Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Difference of Costuming and Cosplaying

^My favorite holiday, Halloween is coming up!
Besides spooky stories, candy and parties, what is Halloween most known for?
Bingo, costumes.

I am not really picking on Halloween here, I just thought that this is the perfect opportunity to illustrate how something can be considered as cosplaying and was is not.

So what is the difference of costuming and cosplaying?

Let me put it easily, Cosplay was formed by combining two words : costume and role playing, together.
With out one, it really isn't cosplay.
Costuming, is well... just that, in costuming, you just wear a costume, no flying frucks given on embodying what character's costume you are wearing.

Yuu - Dead Master, Barbara Batimana - Wonder Woman, PJ - Chopper
Ayumi Kassinique - Tifa Lockhart, Leny Ming - Chii
Look at how everybody is out of character.
This was taken November 1, 2010. We were invited for SM Fairview's Halloween event.
I think we were just costuming rather than cosplaying here.
We weren't able really portray our characters but mostly just went around entertaining people for the event.

For a broader definition of Cosplay, just search the interwebs.
If you are lazy, you can just click this link for MY definition of cosplay

Example, you wear a zombie costume.
If you just put on the zombie garb and go to a party, dance, eat, drink and have a hella good time running around and enjoying yourself, that is just costuming.

But if for example you try to get better make up, do your best to look convincingly undead, walk slowly in a dragging manner and talk in "uhhhhhhhhhhhhh"s for some period of time, costume with a some form of roleplaying, then that can be considered as cosplaying already.

me with a lil cutie in a dead master costume
I think this kid is a little too young to know cosplay and role playing
her costume is really nice and plus points for the props
but I'd consider this as more of a cute kid in an adorable costume rather than cosplay

Costuming is far easier than cosplaying. In costuming, you are not trying to give life to any particular character so it doesn't matter if you don't have the right wig or if you don't put that much into your costume. Well, unless you aim to win the best in costume prize. XDD

You can enjoy the glory of being Wonder Woman without feeling the need to rescue people with your Lasso of Truth, OR be a pirate Captain with out taking the peg leg, hook hand and eye patch too seriously, OR a slutty cop without having to be slutty.

In cosplay however, you have to commit. Have the best and most accurate costumes as possible, from wigs, make up, shoes and props. Not forgetting to put the role into play to match the costume, too.

In costuming, you can be anyone or any kind of animal or any known item to man and make it sexy and no one can be butt hurt about you ruining a character. You can modify anything and push the envelope as far as you want and it will still be all fun.

In costuming, you can be Inuyasha and a tessaiga wouldn't be a requirement. You can cuddle up with a Green Lantern, too, for all anyone will care, no one will judge you if you don't have a Kagome.

In costuming, you can mix and match, it is perfectly alright.
Be a demon postal worker in sea space and it would be cool.
Smile, add devil horns and a light saber to a Rei Ayanami and call it cosplay, be prepared to die from all caps rage from people.

Mixing and matching and modifying a costume out of the bounds of the character is a very grave no no for cosplay and is often a subject for condemnation.

This is where most people just do NOT get it, dressing up is NOT equals to cosplaying.
Costuming is all the wonders of wearing a costume without the pressure of getting down and dirty with details and role playing.


Hence, saying "oh! Halloween! let's cosplay!" wouldn't be right if you just plan to wear a white bed sheet and be a ghost and not commit to it.
If you just want to wear a costume, do not call it cosplay, just be in costume.
It's that easy.

Also in October, we celebrate the United Nations Day.
Schools frequently hold the UN Day celebrations with parades and best in national costumes competition.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.
We celebrate the UN Day because we are happy that (most of) the world is now living and working peacefully together.

Now, I get that some cosplayers celebrate the International Hetalia Day as well but I what I don't get is wearing a cosplay costume to a UN Day celebration.

Yeeeeppppp... a cosplay costume to UN Day... hmmmmm...
For UN Day, you wear national costumes of each member country so that we can represent them in this happy happy commemoration.

Maybe if it was a Hetalia costume or the costume matched the right era and country or was a traditional ensemble, that can pass...
But really, White Rock Shooter? Chun Li? Naruto? For UN Day? What country are you representing, man?!
Please let this emoji show you how I feel ----> ‎(ノಥ益ಥ)ノ ┻━┻

Maybe Chun Li's outfit is ok... but barely... You'd need to lose the spiked bracelets and boots and make it more traditional looking....

Again, dressing up / costumes is NOT cosplay.

