What is cosplay?
Simply put: cosplay is the contraction of the words costume and play. And it is just that, a combination of costumes and personifying characters.
If you are interested in the history of cosplay, the origin of the word or masquerade in general, then I will recommend Wikipedia. These are just my thoughts on cosplay and what it means to me.
A big part of cosplay is about the community and the love for dressing up and being creative. And everyone's reason for cosplaying is different, therefore the definition of cosplay will vary from person to person. You can buy a costume or make a super detailed one you self, you might never enter a competition or join all the large ones with complex rules. Some dress up as their favorite characters that they have loved for years, some cosplay because a design looked cool and other because they themselves look like the character. You choose, you do not have to validate why you have chosen to cosplay this particular character (but it might be more fun making something you love).
Group cosplay is so much fun
At the Children's Ward
I don't think you stop being a cosplayer, I always think about my next project, search for reference photos, look for inspiration or update my blog. For me it is a life style.
I love meeting new cosplayers, maybe even more if we share passion the same fandom. Other cosplayers have taught me so much and I love sharing what I know in return.
Now there are also several cosplayers turning their hobby into a business (in some way or another). Offering to share their knowledge and skills in a more professional manner. And we are even on the bring on starting an union for norwegian cosplayers. Exciting times ahead.
In Norway we have a great community, we help one another out, share knowledge and have fun. We meet up at conventions and have pizza afterwards, we go to workshops together and entertain children at the hospital children’s ward.
In my opinion cosplay can help you become more secure, learn a new skill, be more social and even overcome stage fright.
But mostly it is about having fun.