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It’s been almost a year since I started cosplaying. Why did I make the decision to begin, and did I make the right choice?

Around July or August of 2015 I decided to start cosplaying. I was interested in cosplay and thought some people were really awesome for doing so. I was even a bit jealous of some of the cosplayers out there. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, I decided to participate.

There were a few reasons as to why I started cosplaying. There wasn’t one event that made some light bulb turn on in my head, but rather a collection of things that finally pushed me over the edge.

One reason I started to cosplay was to dive further into the Otaku community. After seeing some of my friends around the world Cosplay, and seeing my cousin post pictures of random cosplayers, it gave me a huge urge to join in. There was a part of me that worried about what others thought, but I always tell people not to be afraid of what they enjoy. I knew I should live by my own words!

Another reason I began cosplaying was because of how I felt about myself. I’ve always felt I was average. My personality, my looks, everything. I thought if I started cosplaying I could look really cool or even cute — don’t judge! Of course, a lot of male anime characters look pretty average, but there are a few with awesome costumes or very cute designs. I also figured I could role play and become someone else during a convention. However, I haven’t built up the courage to act out as a different character just yet.

There’s also a smaller reason why I started that might rub some people the wrong way. It’s the attention. Now, you’ll hear everyone say you shouldn’t cosplay for the attention, do it for the love of it. I will say that is true. If the number one reason why you cosplay is for the attention, you will probably run into more negatives than positives. But are there people out there that like the attention in addition to the Otaku lifestyle? Of course! And for some reason people think nobody likes attention in anything, or if you do like attention then it’s automatically bad. Lots of people love attention, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It only becomes a problem when attention become your priority.

After all this time, did I make the right choice? Absolutely! Yes, cosplay wasn’t exactly how I imagined it, maybe I’ll talk about what I’ve learned at a later time, but it’s still incredibly fun. Joining the cosplay community never made me felt so comfortable and at home. It’s also great to break out some crazy outfits and feel like a completely different person. As I said before, I haven’t built up the courage to act out in public, but there’s still a different feeling that overtakes me. The feeling and emotion is different with each costume.

If you’re out there and are wondering if you should begin cosplaying, I say go right ahead. There will be a lot of positives and a few negatives, as it is with all new hobbies. But if you’re a massive Otaku that wants to dive further into the community and become someone else for a short time, Cosplay may be for you!