I really wanted to do an article series on this because I think it is easy as cosplayers to feel alone in our struggles. I can tell you that after almost 400 interviews, it is not the case. We all struggle with the same things.
Also, I think it is helpful for those of us who are looking to build the cosplay community to look at what people feel is hard and dispel these myths or work on ways to make it easier.
Because, at the end of the day, cosplay is about having FUN.
One of the most difficult things for me about cosplay is having the energy to do conventions. If you have ever met me you know I have a lot of “irons in the fire” as I like to say. I love conventions, but by the time the weekend hits I am often so exhausted I just want to rest.
However, once I get to the con, I am always glad I went and no more worse for wear.
Here are a few more opinions about what is hard about cosplay.
Getting the makeup to be just right is always difficult for me. I’ll spend hours on it. I don’t normally wear makeup so that made it harder as well. I’ve gotten much better since I started and I hope I continue to improve.
3. Dustin T. Dust Cosplay
The most difficult thing for me is definitely wigs. Anything to do with them. Picking the right one, cutting them, styling, it’s all a mess for me. Pretty much the only thing I can do well with them is wear them.
4. Lil Panda
Sewing! lol I’m good but not the best. Oh, and finding the time to finish everything. Mostly I have big plans not as much time as I would like.
5. La Femme Nagita
Honestly, it’s probably the actual wearing of the costumes. It’s amazing, but it’s usually also painful. Corsets and heels and wigs are not comfy.
6. Jessica Davis
1) The large amount of time and money that goes into creating a cosplay from scratch
2) Those heels I wear are really painful after a few hours! I need to find some new boots 😉
I don’t sew, sadly. I’d love to try, but I’m not near good at it. I craft accessories, paint and do occasionally do some stitches by hand. But I buy my cosplays, and have people to make them for me. And it’s not always easy, ’cause it can get expensive in the end. And I don’t have that much money, so everything I do, has to be on a budget.
The most difficult thing for me is finding small parts for cosplays that are very specific and within my price range. This ranges from fabrics to wigs. Also creating some cosplays can be difficult in keeping them sturdy and in place and definitely avoiding the “con crunch”.
9. Luta Cosplay
Taking photos for sure, I’m really not photogenic and I lack posing skills so I usually get disappointed at the results. haha
The shoes!!!! Every time I say “this year I do not have to made them by hand!” in the end …. I always have to do it last.
Money and skill. Ya need money for the supplies and skill to make it come to life. But that doesn’t stop me and I’m determine non the less.
MAKE UP AND TAKING PHOTO!!!
I put in a lot of work and only a few really notice. But it’s just a hobby for me at this point, so I’m not gonna fault them. I’ll just continue to do my thing and whoever notices, notices.
14. Alana Owlet
I don’t know that there is one to me. I like to tackle hard projects and challenge myself so if something is difficult I try to just look at it as an opportunity to learn that new skill or try that new thing. I’m not great at wigs, let’s go with that.
Well, the fact that I’m still a kid who can’t get a job yet and has a non-geeky family has been hard. Making my family understand why I’m always saving for and buying what they would call strange things (such as foam, insane amounts of hot glue, or unusual jackets), is always quite, erm, interesting… Being young also makes it a challenge to go to cons, and book, afford, and do professional photoshoots (which I’m yet to do, but would really love to!)
16. Ciel Stone
I admire people that creates their props. I have no skills to do that.
Ah yes, every coin has two sides. For as much as I enjoy the delight I bring to many, its the “delight” I bring to a few that I despise. That delight you may ask? The sexually objectified kind. I can clearly recall one instance where I was wearing New 52 Wonder Woman, you know? The one obscure one with a black bodysuit underneath , and she’s literally covered in clothes from neck to foot? IE I am not showing ANY skin nor am I dressed provocatively. I got more catcalls in five minutes walking the con floor in that costume than I have an entire weekend wearing Raven or one of the Sailor Crossovers, in which all three of those show a lot of skin, and are quite flattering on my figure. People need to be taught, just because a woman is in a costume doesn’t mean they want to arouse you or have sexual relations. To put it simply: I hate getting unwanted sexual advances from people just because they have a fetish/fantasy surrounding the character I am dressed in, and I know I am not the only female cosplayer out there with these feelings on the subject.
18. AlyMoon Cosplay
If it is a bit revealing, I need courage to wear it. But further I don’t have a difficult thing about cosplay.
19. Lady Jupiter Cosplay
I’m very into accuracy and it can be tough..and expensive.
20. Judge Gene Hunt
The way the non-cosplayers see it. I’ve had people laugh at me because I “played dress up even though you’re 20+”, I’ve had people ask me if that was something lingerie-based, I’ve had people walk away from me in disgust… Luckily there are people out there that want to know what it is and are interested in how, what, why.
22. Digital Surgeon
Budgeting my outfits carefully since I don’t have a huge amount of money.
23. Miles Yagami
Sleeves. I hate them to the very core of my soul.
The most difficult thing for me is finding people who understand this is my passion. I’m a little ‘long in the tooth’ shall we say and I doubt I’m the average demographic for people into this hobby. So I don’t have people to discuss ideas and techniques with or even just people to geek out with. The other two things are time and money. I would happily do this for a living if I could, but I do work full time and I have family and bills. Although my youngest daughter just turned 18, so when she goes back to work she may have to supply her own groceries…
25. Anthony Porter
The most difficult thing for me is listening to the constant bitching and backstabbing that goes on in groups on Facebook. There’s bigger problems in this world than arguing over how accurate someone’s cosplay is. At the end of the day it’s a hobby to have fun with.
I’ve been working on developing my fine detail skills. You know, painting small details, precise cutting, straight lines. I’m working hard to try and master those skills, which are often something I struggle with in cosplay.
27. Tastina Cosplay
Details…I am really impatient.
28. R&J Cosplay
Since I’m a student, the most difficult part of this journey is budget issues. I come from a middle class family and sometimes I run out of money and have to cancel or postpone certain characters because of he same. Also, time restraints is also a big problem, but who needs sleep, eh?
29. Locus Fabrications
It’s expensive and hard to stop! Seriously once you catch the bug, you’re like “”I’m gonna cosplay X and Y and Z and…”” …and you need to pace yourself. Food and bills come before badass armour!
That and suits of armour made of foam, denim and leather don’t exactly breath very well. You will sweat from places you didn’t even know you had yet. I have pretty decent heat tolerance and I can wear my armour for hours on a warm day, but I’ve had friends develop heat exhaustion from less cumbersome cosplays. Your health matters and you need to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Sometimes yo get so caught up in an event that you forget to eat or drink, but you NEED to take some time to do that.
Lastly, sometimes events just attract unlikeable or awkward people. There are people that will catcall or downright harrass more scantily clad cosplayers, or just not respect peoples boundaries. Creepers come with every kind of hobby and cosplay is no exception. If you see it happening, speak up. Other times it’s people with no concept of boundaries. I’ve had many a picture taken when I’m stuffing my face with chicken nuggets, of I’ve had my costume half-off to cool down. Either that or there’s people who don’t understand urgency and social cues. I’ve missed panels and showings because I’ve been unable to leave a conversation or I’ve been followed by someone who won’t leave me alone.
What about you?
Comment below! What is hard for you about cosplay? Any solutions to the challenges above? I wanna hear from you!
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.