I personally think that the reason most people worried about trying it is because of self-consciousness. First, there's all these professional cosplayers who look exactly like the character or have outfits that clearly cost five figures or more to make and they have coslaves to work on things for them...and the whole thing intimidates them. And the other is simply that, let's be honest, this is kind of a goofy hobby to be into. People generally want to be looked at with some respect and dignity, and going around looking like a comic book character is kind of counter to that.
These people, if they decide to try cosplay, will start off with something mild. Something they can cobble together easily and either ditch f their confidence wavers or any normies that see them won't think they are cosplaying and, thus, won't make fun of them. And I don't blame them. No one likes being belittled and laughed at. It's a natural human reaction. (Please note, this is separate from cosplay that is just lazy. We're talking someone putting effort into it but conflicting with his or her self-image, not someone who crawls through their dirty laundry and says, "Done.") It doesn't help seeing cosplayers who are wearing inappropriate or disasterous outfits, because it triggers worries that, "Oh, God, I don't look like that, do I?"
And it's an impulse that can come back when you least expect it. Keep in mind, my first cosplay was a Spandex Asuka Unit 02 cosplay. Yes, I squeezed my 300 lb ass into Spandex. Everyone comments that I looked so chill and relaxed in it, and I was. For the most part. But when I first put it on that day, it took a lot of focus to calm my nerves and actually step out of the changing booth. Last year's Wizard World Chicago, I saw three people in screen-accurate Doctor Strange cosplays and bailed on wearing mine because it didn't look half as good. I wore my Rei Unit 00 to C2E2, wearing it for the drive up to the show. And yes, I did dash from the house to my car as fast as I could so that the neighbors wouldn't see me in it. But it didn't take long for me to get over it. I liked my outfit, I got to flex a little since I'd made it, and I soon got used to my look. I don't expect to freak out -- let's face it, I will wear the outfits for a day or two after I make them to make sure they are comfy, as some pictures of me in cosplay at one of my favorite restaraunts attests. But no matter how much confidence you have, it does wobble once in a while.
But as I said, it eventually falls away. And you're free to just look cool and have fun. You won't win any competitions, but you'll have a good time, you get to meet fellow heads, and the interactions are wonderful.
It just takes getting over that hump to actually do it. It gets easier with time, but you still have to take that first plunge.
We have a new supervisor on my shift, moved over from third. And he's a comic book nut, and thrilled to see how many comic book geeks are on his new shift. He's having lunch at a table with a handful of them, and, as you may have guessed, they are all talking about Avengers: Endgame, coming out in just a few days.
One of the guys has bought himself a track suit that is styled in the motif of the Quantum Realm suits we've seen in the trailers and on some of the action figures. They all agreed the Quantum Realm suits looked really really cool. And the supe wanted to know where my coworker got his because he wanted one himself.
The supe noticed me making my tea for my lunch and said, "I'm surprised you don't have one, Peter."
One of the other guys, one who had commissioned me to make a Roslina for his daughter (Nintendo Princesses are blessedly easy to make), said, "He's probably making one."
I smirked and said, I'm waiting to see if I actually like the movie first.
Apparently, the supe didn't know that I make cosplays. I'm guessing they filled him in, because I'm sitting there reading and enjoying my tea, and he comes up to me. "Do you really make cosplays?"
I took out my phone and showed him pictures of the outfits I've made for myself and for others, so he saw more than just the flight suits I make for myself.
It took him a second to speak. "What would it take to make a Quantum Realm suit for me?"
I did a quick check out of him. Well, you have a slim build, so you could easily rock a bodysuit. I'd make it out of a Spandex knit to shape to your form, you don't need a flight suit to disguise your contours like I do. I did a little checking online, and gave him a ballpark figure for payment and timeframe. I told him, But keep in mind, I'm not doing commissions again until late June or early July, and I already have two clients slotted, so you wouldn't get it in time, for, say, Wizard World Chicago in August.
"...but, if I commissioned it, would I have it in time for, say, Christmas?"
Oh, yeah, that's more than doable.
He nodded his head, said, "Just checking," and walked away.
Just checking, my ass. He's trying to muster the courage to pull the trigger and join the rest of us goofballs having fun.
He was unusually shy as we talked and he walked away. So he probably isn't going to try cosplaying.
I can already tell, he's been bitten by the bug. And that infection is going to get into his blood and spread.....