60+ Totally Valid Reasons to Cosplay

A-Fest 2013 - Hipster Adventure Time Girls
Liz, Mia, and Peony
  1. You like or relate to the character
  2. You like the character’s design or outfit
  3. You like cosplaying in a group with your friends
  4. You want to dress up with your friends
  5. You want to dress up at all
  6. You like Halloween
  7. You like transforming into someone else
  8. You like showing your appreciation for your favorite creator, movie, comic book, TV show, cartoon, anime, manga, etc.
  9. You like attention
  10. You like having your photo taken
  11. You like doing photo shoots
  12. You like participating in cosplay videos or cosplay music videos
  13. You like recreating your favorite images or scenes
  14. You like creating character-inspired outfits
  15. You like creating crossover cosplays
  16. You like cosplaying from fan art
  17. You like cosplaying original designs or interpretations
  18. You like crossplaying
  19. You like genderbending characters
  20. You like having your own unique take on a character
  21. You like creating something with your own hands
  22. You like sewing
  23. You like modifying clothing
  24. You like painting
  25. You like styling wigs
  26. You like thrifting
  27. You like shopping
  28. You like finding hard-to-find items
  29. You like makeup
  30. You like working with craft foam
  31. You like working with new materials
  32. You like trying something new
  33. You like making something out of nothing
  34. You like making things that are difficult to make
  35. You like a challenge
  36. You like making props
  37. You like meeting other fans and cosplayers
  38. You like meeting children who think you are the real character
  39. You like meeting the creators of the media you like
  40. You like making new friends
  41. You think cosplaying is fun
  42. You enjoy performing and acting like your character
  43. You enjoy competing in cosplay competitions
  44. You enjoy cosplay walk-ons and skits
  45. You enjoy focusing on craftsmanship and making each costume the best it can be
  46. You enjoy making something completely accurate to the source material
  47. You want to make new friends
  48. You want to be part of a community
  49. You want to cultivate new skills
  50. You want to add new experiences to your life
  51. Cosplaying makes you feel sexy
  52. Cosplaying makes you feel confident
  53. Cosplaying makes you feel strong
  54. Cosplaying makes you feel cute
  55. Cosplaying makes you feel fierce
  56. Cosplaying makes you feel happy
  57. Cosplaying makes you feel comfortable with your gender
  58. Cosplaying makes you feel comfortable with your body
  59. Cosplaying makes you feel comfortable with yourself
  60. You want to cosplay
A-Kon 24
Kimmie, Matt, and Mia

Some of the internal arguing about cosplay has to do with whether or not something “counts” as cosplay, or whether or not someone is cosplaying for the “right” reasons. As you can probably tell from my previous article about being a geek, I think regulating whether or not someone should be in our community is absolutely unnecessary. So I present this incomplete list of every possible reason I could think of that you’d want to cosplay – and they are all valid. This list is definitely not exhaustive – tell me your own reasons for cosplaying in the comments!

If you find yourself criticizing someone’s costume, I find it helpful to remember that they may or may not have the same goals as you. Perhaps you are focused on total accuracy so it annoys you that another cosplayer didn’t focus on the same details you would, but that doesn’t make their cosplay any less valid than yours. Try to think about it from their perspective, and you’ll be a lot more open as a cosplayer!

So, I want to know – why do you cosplay?

About Mia Moore

Mia Moore
Mia is one half of SHe’s founding team, in charge of social media, blogging management, and guest content wrangling. MBA student concentrating in Digital Marketing by day, geek of all trades by night. Loves dressing up, advocating for self-love, and crying about magical girls.

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  • Mindy Nickel

    I love this post! It hits on pretty much every reason that I cosplay. My primary reason for cosplaying is because it's like a big love letter to my fandom. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and becoming a character is the way I best show my love of a character or series. I also love the creativity involved in cosplay. I love the creative process of turning something 2d into a tangible, wearable costume. Feeling like a badass superhero is also a nice perk :)

  • Elyse Anderson

    LOVE it! It's so grating when people criticize others for their cosplay– for any reason.

    I especially love the point that it's okay to cosplay because you like attention. Nobody criticizes stand up comedians because they like attention. Nobody criticizes businesses for drumming up attention. If you've done a cosplay and you like it, then hell yeah! It's totally okay to like attention for that! Saying, "Oh, she's only doing it for attention" is the weakest crock of you-know-what I've ever heard (and unfortunately have to see all the time online).

    Thanks for posting!

    Elyse @ Cuddly as a Cactus

  • http://www.joiefatale.com/ Joie_Fatale

    I don't know how, or, why I forget any of my reasons, but, number 60 is THE reason I will!
    I have always wanted to (since I FIRST saw Sailor Moon!)!
    And, dammit!
    This is my year!

  • Mia Moore

    Yay!! I am so excited to see your cosplays :)

  • Mia Moore

    Awesome! Feeling like a badass is always a good reason :) I agree that it's a tribute to the creators/source material. Cosplayers are superfans, if you ask me!