Ten years ago I went to my first New York Comic Con dressed in a perfectly fine Doctor Who cosplay (Tenth Doctor, of course). My outfit was more a collection of H&M pieces and a pair of Converse I already owned rather than a bespoke look crafted by me in my parents’ garage, but donning such a getup and attending a convention was one of the nerdiest moments of my life.
Choosing to cosplay is a giant step into the chasms of nerdy fandom. But what you chose to cosplay as and how you execute it says a lot about you. Ten years ago, my cosplay said a few things: I was recently into Doctor Who and thoroughly, irritatingly obsessed, I loved wearing dress shorts (they existed in the 2010s), and I couldn’t sew or make anything myself. Meanwhile, the man wearing a gigantic Silent Hill Pyramid Head head was clearly a personal trainer, the person in The Last of Us clicker garb was a burgeoning FX makeup artist, and the guy in The Dark Knight Joker makeup was definitely the same person abusing me over voice chat in Halo 4.
Cosplay culture is multi-faceted and fascinating, and the more you dive into it the more you realize that it functions as a sort of funhouse mirror for the people participating. Your cosplay isn’t your astrological chart, but it might as well be.
Here’s what your cosplay says about you, probably. Remember, this is all for funsies, guys.