January 28, 2019

Cosplay waste as a result of falling out of fandoms

Hello guys!

January has been a quiet month for me it seems, it wasn't intended but I just honestly have a lot of stuff on my mind stressing me out and the blog is one more such thing right now. ^^"

I still want to write something and, as I've been thinking, I came to the conclusion that there's something with choosing what and who to cosplay that has changed for me over the years. Yes, I'm talking about the process of choosing cosplays. I'll apologize in advance if I repeat myself over the post a lot or if it's just really incoherent and messy but I want to get my thoughts out about this topic. It might be similar to this post and this one in some ways but I'll try to keep this one on a different note.

Let's go!


I didn't really notice it much at first but during my earlier cosplay years, when everything was new and exciting, I was more... spontaneous. Like I would watch a new anime and immediately decide that I want to cosplay that character and start making the costume, without any second thoughts. What this led to in some cases was that I ended up with a half-finished cosplay lurking in the back of my wardrobe like a ghost of the past, never returning to finish what was started. Why? Because I lost interest in the fandom or character too fast. This, in hindsight, feels like a massive waste of time and resources as the hype in some cases is really fleeting and short-lived and honestly, what am I gonna do with the costume now? How could I even have known which series will last and which ones will die off? It's so daunting.

I have a few unfinished cosplays that met this tragic fate, just lying around whenever there's space and I prefer not to think about them. I punch myself mentally in the face when I see those costumes as it reminds me that all that money and time I could have used on "the right costumes" instead. I feel really conflicted about those unfinished cosplays some I even have blog drafts about that are to this day unpublished and I just don't know what the fuck to do with them. I don't wanna just delete as I have documented them, taken photos, written about the constuction etc but publishing a post that dates back several years feels really... not relevant? Especially if the costume is not even finished and likely to never actually be debuted. Argh.

The problems arise when I try to figure out what to do. Having them unfinished stresses me out as I'm a perfectionist at heart (and at the same time a massive procrastinator, geez what a godly combo) but I just have little to no interest to go back to the costume, for whatever reason. And knowing me I don't have the determination to scrap it for materials either as I'm a hopeless "what if" thinker and will inevitably sit there and play out scenarios in my head about how angry I would be at myself if I scrapped the costume and later, somehow, got back the interest to actually finish it... or if the parts of the costume would double up for a future cosplay or even an OC, assuming they're generic enough.
Like I completely acknowledge that the odds of getting re-hyped about long past fandoms is small but still I'm holding on to that... or maybe it's just an excuse I make for myself because I put emotional value and feelings into everything I do and just don't wanna scrap it yet. I honestly don't know but it annoys me because it makes me a hoarder that can't easily part with anything without constantly being afraid that I might need it eventually. Not gonna lie, when I was a child I even kept trash like empty candy wrapping papers as I felt guilty throwing them away, as if they were living and feeling things. I know, it's kinda cringy but I was a really sensitive and overthinking kid.

All this has in turn led to a sort of fear of being too quick when choosing a costume – even if it is from a fandom that I have enjoyed for multiple years and deemed "safe to invest in". Truth is that I've lately been feeling distanced even from fandoms that I thought would be sorta eternal to me and now I don't know if I surely want to do some cosplays that I had planned and even bought fabrics for years ago already. I feel so horribly, horribly torn and a really bad economy makes it all worse as I'm constantly stressing over money and have started to feel like cosplay is too expensive for me to afford right now. So yeah, it's a real mess inside my head and nothing feels safe anymore; I feel bad about all the costumes that I'm unlikely to rewear or finish because it's too much of a hassle to sell them and I still can't get myself to scrap them either. 

So nowadays when I get into a new series I might find myself wanting to cosplay some characters really much but I'll hold on to that temptation and see what happens after some months – if it lessens I'll bury the idea and move on, if it stays I'll wait a bit longer. Seems healthy but at the same time it feels a bit like intentionally suffocating new cosplay hype (which is among the best feelings) but I can't afford any "cosplay waste" in my current situation, even though there's a whole different level of fun of doing something while it's new, exciting and your friends are doing it too. A part of me wishes I had the option to be more spontaneous, more forgiving of my own mistakes and that I didn't dwell so much on if I should do something or not. 
Nowadays it feels like every new costume has to be really carefully chosen (unless it's something I can mostly pull out of the closet) and while that's a good thing it makes me feel really doubtful and critical of every new potential candidate as well. Not to mention group and pair cosplays – I really want to do these more often but over half the time I regret saying "yes" before the next week comes around, even if it's a fandom I'm currently into. It's mainly me getting anxious about committing to something because it means I might get crap for it if I bail out, especially if the other person(s) already got started. Don't wanna be seen as a "bad friend" or "flaky cosplayer".

Oh and yeah, of course it's pretty safe to assume that you will eventually lose interest in pretty much any costume you've made but as long as it gets worn enough to make "the cost worth" it gives me no bad feelings and actually feels satisfactory – especially if I get good photos of it too. The issues arise with all the costumes that I only wear like once and then drop or that I never finish. The whole thing is basically just me questioning if my cosplay chosing process is reliable enough and if being picky hurts me or not in the long run, especially as a part of me yearns for wanting to be part of whatever is the hype train of the season – at least once. Despite the blasphemy my brain screams at me for wanting to do something popular as all my life I've been actively avoiding what's mainstream, lmao.


Honestly I don't know where I'm going with this and I think I lost the red thread somewhere along the way. xD Not sure it even makes sense or if I'm being dramatic again but really, I'd love to hear from you if you have had similar experiences and/or thoughts about costumes that fell short? Spill the beans in the comment field below! I don't wanna be alone with this, lmao.

Thanks for reading my first post of the year!
~ Shiro Samurai out.