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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween costuming vs cosplay

I have always had a love-hate relationship with Halloween. I always enjoyed the make believe aspect of Halloween, but never cared for the late night antics, and then there's the fact that I don't like sharing my candy!

Of course, Halloween is the original dress up day, but cosplay eras have made it a way of life.  For people like me, who enjoys making costumes, and people like my daughter who is always wearing some semblance of a costume, this is a beautiful thing.

My other dissatisfaction with Halloween is the cheapness or inauthenticity of it.  I somehow got caught up in a Facebook discussion the other day after posting a video of Native Americans explaining why "Indian" Halloween Costumes were bothersome and disrespectful. Of course someone got angry, mostly because she'd dressed up as an "Indian" many times and felt like the video tarnished the memory of the good time she had.

This is where cosplay is different.  A serious cosplayer would not dress up as a random "Indian".  They would do their homework and dress as a specific Native American or Native American character, and be as specifically authentic as possible.

Of course, this is just an example.  Most cosplayers don't choose to dress as people groups, but as specific fictional or semi fictional characters. Many also dress as characters they make up themselves based on a time period or genre. Yes, this is a lot to swallow for a novice, but I hope it gives the casual Halloween Costumer something to chew on.

And if you are hoping to win that costume contest at the Halloween party, you might want to look at what the cosplayers are up to!

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