Filipino Cosplay Queen Alodia Gosiengfiao was recently listed by Mashable among its list of 7 Cosplayers to Follow on Social Media feature. Gosiengfiao is a noted personality in the eclectic cosplay community in the Philippines and has broken into mainstream media trying her hand in TV hosting and appears in a supporting role in the Chinese film Cosplay Nation.
The term cosplay is a portmanteau of the English words “costume” and “play”. The term was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi of the Japanese studio Studio Hard while attending the 1984 Los Angeles Science Fiction Worldcon. He was impressed by the hall and the costumed fans and reported on both in Japanese science fiction magazines. The coinage reflects a common Japanese method of abbreviation in which the first two moras of a pair of words are used to form an independent compound. Costume becomes kosu (コス), and play becomes pure (プレ).
It is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centred around role play. A broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context.
Favorite sources include manga and anime, comic books, video games and films. Any entity from the real or virtual world that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject. Inanimate objects are given anthropomorphic forms and it is not unusual to see genders switched, with women playing male roles and vice versa. There is also a subset of cosplay culture centered around sex appeal, with cosplayers specifically choosing characters that are known for their attractiveness and/or revealing (even explicit) costumes.
The Internet has enabled many cosplayers to create social networks and websites centred around cosplay activities, while forums allow them to share stories, photographs, news and tips. The exponential growth in the number of people picking up cosplay as a hobby since 1990 has made the phenomenon influential in popular culture. This is particularly the case in Asia where cosplay influences Japanese street fashion and popular culture.
As of this writing, Gosiengfiao has 1.1 million “likes” on her Facebook page putting her among the rarefied roll of A-List social media celebrities who had accumulated their fan base through modern social networking sites. Cosplayers who make their own costumes are the best among them and command a particularly venerated place in their community of followers for the authenticity and originality that they bring to the craft.
[NB: Parts of this article were lifted off the Wikipedia.org article "Cosplay" and used in accordance with that site's Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License consistent with the same license applied by Get Real Post to its content.]