Cosplay – Should only good looking people do it?

This has been one contemporary issue that quite a lot of people still discuss about (especially with Cosfest here) which is quite interesting. So, without further a due…

Cosplay, as Wiki defines it, “is the short for “costume play”, is basically describing a performing-art behaviour of self-rigging out as a character with corresponding costume, accessories and/or parameters.” So basically, people get to dress up as their favorite characters and behave as them, as though in the 2D/gaming world.

On the other hand, the problem is that these people do not usually hold the best looks since they are not really super models in a sense, but just ordinary humans trying to be extraordinary characters. To me there are a few factors that determine a good or sometimes, even a top-notched cosplayer.


First of all, from the word “cosplay” itself it already means “costume play” as mentioned earlier. So obviously most of the judging on whether a cosplayer will be deemed as win or fail will really depend alot on their costume. Like how intricate, detailed and accurate to the character being cosplayed is, as well as the proportions to the cosplayer’s physique. Of course, a lot of people who cosplay nowadays tend to get their costumes professionally tailored or buy them pre-made from cosplay stores. A cosplayer with wrong shirt/hair/sock color etc, would mean that he/she did not study the character sufficiently to get the most accurate costume or in other words, the cosplayer is simply colour blind. Now, we wouldn’t want to see alternative colours made to the anime characters we love, do we? Unless it’s the alternative colour that Dizzy has above. ^^;

Role play

Another important factor – role playing. What I mean here is how the cosplayer behaves. Let’s say you were walking randomly on the streets and you saw a Haruhi cosplayer. Does this certain Haruhi cosplayer really give you the feel that she is actually in control of everything? Then I must say that that is one good cosplayer as a cosplayer doesn’t neccesarily mean to have a 100% perfect costume. Nothing is perfect. But with a slight touch of some decent acting and correct postures/gestures that would portray a certain image to the audience, a cosplayer can truly become one with the character and prove to the people that he/she can actually do this well. One example is Matsuyama Ken’ichi that followed L’s quirks and behavioural traits flawlessly during the Death Note movies. Also, props and weapons can also help facilitate the cosplayer with their poses and actions to bring out the character  that they are cosplaying. How a cosplayer carries a sword for instance – carrying it high, or dragging it on the floor can tell much about the cosplaying character.


Finally, onto the core of the discussion. Now, as a fact of the world, not all people are born sexy and good-looking and there will probably be people who may not agree with me on this but physical appearence does play a part in the stage of deciding whether the cosplayer is good or bad to a certain extent. And one’s physical appearence is the first thing that would go through anyones’ first subject of thought. Afterall, we are still humans. You look at slimming advertisements on newspapers and judge their services based on their models. It’s the same idea. And as for those thinking that I’m some bastard that thinks highly of cosplayers who have the physical traits, I am not. With the usage of Photoshop or some image editing software, one with average looks could tweak their appearences and turn the tables around for them. So know the looks factor can either be natural, or man-made. Gosh, that sounded so wrong.

With that, cosplayers should not be discouraged by having dark skin, poor physique etc. as there are times when this factor is totally cancelled off the list. The number of character designs of anime, manga and video games are so diverse that a cosplayer can choose to do Kamen Rider or Zero and immediately strike off the looks and gain attention with their costume and acting skills.

In summary, there are times when one or more factors do not play a part in making a good cosplay. It really depends on what character is being cosplayed and how well it actually fits with the cosplayer though there is a limit as to one can take as to how the cosplayer looks. As I’ve said, we’re all humans and we’ll have to live with the fact that the world is not perfect.

P.S. I just can’t get enough of Kipi :P


24 Responses to “Cosplay – Should only good looking people do it?”

  1. 1 Mizunaga July 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I agree, that these three factors are important in cosplay.

    While I’m not suggesting that “ugly” people shouldn’t be doing it, some people just can’t quite cosplay. The idea of cosplay is to be a real-life reflection of a character- an (pardon my words) obese girl can’t become a proper “reflection” of, say, Nagisa, because of the different physique.

    Certain physical traits, such as dark skin color, can be overcome when cosplaying by using makeup (or something).

    Well, that’s just my take on the matter. Sorry for rambling xD

  2. 2 gordon July 5, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    well i won’t deny looks do give one a slight advantage.

  3. 3 Divine Fang July 5, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I answer would be a big YES! Just look at Kipi, and she is the first image of this entry!

