How to Support our Princes and Princesses (Our Favorite Cosplayers) without Crossing a Line
Your Consideration Helps Elevate Cosplayers
I had a dream come true once…my favorite, most beloved beautiful female character appeared before me in real life!!
It was a hot summer day two years ago. I was walking down the path leading up to Tokyo Big Sight, when I stopped like I’d been struck by a bolt of lightning. It was my video game princess crush, standing right before my eyes. Ugh! Why didn’t I bring my camera?! The creatures around her were busy snapping photos with their cannon-like single-lense reflex cameras. Click, click, click. Stop it!! The princess’s smile…it’s…it’s just for me!!
Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Such thoughts are more like the beginnings of stalker behavior. But I did feel some kind of way about it, so let’s talk about one rule of behavior for die-hard fans of cosplayers: gift giving.
First of all, cosplayers are top-notch doujin. They put their blood, sweat, and tears into digging deep into the roots of the character to not only create their clothing but also replicate their personality. Beautiful female cosplayers are often scouted by talent agencies, appear on television, and become so famous they put other celebrities to shame.
However out-of-our-league these cosplayers can become, they still appear before our eyes at conventions. When that happens, you feel like you want to show your love for them, right?
One good way to do that is with a gift. Gifts are a great way to convey that you’re a fan, and there’s the off chance they’ll help the cosplayer remember you. But be careful! Don’t give them something just because you want them to notice you, because that can backfire. Better to give with your whole-hearted intention to support them instead.
Presents for Cosplayers: Things They Hate and Things They Love
Now, what are some gifts that a responsible fan can give their favorite cosplayer? Let’s start with what you shouldn’t give:
1: Home-cooked food or baked goods
You wouldn’t want to eat something that a complete stranger you’ve never seen before gave you, right? Your homemade food, no matter how innocent, will probably be regarded suspiciously. What’s more, food spoils easily! In summer, particularly, there’s a high possibility of giving your favorite cosplayer food poisoning. Along that vein, you should avoid giving not only bentos and meals but also cakes and desserts.
2: Really big things
What about an enormous stuffed animal? It would be super cute and land a major impact. But it’s a nuisance! Cosplayers will have to carry it around the event space. Don’t give them anything that becomes baggage!
3: Things that can melt
For example, ice cream and chocolate, especially in summer. There’s a chance it will melt all over their carefully constructed costume in the hot sun, and then you’ve made them remember you for something bad. Best to avoid that!
Alright, so what are the presents they appreciate?
1: Individually wrapped candies or gummies
Cosplayers don’t always have time to eat, and the act of cosplay itself requires a lot of energy. They seem to appreciate small candies they can keep on hand to raise their blood sugar every now and then.
2: Pocket warmers or cooling items
Light clothes in winter…thick clothes in summer…cosplayers don’t align their outfits to the seasons. The characters we love all seem to live in just one season. But even if it looks like they aren’t aware of the weather, when it’s cold they’re cold, and when it’s hot, they’re hot. So in order to help them manage their health, offer them a pocket warmer or cooling pad to counter the effects of the seasons.
3: Something to ease their exhaustion in the bath
Female cosplayers especially seem to appreciate bath powders. Human feet and legs tend to swell after standing all day, so a considerate gift like bath salts or bubble bath solution might be well appreciated! But different people have different preferences, so this might be a double-edged sword.
4: Wet wipes
They’re good for after eating or drinking, and for wiping away sweat, so they’re very useful gifts! We recommend those that don’t have alcohol in them, as it can cause irritation in the skin.
If you want, you can slip a card or a tag with your social media handles into the packaging. It might make them remember you! However, don’t give them all of your personal information, because that can be creepy. Try to always support your favorite cosplayers in a smart and thoughtful way, without expecting anything in return.