What Would You Do for a Cosplay?

“Exactly how far would you go for a costume?” That’s a question that has been in my mind more and more in the past couple of years, as each convention season I’ve put together new, more complex cosplay projects. It’s an interesting discussion to have, and one that involves pretty much every con-goer and nerdy fan out there, even if you’ve never even thought of doing a costume yourself.

Why does it include everyone? Because the question of how far you’ll take a cosplay is really a matter of degrees of fandom. Most folks that attend a convention will show off their nerdity with at least a tshirt, button, pin, or something similar. Heck, just even attending a convention is a pretty profound expression of being a geek. So, the decision to make and wear a costume is really just a decision to express yourself in a specific way.

Once that decision is made, you make an internal analysis of how extreme you want to be. A cosplay can be something really quick and simple, especially when it’s a character that has a simple look. And the wonderful thing about expressing yourself through a costume is there isn’t a “right” way to do it. Mashups, gender-bending, doing your own personal character; it’s all fun.

Original characters and themes are always fun

The question I’ve been asking myself lately, though, is the level of my own personal commitment towards a costume when it comes to making substantial changes to my everyday life. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has decided to make life changes for cosplay, specifically changes that affect my body. Again, there’s no rule out there saying you need to have the same body shape as the character you are portraying. But this year, I’m pursuing a Link (Breath of the Wild version) costume with the goal of making it as close to screen accurate as possible.

But I’m certainly not a waif-thin young elf adventurer (at least not anymore). So this project has led me to an attempt at losing weight and building muscle. The weight loss is to help me look more like the character, but the muscle is in the hopes of replicating some of the insane cliff-climbing antics that Link gets up to. And honestly, it’s a wonderful thing to be inspired by a video game to commit to eating healthier, exercising, and finding new outdoor hobbies!

An extreme example, this person turned themselves into a cat just for a costume!

But I’ve decided to go even farther for this costume, and it’s the next decision that make me think over the topic of this article over and over.

You see, I’m near-sighted, and have worn glasses for my entire adult life. But this cosplay is leading me down a path I’ve never really walked before: contact lenses. Link has bright blue eyes, while mine are decidedly a dingy brown. And if I’m wearing a blonde wig and makeup (which are also new paths for me!) I just don’t look right with brown eyes. So now, I’m getting fitted for contacts, so that I can buy some with colored lenses. It may not sound like much, but for someone like me who has only ever been able to see using glasses, it’s a pretty major change to my way of life.

Even Luchadores eat healthy smoothies to fit into their masks!

Now, there are some other major sacrifices one can make for cosplay; just ask my bank account. But with all the physical changes I’ve been making for this costume, the topic has been buzzing in my head. I happy that losing weight, improving my health, and finding a new way to see will affect my life in tons of positive ways outside of the convention. But right now, with just a few weeks until DragonCon, I’m just hoping it pays off and makes the costume look better!

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting regular updates on the progress of my Breath of the Wild cosplay, and you'll see all of those here on our site. You can also follow my Instagram to see progress pics, and watch my to see me live-stream work on my Twitch channel!