I Was Wrong About Cosplay

(Image above: yours truly cosplaying as a Visitor from on Halloween, aka Official Cosplay Night. Yes, the mirror is very dirty, it’s not your screen)

Maybe it’s hard to believe now, but a decade and change ago cosplay was pretty weird. And a decade and change ago, like so many people of my generation, I rolled my eyes at it and mocked it. I was wrong.

Today cosplay rules fandom, but in the days when San Diego Comic-Con was first attracting the attention of the mainstream (ie, the days before Twilight came and changed everything forever), it was still a curiosity. The mainstream media would come to SDCC and every year do the same curious but mystified photo spread about cosplay, including explanations of what cosplay even was. Today cosplay is a word that’s just in the cultural vernacular, but once upon a time people needed it explained to them.

I clung to a lot of negative ideas about cosplay back then. It wasn’t that it was new to me – cosplay has been around as long as fandom, and I had been around cosplay since I started going to Star Trek and comic conventions in middle school – but rather that it had begun to take center stage in a way that threatened me. I never considered why that was, and I certainly never considered that it was subconscious misogyny. But that’s a big part of what it was.
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