some people might be of the opinion that we should be proud of who we are, Cosplay, Anime and all.

Cosfest 073
With Onimusha @ Cosfest 2013

But I AM proud of myself ! 

I just don't see a need to express it outwardly nor turn it into a dinner conversation.  I'm proud of who I've grown into and what I've learnt from life , NOT what I've cosplayed! I might be quiet and unassuming but that doesn't mean I have no pride or think I am lesser than someone else. 

I spend so much time and effort on things outside of Cosplay and Anime. I cried so much because of the things that happened outside of Cosplays. I got hurt and learnt so many life experiences outside of cosplay. I am pressurised for so many things outside of Cosplays.  I need to be held responsible for so many other things outside of Cosplays. 

Why am I still being judged for a hobby that holds so little in my life on comparison to other things I hold dear to? And let's not kid ourselves, we all know how majority of the society looks at Cosplay.

You are either:
a) an immature person with kiddish taste,
b) an attention whore/slut
c) an overly artistic person that they cannot fathom so they associate you with sex and all sort of weird things. You are an outlier.
d) a socially inept Loser
Either of the above options puts me in a losing situation and takes me twice as much effort to prove myself.  Granted there are still some sane people out there who looks at Cosplay with respect but we all know those are few and far between. 

With Jesuke @ AFA2014

Even if they do respect and fancies the hobby, there's no saying they won't magnify the hobby as the root problem causing you to miss your assignment deadline/flunk your exam/arrive late at work/forgetting your household responsibly etc in the future. 

Cosplay may be a little different but its a completely legit hobby! However it is very misunderstood by the mass and I know I cannot completely blame them.

Personally, I Cosplay because it is an artistic outlet for me. I love playing as a character. I love putting myself into their shoe and think of ways to present them as realistically as I can. To me it's about being realistic and not pretty (granted 2D characters are almost always pretty -_-;)

With Darcy & Peggy. Photobombing courtesy of Anthony & Brian.

While I don't mind sharing about Cosplays with non-cosplayers, what I don't like handling is the torrential side effects that comes with it. While I can alter the things I say , there is no way for me to alter someone else's perception ( except through sheer sincerity, time, effort and a lot of opportunities by God. Erm... I'm sure there are better ways to use my time. )

surveys & polls
How do you feel about this? Do you have a better way to deal with the above concerns? please comment and share your opinions. I'd love to read them. 

Check out my vlog rant on this topic.


Stevie Burggren said…
I use cosplay/anime/manga/asian culture as a learning tool. For instance, when I was going to school and one of my classes had a project that I could use Cosplay/Anime/Manga, I would use them and educate my classmates. In one class a fellow student told me about her son who was also interested in this stuff and thanked me for helping her understand it a little better as well as asked how to support his interests with cons and such.
Though i do understand the frustrations and difficulties we can face when it comes to talking with closed minded people. Usually I try to express my passion and excitement for Cosplay as I talk to them and try to turn the "hate or dislike" of cosplay around on them, by taking something there passionate about and questioning it in the same manor they question me. In all i believe we all have our own hobbies and it doesn't matter if its sports, casual crafting, cosplay, or whatever your into. Just because someones hobby isn't like yours shouldn't mean we judge them based upon that hobby. sides judging people is wrong and not cool :D
Ray Kindrick Comandante Pacurs said…
Whatever we do with our lives will be just up to us. We can't let other people decide for us, what we should do. It's our life, and we have our free will. Being a cosplayer doesn't mean you're immature, childish and some other sorts. For me, cosplay is just an outlet of stress and a self-expression of your own art of a certain character, and of course, it's a hobby (and sometimes I'd like to think it's a hobby on steroids).

Outside cosplay, we are people of different walks of life. Some of us are professionals, businessmen, employees, and most of cosplayers are students. But we are united by a common interest, and that's this hobby. And for me, cosplay is not just a hobby. It hones a lot of attributes in your personality. For example, it increases your self-confidence (basically). It also teaches you how to socialize with other people, and from that, you can gain knowledge from other people. Knowledge, which is sometimes not just about cosplay, but other things too (and I mean anything under the sun, that might be useful for us).

I'd like to think, cosplay is neutral. It's only people who give it a good and/or bad impression. And adding some philosophy, (like Bruce Lee's philosophy) "absorb what is useful, discard what is useless". And of course, I know you want to acquire what's good and don't mind whatever is bad. That's what I apply whenever I cosplay.

