Cosplaying: What Is It?

By Emily Ramser


It is a word you may or may not have heard before. Cosplay is, more or less, the dressing up of oneself as one’s favorite character. To some Salem students, cosplay is something more than just dressing up.

Sophomore Emily “Toni” Spicer defines cosplay as “acting.” To them it is about creating the costume, acting as the character, and just generally having fun. Along with Spicer, first-year Savannah Ettinger and junior Rebekah Hensley also remarked on how friends take part in cosplay with them.

All of the students interviewed make their own cosplays for the most part. Ettinger remarked that “buying them already made is really expensive and making them is more fun.”

Here Sophomore Toni Spicer is cosplaying Maka Albarn from the anime Soul Eater. Photo provided by HJW Photography.

Cosplays vary in costs depending on the complexity of the character’s costume. On average it costs somewhere between thirty and a hundred dollars. Ettinger remarked that the most expensive pieces of cosplays typically tend to be the wigs. Other parts such as clothing and accessories can sometimes be found at thrift stores, making them cheaper to purchase. Hensley repurposes “old clothes” for her cosplays as well.

Students remarked that it could take any where from a week to a month on average to complete a cosplay. However, it is possible that a cosplay could take longer depending on how complex the costuming is. Typically, students create these cosplays for conventions, so their creation is based around the time students have between these cons, which means sometimes, students end up pulling all nighters to finish up their costumes.

Spicer’s biggest piece of advice to those who want to start cosplaying is “don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Hensley creates her cosplays with help from Junior Barbara “Barb” Keith. The two frequently split up work so as to finish the cosplays quicker. All three talked about the importance of getting friends involved with cosplaying.

Spicer said, “it’s always better with friends. I would’ve stopped a long time ago if it wasn’t for my friends helping me out and making it so fun for me.”

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