  4. 4 Divine Fang July 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Typo “I” –> “My”. I sometimes type before I think… gomen :p

  5. 5 Inazuki July 9, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Yer very right.

  6. 6 konkona July 14, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Well, what we should all think first is that, why was cosplay born (sorry for my use of words), and how did it come out to be? Of course it’s the fans who made it~ So, it’s suppose to be something fun, where everyone who wants to be a character or dress up as a character (for fun). For those who wants to have fun, we shouldn’t really judge them of their looks, or skills.

    Only for those who want to take it seriously, then maybe we’ll have to think about it. The 2 main important things you must have is the accessories and whether that person can act out exactly (or almost) like the character they are cosplaying. When they have those 2, for some reason, we wouldn’t be paying attention to their looks, we would just be like, “Oh! This is so totally Haruhi!”, or something. Hopefully I did make sense all the way.
    Yep, we aren’t all sexy and handsome, I agree~ :33

  7. 7 konkona July 14, 2008 at 12:08 am

    (oh, and for some reason, the link to my blog doesn’t work. Well, it’s up to you, just giving you the link so that…….? (.>

  8. 8 konkona July 14, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Bah, something went wrong, and I can’t delete my comment…..>.>
    (starting to dislike wordpress, grrrrr)
    Well, here: shiroinootaku(dot)wordpress(dot)com
    Just in case that’s the reason why the comment is all messed up. Sorry if I am actually bothering you. ^-^; *rubs head*
    P.S. The blog is dead because I shifted journal, hihi.

  9. 9 yumeno July 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    That may be because certain characters in the 2D world were drawn to be how we wanted them to look like, we humans aren’t. So yeah, “some people just can’t quite cosplay”.

    True. It sort of gives a cut above the rest of the other cosplayers in a sense that they attract more photogs, and me. =/


    Haha, you did made sense ^^;I agree with you that cosplay is being done by fans, but not all of the fans may be cut out to fit the cosplayed character’s character and appearence (physique/figure). Though if one were to cosplay for fun, then I think it shouldn’t be done so openly. Well, if people were to do that, it’s another story but if I were to see them doing it for fun, I’d just let them be though sometimes it’s just too unbearable. Discrimination, perhaps?

    And er, I’ve added your LJ blog to the blogroll. It’s the current one your blogging at, right? ^^;

  10. 10 konkona July 28, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Yay! At least I did to you. ^-^
    Hm, but I think just being the character and walking around the convention area doing the normal stuff wouldn’t hurt, I guess. That one is fine with me. ^-^
    Hehehe, my 2nd brother didn’t quite like one thing when he went to the…Hotlink Convention thingy (are you in Malaysia?); a Vash The Stampede with BLACK hair, hahaha. ^o^. And then he also complained about his outfit. I think it’s because he kinda like Vash quite a lot. ^-^

    *moved to tears* (well, not really tears) This is the first time someone added me in their blogroll, ;_; . And yesh, that’s the one which I am currently blogging at. Oh, and I was wondering whether the title of my journal would actually change in your blogroll when I change it. (to change the name of a journal in LJ is SUPER easy, so sometimes I tend to change it depending on my layout, hihi. :3)

  11. 11 Anonymous September 3, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    .3. my thoughts on this post… (sorry if it’s a lil jumbled, not thinkin straight at the moment. *has yaoi manga in background*)

    1) true, many cosplayers either buy or tailor their costumes. However… wrong shirt/hair/sock may have been due to lack of time/funds to get the correct stuffs they need… or a bad tailor. (I think that it’s better not to do the character in this scenario, and just fix the costume for the next event, however, some people have very fixed schedules and… just have to do the character, I guess.)
    plus, not many people know how to sew in…modern times(*cough* I’M NOT OLD). Also, I think your point on alternative color schemes was abit biased… (personally, I think all alt-color schemes should be kept to private photoshoots, but that’s just me…)and if alt color schemes Are used, the cosplayer should like… be more humble – and not tell people off if they comment on how the color isn’t accurate

    2) you can’t expect a cosplayer to be totally in character… (>.><..> if a cosplayer who is kinda plus sized decides to do… idk, someone in a body-hugging spendex suit? ._. I think this point is really deatable ba. after all, kids wouldn’t wanna go around and get their dreams shattered after seeing a… 200 pound sailormoon. a hairy 200 pound sailormoon.
    my personal opinion on this one is – if you’re plus-size, take the initiative to look in the mirror and shed some pounds… or at least find some way to hide them(like I do.), if you absolutly have to do that character…

  12. 12 jonyae goom October 31, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Let’s be real here, one out of ten people that cosplay are attractive enough to pull it off.