Of course, cosplay is just there. At the end of the day, we should be in check of our personal lives.
Aqua Rica said…
I used to hate cosplay a lot four years ago. As an outsider of cosplay, I used to think it was a waste of time and money to invest in materials that don't last, on photoshoots that can last throughout the entire afternoon, on friendships that are built purely on the basis of cosplay and nothing else. However, I was hit by a curiosity bug one day. I realized I was ignorant about certain subtle moments when I first walked into a cosplay convention out of curiosity. Cosplayers and strangers suddenly open up to one another about their love for a fandom regardless of shapes and sizes, many people are keen to to forge relationships. It takes a bit of faith and patience to wait for non-cosplayers to open up. Even when my actors ask me why I cosplay, I say to them, " Why are you into acting, since it doesn't earn you much money?" :D Even in the arts field, some people don't quite share the same notion of cosplay as a hobby alone.
Alvin Balce said…
While I'm friends with my workmates on FB and I keep my cosplay posts for "friends only", I restrict them from seeing cosplay posts where I get tagged on, and they don't know that I have a "fun page" where I keep my other cosplay stuff. They've proved that they'll never understand my fascination for this hobby, and for my part, I will also never like their penchant for local showbiz gossips.

The only thing that sets me apart from them is that I'm on a managerial level, and they're beneath me. >:D
PohcbSonic Ziwen said…
It sometimes can't be helped when cosplay entered into our lives. And, it's a hobby. So it really doesn't matter what others think, as long as you enjoyed yourself and it's fun actually. As a photographer, I really do enjoyed myself in the cosplay community, attending events and made some friends, as such.

Although I do have friends outside cosplay, they didn't really object when I told them. Even my work collegues were impressed of the photos I've taken during photoshoots when I was told to have a sharing session of hobbies at my workplace. But, I do kept my relatives away from this matter, whom I seldom get along with and only meet annually during cny periods, and that they (tend to gossip alot).

I know that there are people out there that dislike cosplay, hence of the bad issues from cosplay community happenings popping out here and there now sometime in the general public, but that shouldn't be stopping us from doing what we love the most. And being a photographer in the cosplay community for sometime, I can see that cosers and other photographers are really enjoying themselves. So we really shouldn't let it bother us.
Ayasaka Mao said…
Just wanna share...I've been called a weirdo because I cosplay...T_T
kasai16 said…
Well said dearie!

I'm just glad that the ratio (in our country) of those who appreciate Cosplay and those who are still confused about it are rising quite equally now. There's still the dramu, the misinterpretations and the mistakes.. But lately I've seen awesome people turn them into positive & work things out eventually.

The best I can contribute for this hobby is share its wonders, wether I am in costume or not. And I won't stop spreading the love! :3
Roberto Wong said…
Whenever someone (especially a relative) asks me about cosplay I try to simplify my explanation to "dressing up as your favorite character". Normally they associate this to Halloween, which is applicable, but they could not understand why we do it for the rest of the year. Also, the term "cosplay", at least in the country I live in (Philippines) have slightly different meaning and opinions among the community. Like others see it as a hobby, others as a profession, or craft, or artistic expression or a business. So it becomes confusing to a non-cosplayer when they ask other cosplayers and they get a different answer.

Also some people tend to label cosplayers according to what they understand, or how they perceive life in general. They see it as a waste of time? Maybe because they grew up thinking that other things are more important, which is fine by me. To each their own. What annoys me is how some try to advertise the idea online that its a waste of time, and when questioned, become hostile towards cosplayers and those who support them. Unfortunately, not many cosplayers seem to know how to intelligently and calmly give out a logical response, and thus enforce the idea that cosplaying is indeed a childish and degenerate activity.
Momo Kurumi said…
I personally don't have a problem talking to non-cosplayers about cosplay. But I get where she's coming from.

I actually have a similar feeling in first meeting someone where I don't immediately want to be "that weird girl that dresses up like school girls and comic book characters", but when I become more comfortable with people I'm actually desperate to talk about it. Cosplay is pretty much my life. But, therein lies *my* problem, that I talk about it too much, and people often times don't care, don't understand, or get totally bored of me! I do it to my mom and boyfriend a lot, and I can tell they're not even listening to me. XD

Some people just don't get excited about wig sales or finding the perfect fabric for that Elsa costume. XDDD
Rosalind said…
I can definitely see where you're coming from. Ever since I started cosplaying I've tried to keep it a secret because I heard my friends say really mean things about classmates that were into anime and manga. Once one of my friends found out and treated me like she was embarrassed by me, and would sometimes make fun of me (of course she thought of it as a joke, but this made me not want to talk about it to other non-cosplayers.) My highschool is not very accepting of anyone who stands out. But thankfully my parents have always been supportive of it!
Elpheal aka Kaika said…
I wouldn't go as far as saying the public consider cosplay taboo. They likely just find it too different for their taste. Nightclubs and all are not exactly proper but they are not weird because majority of the adult population has been to one before and many of them patronise regularly.

I would say the misconceptions about cosplay is a society norm. People generally don't take too well to things they don't understand.

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