From your local cosplayer/con photographer; TELL PARENTS THERE WITH THEIR KIDS AT CON/FRIEND’S KIDS/ETC. THAT IT IS SO WONDERFUL TO SEE COSPLAY SUPPORTIVE PARENTS AND ASK FOR THEIR PERMISSION WHEN TAKING PHOTOS OF THEIR CHILDREN SINCE THEY ARE MINORS.
That shit goes a DAMN long way for the cosplaying children because the parents/guardians now get an indication that this is a safe and welcoming environment for their children to be in and that there are nice people at these cons that want to make sure both they and their children are happy and comfortable.
TRUST ME. Vocalize it. You may sound like a broken record, the kid might be all “ughhh” in the moment because they might not know what it means, but TELL THE PARENTS. It impacts so so so much.
So I know I said I was going to cosplay “Mom” but then my lovely fiancee @paradigmshift2 wanted to do Gordon von Strangle and I offered to be his darling wife! I was very nervous about wearing this cosplay because of… well… tummy issues. I do like the way she turned out though! Not to mention it was really fun.
Cosplaying with your parents around - starting the hobby
Cosplay is a wonderful expression of creativity, but if you’re a minor still living at home, having a parent around can a tad trying.
For some, getting their parents on board can be difficult. You may feel like your parents are giving you the “weird eye” and being generally unsupportive. If that’s the case, you might want to have a talk with them:
Let them know what this is
Parents (or friends) may see cosplay as a childish activity that involves making Halloween a year-round event. You can help make them understand cosplay is more than that. Cosplay can be casual, it can be competitive, it can be fun, but it can also be serious. Regardless, cosplayers are passionate doing what they do and helping your parents see your passion will go a long way.
You may also want to introduce them to the fandom that you’re cosplaying from. I know that my sister and I spent a while explaining the oddities of anime when we were starting on our first cosplays (e.g. yes, I know he’s got bright blonde hair and wears a neon-orange jumpsuit, but I swear he’s a ninja….)
Explain the benefits of cosplay
Whether you are buying or making your cosplay, it forces you to use skills that will be useful in real life: working a budget, time management, negotiating/bargaining (if doing commissions), setting goals, and delivering results by a certain deadline.
Think of all the useless things you could be doing with your time rather than cosplaying: texting/tweeting, mindlessly surfing the Internet, lazing around the house etc.
Cosplay has a thriving community with many friendly people - there are thousands of chances to meet new people, both online and in real life. Emphasize the networking possibilities.
Make it clear that you have your priorities straight
Parents may be worried that you’ll go for cosplay over studying, chores, work etc. This cannot be the case - real world responsibilities come first. Let you parents know this and then follow through! I cannot stress enough that you need to prioritize smartly.
Get them involved
You might be surprised at how interested they get - also, you never know what tricks they have up their sleeves. For example, my dad loves taking photos, so now I go to him whenever I want some high-quality basic shots of my costumes.
My mum getting her General Leia costume ready for Star Wars Celebration! Still need to make the belt buckle and will probably get some hair extensions to make Leia’s braided hair do, but other wise she’s all good to go! Now to work on dad’s Han Solo costume. The Force runs strong in this family…
I come from a family who really disliked me cosplaying for a long time, saying it is “unproductive”.
My success in national competitions and event invites had started to change their minds.
But what ultimately convinced them was… me helping fix shit around the house.
Today my dad’s shoe went all weird and crumbly. He was going to have to buy new shoes or new sole pads… But then I went and traced some foam, layered it and padded his shoe back up, for free.
My mum has weak finger joints. The doctors were going to charge her $200 to make her a brace. But I saw what the brace was like, and casted her one with Plasti-make, again for free. She had never struggled with her joint again.
I’d like to spread the message to parents out there:
Cosplay is not unproductive.
It is a form of creative problem solving. (How do make something work?)
Please encourage your kids to do something creative. If it’s making outfits from fictional characters… Then please let them.
Watch them become jacks of all trades and develop their hands on and DIY skills.