I would like to provide a little insight on this issue beyond the usual (valid) arguments that you should not go on a witch hunt for fake geek girls/guys. Full disclosure here, I have cosplayed characters I did not know on several occasions. *gasp* My first cosplay was a character I didn’t know. So please here me out.
4. You’ve been invited to a cosplay group:
Cosplayers are a social bunch and like to collaborate. Often times it might be for a series that one person is a big fan of while the others are less aware or unaware of the series. Is the big fan’s costume better because they are a fan? No. Is their costume more valid because they are a fan? No. If anything they are bringing more people into the fandom.
Also it could be that the group collectively like the designs (Point #1) or they like the artist (Point #2).
5. You look like the character:
Sometimes this is enough to get the interest of a cosplayer or maybe the character is often suggested to them as a potential costume. This can be an especially strong incentive for people who find very few representations similar to themselves in popular media. Although I believe in cosplaying whatever you want, I can understand that sometimes people are more comfortable cosplaying characters that look like them. There is a certain form of satisfaction to being told “You look exactly like them.”
6. You already have the supplies:
Cosplayers tend to accumulate materials over the years and it is nice to get rid of them in a productive way. Sometimes they stumble across a costume that will use up some supplies and tools that have been collecting dust. It is especially the case for expensive items such as: an embroidery machine and leather crafting tools. But this also applies to slightly less expensive items such as: wigs, boots, and fabric.
7. Limited time:
There is only so much time for hobbies. Although we all would love to spend more time reading visual novels, watching TV, and playing video games, there are so many hours in the day and something has to give. Cosplay is a time intensive hobby especially when you throw in work, school, family, friends, and other interests. If someone is passionate about crafting then let them dedicate their time to that.
Disclaimer: I would advise cosplayers who plan to cosplay something they do not know to do some research. You may unknowingly cosplay something contrary to your beliefs and interest, such as characters from adult content (hentai), culturally insensitive costumes, and controversial historical figures/symbols (ex. Nazi uniforms).
Reasons Why it's Okay
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.