Cosplay Column: Life as a Cosplayer
We love our cosplayers here at Arcade Sushi and we thought it would be a great idea to have them participate in special guest columns talking about the world of cosplay. Our next guest writer is Gabriela Almeida, a Brazilian cosplayer who is one of the most stunning women we’ve ever featured on this site. In this special Cosplay Column, Gabriela talks about what life is like for her as a cosplayer. English isn’t her first language, but she did a great job. It’s an awesome read so enjoy!
Life as a Cosplayer by Gabriela Almeida
Making cosplays is great! For me, it’s a pure form of art, where you can express yourself, let your imagination flow and, at the same time, pay a tribute to your beloved characters. But sometimes, life is not a bed of roses. There are lots of problems waiting the right (or wrong), moment to catch you by surprise. I’m from Brazil, so I’m not sure if these things happen the same way in another countries, but here it’s a long way to the top if you wanna cosplay.
I’m always saying that the best choice that I made in my life, was learning how to sew. There are lots of great cosmakers here, but usually, the prices are really high! And I can’t blame them!! Taking the responsibility to make someone’s costume is pretty hard. Cosplay is not like a casual outfit where you can make a few changes here and there. The costume needs to be exactly like the design provided by the costumer and some constructions are just insane and absurdly full of details. And I’m not even taking about armors yet! It’s a lot of work and headaches. It totally justifies their prices (or not).
But, some people just can’t handle it, so they go after a common seamstress. Poor ladies, used to make cute dresses or fix some pants and suddenly some geek appears with a Final Fantasy outfit to be made. Hardly she’ll make it right, but we can’t blame her either. It’s pretty hard for someone who doesn’t know this “cosplay world” to assimilate all the information of that complex oufit from your beloved character. I feel bad for those ladies.
Anyway, I wish the making process of the outfit was the only problem. In Brazil it’s really hard to find some materials, even more the right material of the right color, as well as proper wigs and contact lens. So, the only option is: Import. Oh, god! Import things here? It’s a pain the ass. Thanks to the mail system of my country I already had to wait three (Yeah, that’s right THREE), months to receive some packages. And two packages ended up returning to China! I feel the anger possessing me everytime I remember this. By the way, as I write this text, I’m still waiting for the fabrics that I ordered last month to finish one of my next costumes. *sob* Endless wait.
Alright, after surviving the path of the making process with lots of burns by hot glue and scissor cuts, the big day arrives! But, if you think that it all comes down to simply wearing the clothes and walking around… oh, you’re so wrong. It’s another painful process. Just imagine how it is to spend the day wearing heels, heavy wigs, those big contact lenses and clothes that limit your moves! And the worst of all, stay at the same pose for several minutes while some stupid boy try to take advantage of the moment, poking you in improper places or taking photos on creepy angles. Awful! (I don’t know how it is where you, dear reader, lives. But Brazilian boys know how to be extremely annoying at this point). Wearing costumes at cons can be very exhaustive and stressful. It’s very important to know your own limits. I think that one of the best parts of wearing a costume is taking it all off at the end of the day. Especially the shoes.
In the end, it’s mission accomplished. The whole experience is very rewarding. You just finished that awesome cosplay in time, did a great job, took lots of amazing photos, met new friends, enjoyed the con, and most important, had lots of fun! All the effort was worth it, and the only thing on your mind is, need to begin the new cosplay. The whole process looks too tiring, but ends up being pretty fun. Learning new things is always great. It only brings benefits.
But the sad part is that the “cosplay world” is becoming very hostile. People can be very critical, they find countless reasons to judge and to criticize (your body type, your face, the color of your skin, your height, the amount of fabric that you used). This is so demotivating!! It already takes lot of courage to expose yourself at conventions, so why be mean with people who are trying to have fun? Even fellow cosplayers, who should understand all the efforts that you put on your outfit, can be very cruel. It’s like a battle for getting more attention, and that’s a very ugly part of this colorful world. We should support each other! C’mon, guys… We cosplayers make the cons prettier and funnier, don’t you think?
You certainly do make the world prettier, Gabriela! Thanks for the awesome column!
Look for more special guest cosplay columns in the near future. If you’d like to write a Cosplay Column, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org