Cosplayers strut their stuff


Aided by the recent rise in popularity of anime and the app TikTok, cosplay, the act of dressing up as a character from a movie, show or book, has become more popular in the teen community over the past year.

Roshnee Moorthy, senior, first became interested in cosplay through anime and comics. “I have always been into watching anime and reading comics, which first piqued my interest in cosplay. Eventually, one of my friends who was in the cosplay community began to show me the ropes, and from there I began experimenting on my own,” Moorthy said.

When creating her cosplays, Moorthy typically recycles items from around her. “I usually re-use what I have and repurpose it. For example, my Katara [from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”] cosplay was made out of an old shirt dress, white ribbon and harem pants from one of traditional Indian outfits,” Moorthy said. “How I drape the fabric on myself is extremely important, since it can make or break an outfit. Because of that, safety pins are my best friend when it comes to the outfit. They ensure everything stays in place for the duration of the photoshoot or convention.”

To many people, such as Sydney Hartstein, junior, cosplay is another creative art form that they endeavour in. “When I make something cool, it’s fun to show it off in a new way besides traditional art,” Hartstein said.

Kai Kepe, sophomore, describes the process that he takes to create his cosplays. “I write down the small details, how to make the main pieces, what fabrics I want to use and other things that may be special to the character. I will either make the costume from scratch or find pieces in thrift stores, or on Amazon,” Kepe said.

Although cosplayers love their art, they are certainly not immune to rampant bullying, whether that be online or in person. This can be detrimental to their mental health. “Cosplayers are still people; even if you are not fond of the hobby it does not give you the right to be rude. Words can hurt, be mindful of that. Cosplay is some people’s coping mechanism or comfort,” Kepe said. It can help their mental health. Be kind to others no matter how strange a hobby may be.”

That being said, many find comfort in the cosplay community. “You get to meet a lot of really cool people in the community, and you learn a lot about different interests and media,” Hartstein said.

Cosplay is an impactful way of expressing oneself, and for many people, it can be a way to make a difference. “I try to spread awareness of POC characters and stress the importance of representation in animation and how important it is for our future generations to see characters like them accurately portrayed on the screen,” Moorthy said.

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