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4 Surefire Ways To Cosplay Without Earning a Bad Rap

Cosplay is one of the most unique outlets for self-expression. The cosplay fandom continues to grow as more and more people learn about how fun and exciting it can be. But with new faces in the space comes a fresh slew of complications and frustrations. The legacy cosplayers have a way of doing things that aren’t always so obvious to the cosplay newbie. And though that may feel a little draconian, these rules tend to help preserve cosplay’s validity for the long-term.

In other words, it’s a good idea to learn as much about cosplay as you possibly can before giving it a go.

Cosplayers are just like anyone else, they live a real life ripe with daily stressors that they seek to escape. Cosplay is the stress escape outlet that acts in a therapeutic way. Cosplay also offers a lot in the way of friends and even romance and dating. As cosplay networks grow, so do opportunities to date and befriend peers.

However, if you can’t follow some basic cosplay rules, you aren’t likely to escape any stressors, nor meet the girl/guy of your dreams. Instead, you’ll end up alienating yourself from those that feel you aren’t taking the trade serious.

Learning about cosplay’s fundamental unspoken rules can certainly go a long ways in helping you thrive and avoid a short stay.

Represent The Fandom Well

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When you cosplay a character, you become a representative of that character’s fandom as a whole. Sure, reality might not be the same as perception, but in today’s world of social media connectivity, perception often trumps reality.

If you are having a bad day, drop your cosplay. Don’t get caught mid-cosplay angrily shouting down someone who failed to use a blinker. Don’t curse out a waitress while in character.

You not only represent that character’s fandom, but the cosplay world as a whole. Cosplay already has a bit of a varied reputation among the mainstream, it’s important not to otherwise degrade or skew it’s reputation.

You represent a growing movement that aligns itself with imagination, excitement, and positivity. Do your very best to keep such ideals in tact.

Be Conscious Of Other’s Presence

Cosplay conventions can frustrate even the most patient of event goers. There is nothing worse than a foot-traffic jam. Sometimes, foot-traffic jams are the result of lots of people trying to get a glimpse of the same booth. Other times, it’s because a few cosplayers have decided to impromptu an iPhone photo shoot in a main foot-traffic artery.

And that backs up an entire wing of the cosplay convention, frustrating lots of people.

When those people finally see who and what’s created the walking disruption, they iget a bad taste in their mouths for the persons responsible.

You won’t make any new fast friends if you contribute to jamming up the cosplay convention floor.

Take the photo shoots outside, or to an area that is much less populated and not serving as a main walkway.

Understand Your Atmosphere

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If you are cosplaying the lone ranger, it’s probably best to avoid going in a ban k because you need some cash. There is something about mask and banks that don’t mesh.

Beyond just banks, it’s best to understand what your environment is before cosplaying in that area. Clearly, sometimes these things happen by accident, clearly no one means to cosplay in a bank. Life happens, we forget that we are cosplay, and we end up in the wrong place.

It’s also imperative to understand if your cosplay might offend a certain environment. Again, use common sense and you’ll fair well.

Don’t Be a Stereotypical Weirdo

To cosplay is certainly to have a fun time.

Cosplay already appears a bit odd to those around you who don’t understand it, no need to add in any awkwardness just for the sake of being weird.

You’d be surprised by how often I see this happen. It’s sadly an uncanny reality of cosplay.

Often, it begins with a cosplayer who needs more attention than they are already receiving. So they try to get a group cosplay going with others who have no idea what the deal is. Or they accost onlookers with random cosplay.

It all amounts to adding on to a stereotype that many of us would prefer to shake.


Cosplay is a fun adventure that lends itself to escaping daily stressors. But the way the mainstream views cosplay doesn’t typically line up with cosplay’s reality. That is in part due to some cosplayers failing to follow some legacy cosplay rules.

Cosplay rules, while it might feel a bit old school, help keep cosplay’s legacy in tact. And that’s good for all of us!