Published on October 11th, 2016 | by Tom Holgate0
Cosplay’s Popularity Encompasses Everyone
These days more people are focusing on finding their own avenues for personal expression. One of the most fun ways to do this is through the world of cosplay, where you can explore any character or fantasy to your heart’s content. But fans know that cosplay is much more than celebrating Halloween every day. For those spending hours crafting and creating complicated costumes, clothing, armor, and assorted props for their characters, cosplay is a way of life. And as the popularity of cosplay has grown, so has the audience.
What was once a fringe hobby…has become a full-on phenomenon that’s a prominent part of pop-culture.
What was once a fringe hobby only undertaken by the nerdiest of the nerdy has become a full-on phenomenon that’s a prominent part of pop-culture. Conventions used to be dominated by video game and comic book news—and they still feature those things!—but what excites even more people (and draws more media attention) is the cosplay. The recent New York Comic Con was a prime example of this. NYCC has long been one of the premier conventions to see fun and exciting new costumes, and this year was no exception. Kotaku put together a gallery of some of the most impressive costumes of the con, including a particularly amazing cosplay of Mystique from X-Men in mid-shapeshift. Other highlights include a number of characters from Overwatch, Wonder Woman and Batman (complete with his over-the-top battle armor from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), and a couple of aliens from John Carpenter’s cult classic, They Live.
Polygon also compiled an incredible array of New York Comic Con costumes and one of the things that’s most striking about the gallery is the diversity. Gender-bending costumes and the newfound prevalence of superheroes of color has helped to further expand an inclusive culture to an even broader audience. The wide range of genders, races, and ages speaks to the universal appeal of the hobby, and it’s particularly touching with the parent and child costumes.
Cosplay is quickly becoming a popular pastime for kids too, as seen by the presence of many a young Kylo Ren and Robin making their presence known at the cons. Seeing that this is the audience that has the enviable imagination to make the most from the practice, it only makes sense that parents have begun to embrace cosplay when it comes to their children. One couple went viral on The Scene with their videos of their sleeping baby in a variety of outstanding costumes. There are characters like you might expect—Princess Jasmine and Ariel from their respective Disney classics—but also more contemporary characters, including Eleven from Stranger Things and the tragic heroine, Barb.
Cosplay is able to uniquely capture the look and feel of comics, games, and movies unlike anything else. Combining equal parts role-play, Halloween, and arts and crafts, it’s abundantly clear to those at the cons that this is far more that just a costume. And sure enough, more people are starting to realize that, too.