HAPPY COSPLAY APPRECITION DAY! :D
What I love most about cosplay is the excitement, inspiration and creativity it enables. It opens up your reality to be a whole new persona, a whole new character, whatever you feel like being. It's fun to be apart of the fandom and express your love for a show or video game or story by dressing up as the characters and just having a blast with your friends.
Cosplay has helped me become more confident, more self-aware. Sometimes it can turn more negative, however, it's caused me to achieve a self-image that I want. Sure, to "be like that character", however, it ends up benefiting me entirely. Cosplay has given me determination to achieve goals and work harder. To fit the image I work out and eat healthier; I can paste pictures up and push myself to achieve that goal. And even if I don't look as "skinny" or whatever, I'm usually always happy with myself because it's a goal I achieved, it's progress I'm making; cosplay is just a way of helping me get there as well!
I even felt inspired by characters and their personality traits; like Katara's compassion, Korra's confidence, Cadence's love and magic, Kairi's loyalty, Kagura's passion, Kiki's determination, Photo Finish's spunk, Rinoa's feisty but giving nature. They all contained traits that I admired in some way, that affected me in my own life. Even characters I don't cosplay -- like Twilight Sparkle in my studies and homework, for example -- inspire me to push through procrastination to get priorities done.
Cosplay may not be something I'm going to do forever; however, it's made a huge impact in my life. It's allowed me to escape reality for just a smackeral of time, for a weekend at a time. It's helped me develop a whole new skill set -- sewing and crafting -- which in turn has improved and honed my creativity. It's essentially added to my inspiration and desire to be a photographer, preferably in the cosplay or fashion world, and has helped me branch out more.
Despite the stresses and downfalls, cosplay has been an amazingly fun hobby and created tons of amazing experiences and memories with tons of people I love. I feel like myself, I feel free, I feel totally accepted within the cosplay community, which is something I deem as very important. Always embrace your differences and who you TRULY are, and in there, you will find happiness :D