My Megurine Luka in yukata cosplay
If I lose the wig and go with my natural dark hair, this whole outfit can most likely work for a Japan representative in a UN Day celebration

Moving on, Fashion. dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnn...

Fashion is NOT cosplay.
Dressing up fashionably or not conforming to the usual is what you call having a unique sense of style because of INDIVIDUALITY.

Lolita is a type of fashion famous for it's elegance, frills, bows and similarity to a French doll.
Although some fashions maybe too extreme and look costume-y, it won't be cosplay unless you have a character to imitate.
Fashion is inspired from many things, and can include anime, games and manga, but again, its is not cosplay if there is no costume and role playing.

Another example, V-kei or Visual kei is a very graphic kind of fashion.
A V-kei outfit can be considered as cosplayed if say for example you are trying to imitate Mana.
A V-kei outfit can be inspired by Mana but that doesnt necessarily count as a cosplay of Mana.

More examples:
a. Wear a Lolita outfit and call it cosplay = NO

b. Wear a Lolita outfit + stocking wig + green contact lens + eat lots of sweets + carry a honekoneko and call it cosplay = YES 

c. Wear a Lolita outfit + stocking wig + green contact lens + carry a honekoneko + act like a
slut and call it cosplay = NO

What happened to the equation?
In A, Fashion is not equals to cosplay so NO.

In B, Lolita fashion is something the character Stocking from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt is seriously into. There is effort in imitating Stocking through costume, albeit a non canon costume, and role playing so it can be considered as cosplay.

In C, yes there is effort on costume but Stocking is a sweets loving, lolita fashion wearing nonchalant type of girl, she is not a slut, Panty is. This is what you call being out of character and another no no in cosplay so NO.

See how touchy cosplay can be?
Cosplay enthusiasts aren't the only touchy ones though, people who are seriously into their fashions (or any fandom for that matter) can be very protective of their fandom.

Me in Mori kei
These fashions are inspired from Hagumi Hanamoto of Honey and Clover.
This is not a cosplay of Hagu
Clothes by Forestale

While we are on it, let us discuss the widely known term in the Philippines known as "costrip" or costume tripping. (hey ho Riza Scarlet! hehehe thanks for this! ♥~(‘▽^人))

I am not entirely sure of costrip's etymology.
But rather than trip meaning to stumble or going on a journey or hallucinating after taking drugs, I think costume tripping basically is the same as just costuming. Trip mo lang mag costume.
I believe the term was first intended to distinguish between cosplayers who are participating in a contest and those that didn't. Although I do believe that you don't necessarily have to join anything to be a called a cosplayer so long as you have a costume and you role play, that's peachy with me. Read up on cosplay myths here

I highly believe that everyone is free to dress the way they want, regardless of situation. But I also feel that there is a time and place for everything and that one should be open to knowing more things rather than be blissfully ignorant.
If you just want to wear a costume, please by all means go but also be informed enough or open enough to learn what is and what isn't.

Me and Alex and Dom magnificently photobombing, also, Alex is just lovely ain't she? <3
This was taken after AFA 2011
I was running around the event in my Rikku wig, no costume, just the wig.
I am fully aware that this is NOT a Rikku cosplay, however, I just really love the wig so I wore it.
Costrip? maybe.
Costuming? can be.
Cosplay? Nuh-uh
Wig tripping? most likely hahahah

I have to confess that I ,too, did not know what was cosplay and what was costuming, I had to learn the hard way, but eventually, if you are really into something, over time, your knowledge will expand and you must want it to continually do so.

It is a pet peeve of mine most especially when there are people who claim they love cosplay or they are "real otakus" but don't even know what cosplay is when the meaning is right there on the word itself... щ(ಠ益ಠщ)

In conclusion, if you just want to be all dressed up, just wear a costume or get into fashion, don't call it cosplay and you'd live a far stress free and happy life.

And the thing to remember, never ever ever never never never in like forever forget that more than the costume and the role playing, what holds those two together to become a cosplay is passion. Love what you do and it will love you back. :)

Apologies for the photos, I would have used more so you can easily see my point but I don't think using other peoples' photos would be a good move...
The drumuh that comes with that is honestly not worth it, so please continue to bear seeing my face in every post XDD
As usual, this post is not intended for anyone in particular. I do not mean to hurt or offended, I am merely voicing out my opinions.

Anyway. I hope this has somehow cleared some misconceptions and we can all go back to having fun with our dear hobby.

Happy cosplaying everyone!
Or maybe, just happy costuming, or happy showing off your fashion! hehehhe
Whichever works!

I bid everyone adieu!
Watch this catbug video as I fly off to kawaii space!~ heheheheh

thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~

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