    Most people that are into cosplay are also very invested in anime, and shitty RPGs. This really can tell you a lot about somebody’s personality/character.

    The general perspective is that these people aren’t very talented, but have very high IQs. I can’t confirm this, because I’ve met some really stupid ‘cosplay/anime/RPG’ kids before.

    Nerds. Nerds vary in looks, but the majority of them lack confidence in their face. You can just see how introverted they are. This is why they cosplay and give themselves ridiculous names when they masturbate to Night Elves.

    It’s all connected. Everyone should be allowed to do some cosplay, but I really think most of them need to wake up and realize how awful they look.

  13. 13 yoko r November 3, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    yup absolutely true!
    good looking + right choosen character make them more perfectly in my eyes IMO

  14. 14 yaoichick December 20, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Yeah.. I’ve seen a lot of cosplayer’s that are either fat, or just ugly. I’m no one to talk about looking good, but if you’re going to cosplay someone that’s gorgeous, you should be just as attractive as they are. Not trying to be offensive, but if you’re fat and ugly, you’re just gonna ruin the way a pretty person looks..
    If you’re ugly, and cosplay on your own time, that’s fine. But when I try and find people that cosplay and actually are good at it, it’s really hard to find what I’m looking for when I run across people that don’t even look like the person they’re cosplaying as.

  15. 15 Ashley January 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    You know, I don’t really see what the big deal is. People work really hard on their costumes (even if it may not look like it) and everyone has the right to cosplay if they choose to. Just because I saw a 200 pound Sailor Moon doesn’t mean that my entire con experience is ruined. He/She is probably having a blast, and I think that’s all that matters.

    You could always look at it this way: You need bad cosplayers to make the ones who really fit their costumes look that much better.

  16. 16 sandrar September 10, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  17. 17 cory October 9, 2009 at 11:13 am

    there’s a big cosplay event in Roppongi Tokyo that looks really fun to be at

  18. 18 La tia de la Maria angela (Kazuki) April 28, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Estoy muy felis de qé mi hija visite estas paginas, creo qé va por un buen camino.
    saadsfasbu bdsgbduyds awachuleru and i….i like partys. good fly (Y)

  19. 19 Angie June 17, 2010 at 8:32 am

    My personal rule of thumb is that when it comes to cosplay (or anything else) if the garment in question has to be wider than it is long to fit you, you are too big to be wearing it! I see no problem with a 250 lb Rangiku Matsumoto, but if you are over 175lb… please, please don’t wear a sailor moon skirt >.<

    But this issue has really been bugging me lately. I want to get into cosplay but #1 I don't know ANYTHING about RPG, and #2 I'm not fat but I'm not very curvy either. I'm more of a flat stick shape if anything and I really want to cosplay Yuuki Cross because I'm already a boobless version of her. U think I should go for it?

  20. 20 sally November 9, 2010 at 11:54 am


    It may be a bit gross, but I bet most of you would prefer to be surrounded by ugly cosplayers rather than ones who are better looking than you. >.>

    I’m 100 lbs, perfect body and good face…Although I may question someone’s sanity if they decide to wear an outfit showing their fat all over and stuff…..

    Let people live their lives…geeeze.

    There are plenty of “sights for sore eyes” if it “hurts your eyes.”

    • 21 BrenannaDaFlyingBanana November 23, 2010 at 1:49 am

      I think I may just agree with you!
      But to everyone in general, I think who cares? Everyone enjoys cosplay, right? So be thankful that there are other people to cosplay with or else you’d look like a nerd. I went to school for halloween in cosplay and I felt left out cause no one else did. I wouldn’t have cared if a fat or ugly person came in cosplay!! I would have loved it, I wouldn’t have been alone!

      • 22 Waffles September 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm

        I’m a teenager and I really want to cosplay, I think people should wear what they want because it’s a chance to pretend to be extrodernary (sorry for my spelling ^^”” im dyslexic) for a day and it doesn’t happen all the time – let everyone have their fun and keep horrible comments to urself ^.^

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