Golden Lasso Cosplay: What is Cosplay?
What is cosplay?
I have found myself asking this question a lot lately. It seems that as the hobby grows the term is starting to change. As someone who spends a lot of time and money on this hobby, I sometimes find myself confused and sometimes even upset over what is called “cosplay.” So,…
Here’s my answers to your questions. While I don’t necessarily think that my definition of “cosplay” is the end all be all….this is how I define it for MYSELF.
1) Is wearing any costume considered cosplay?
JLM: For me, no….I have COSTUMES that I would never wear for anything other than halloween or to a party. What I consider to be my COSPLAYS would never be in an environment where they could be doused in booze at any moment.
2) Can someone be a professional cosplayer or is it strictly a hobby?
JLM: There ARE professional cosplayers. Not because they make money JUST by cosplaying, but they use that cosplay to make a living. Whether it be by being a guest at conventions, winning contests, or selling posters/memerobilia.
3) If someone buys a complete costume, is that still cosplay? Why or why not?
JLM: To me this is one of the more difficult to answer. For myself, cosplay is made at least in part by me. If a full costume has been purchased, that’s more along the lines of being a model than being a cosplayer.
4) If someone is paid by a company to create and wear a specific costume for publicity purposes, is it cosplay?
JLM: As long as the person who has made the costume and is a fan of what they are wearing, of course it is. I once approached the creator of the game “Dishonored” about this opportunity and while he was 100% for the idea and talked with me more than once about it….the marketing team at Bethesda never got behind it.
5) If someone creates a costume and then hires someone else to wear it, is it cosplay? If so, who is the cosplayer in this situation?
JLM: No, to me that is a designer and a model. Unless the person wearing the costume had a hand in the creation of the costume.
6) If a person is provided with a costume by a company and is paid to wear it, is it cosplay? Does the company or location make a difference? (ie Disneyland vs. a convention)
JLM: This to me is once again just being a model/booth person/actor. Location makes no difference
7) Is it considered cosplay if it is made specifically for pornographic purposes or to cause sexual arousal? Does it matter if the outfit is skimpy vs. exposed body parts (bare breasts, etc)
JLM: An interesting situation….it’s easy to want to say a resounding NO because of it being pornographic. In most situations, this would fall under the actor/actress/model category. But if someone makes a cosplay, is wearing the costume, and for some reason uses it for pornographic purposes, I almost want to say it IS COSPLAY until it’s taken off.
As far as it being “skimpy” and not 100% canon…..I’m an advocate of character interpretation and if someone were to make a skimpy version of a character, I can’t call it NOT cosplay. When these situations occur, I look more closely at what was made, for accuracy purposes, rather than how much LESS was made than canon.
8) Is it cosplay if the person is only wearing body paint? Does the character make a difference in this situation?
JLM: This is almost completely determined by the character portrayed. If someone is painted as Rogue, I may call it art, but not cosplay. But if someone is painted as Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique??? It would depend on the overall quality of the paint job.
9) Does the location determine if it is cosplay? (ren faire vs. comic convention)
JLM: I don’t necessarily call MY ren faire costumes cosplays….but wouldn’t hold it against someone who does.
10) Is it cosplay if a photographer has a costume made, then hires a model to wear it specifically for a photo shoot? In this situation, who is the cosplayer?
JLM: Once again Model/Designer/Photographer….not necessarily cosplayer
11) Is it cosplay if the image was created entirely in Photoshop and was never actually worn?
JLM: you’re kidding right?? maybe art….not cosplay
12) Do you consider yourself a cosplayer?
JLM: Of course