Ah, Cosplay. A tried and true part of any fandom. From the Trekker's home-made (Or, professionally made) uniform to the furry's attempt to make a Sonic the Hedgehog fursuit with quills that actually bristle Cosplay has been with geekdom from the beginning and will carry on as long as there are people obsessed with certain elements of pop-culture. Some Cosplay can be very well done and can look incredible! Some Cosplay....Not so much. It really does depend on the skill of the costume designer/maker and the level of care/detail they put into the costume itself. As with any geeky outlet however there has been a ton of discussion about Cosplay, most of it, sadly, disparaging. Cosplay is a matter of taste and taste is not something that members of any fandom can seem to agree upon.
The above video (Really, a Power Point presentation shot on video and then sped up slightly) is living, breathing, infuriating example of this. In a category of fandom where no-one seems to agree what is good and what is bad taste these screw ups have dared to try and become taste-makers. The backlash, I daresay, is mighty. Rightfully so, I might add. Humans are, at the base of their hearts and souls, herd animals. The trend, the very instinct of the human race is to try and huddle together for warmth and stay as deeply within the crowd as they can so that the predators will have eaten their fill before they can get to them. Individuality, especially in today's face paced homogenized McWorld is something most people would not encourage. This is why each aspect of individual expression is important. Some may not be the best idea and indeed individuality that is hurtful to others should be discouraged, but choosing to change one's pelt does not constitute a harmful act. Cosplayers are attempting to be unique snowflakes in a rainstorm, and for the sheer audacity that takes they should be applauded. This video is wrong in stating that some choices are inherently bad for those of a bad body type. Cosplay is a form of artistic and individualistic expression and as long as it is done well it should be appreciated for what it is.
That having been said, lets get real. There are certain frontiers that those with certain body types are not meant to cross, for instance I can count on one finger the number of people who would appreciate seeing me in a Speedo and well, she's my fiancee so there is an amount of bias there. I could have the sewing skills of a god but if I did not take my body type into account when creating say a Kuja from Final Fantasy 9 or a Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star Cosplay the results would be comical at best and traumatizing at worst. I, personally would be terribly uncomfortable dressed as either of these characters, or really anyone else with that level of skimpiness to their costumes. I would be laughed at, even by my fellow geeks for even making the attempt. I know this and am unwilling to face that ridicule. Thing is, that's just me. I prefer to Cosplay characters like Larva/Lover from Vampire Princess Miyu or Il Palazzo from Excel Saga because they are hidden behind voluminous robes or capes and I can for a time suspend disbelief and mask my extra fuel tank in the fabric. Again, that is just me though. Cosplaying is an exercise in individuality. It is not about how others judge you, but how you judge yourself. People, especially strangers, are going to be cruel, particularly online where they have less of a chance of getting their faces bashed in. How you react to that cruelty should be what determines your Cosplay choice, no matter what your body type. Your cosplay should be of the best quality you can achieve (If you're going to do something you should attempt to do it as well as you can.) beyond that however the choice is yours. If you are confident enough in your individuality, in your body, and in your ability to take abuse you can be anything you want to be. Just be prepared to endure videos like the one above and the hateful, hurtful words of your fellows if others do not share your confidence. This is not to say your detractors will be correct, but it isn't to say they'll be incorrect either. It is a matter of taste after all and as I stated above, even in the most close knit fandom taste is as individual as it's members.
So there is my take on Cosplay. I thank you for taking the time to read these thoughts and encourage you to respond to them. Good day to you all, dear readers, and may your own journeys take you far away from things like the video at the beginning of this post.