I saw a post similar to the one I am about to make that wanted to remind us of all the super important things we need to be told. I figured this would be a great article to write about now that I've got my internet back, I am going to try to write (heck.)
Remember to drink water. Soda and coffee taste great, but your body does need to flush out the toxins we consume.
Schedule showers. Especially if con crunch is going to get crazy, you're going to forget. When you don't shower, you open up your body to getting sick quicker.
Speaking of con crunch, stop glorifying it. I know I do it, and I become so stressed out. It isn't the end of the world if the cosplay doesn't get finished on time. Make it finished on your time. Your mental and physical health is more important than a photo shoot.
Remember that unless you make money off of your cosplays (prints, selling patterns, etc) that cosplay is a hobby. It is about having fun and making friends, not going into debt. I constantly tell people at conventions that they need to take their food money and use it for just that. Yes, absolutely I want to be commissioned for something, because I also need to eat, but it is your money, please use it for the purposes you originally set out for it.
Again, money is important, bills come first. So if you are unable to pay for your bills, don't go to conventions, don't buy new cosplays. It is better to have a roof over your head than 20 cosplays and one weekend of fun.
Remember that food is also a staple. Please remember to eat and buy groceries. And especially if you are going to a convention, have at least one healthy meal per day while you are running around. Poor diet and dehydration are a couple of reasons why con funk is so prevalent.
Sleep is also important. Laughing about how you only got 4 hours or less at a con is not funny. Your body needs that sleep to repair all the hardship you are putting on it. I know I joke about it in person, but it isn't actually something to brag about. Please sleep.
The above is true, especially if you party. First off, you shouldn't drink to excess all the time anyway, and alcohol is super terrible on your body. If you need it to have a good time, you need to reevaluate who you hang out with and why you are drinking.
Group cosplays should always be an extra. Be honest when you cannot make the commitment and know when to bow out. When I was in Pretty Guardians, it was really easy to be able to keep up, since we only had about two cosplays per year. Sometimes, that is too much for others, and that is okay too.
Do your very best to not con crunch. It is so stressful on your body, and it can easily ruin relationships. A new costume cannot replace the friends you have made. Friendships last forever. I know I am also very guilty of this, which is why I am trying harder to hang out with my friends from here on out.
It's not a competition (unless, of course, you are in the competition) so don't treat it as one. There are people who have been cosplaying for years that know nothing of foam craft (I was in that boat) and there are newbies who don't know anything about anything. Everyone starts at a different place. That's awesome that we get these opportunities to be able to explore our creativity.
Along with this not being a competition, there absolutely should not be any negativity coming out about anyone's costume. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. But if you want to get out of that negative way of thinking, find at least one thing that you can compliment a person on. It can be as simple as, "I love your contacts!" or "Your shoes are so cool!" to something more complex about how awesome the seams look on their pieces. There should be more positivity in this community, and we have to be the ones to make it better.
You are allowed to have less than perfect cosplays. The wonderful thing about you making/buying/modifying pieces is that you can make improvements. You can learn and get better at your craft. There is also 100% no shame in buying cosplays. You can buy all of them, have them commissioned, have your mom/grandma/father/uncle make them. Stop the stigma that everything must be handmade by the wearer to be great.
Always remember that it is okay to say no to getting your picture taken. If you are overstimulated, just sat down to eat, or just don't feel like it in that moment, you can and are allowed to say no. Photographers and people who are asking for pictures also need to understand when to stop asking.
All in all, cosplay is about having fun and creating an environment safe to be a part of where we can all just dress up and be nerds. That's all we should require, and the elitism needs to stop. I am guilty of most, if not all of these, and I do need to be more conscious of my body and that I am not getting any younger. I need to breathe and take it easy sometimes. As always, I hope this article has proved useful to you and that I was able to provide some advice that helps you be more positive. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, definitely comment below or message me on any of the social medias, and I will get back to you ASAP.