There was a story this week about two people in the UK who were tossed out of the Natural History Museum for cosplaying (well, wearing animal onesies, which is the low-hanging fruit of the cosplay world) . These are, presumably otherwise ordinary people, who felt no shame in leaving the house dressed as dinosaurs for a bit of fun. And people apparently go in costume to Disney theme parks as well. I haven’t been to a Disney park in decade, but the internet assures me it is so.
It wasn’t that long ago that dressing up as your favourite SF character was for only the most extreme nerds. Slapping on a pair of Spock ears and a uniform top was bad enough, but going full-Klingon marked you for life. But now, cosplay is mainstream. So mainstream in fact that going to something like SDCC or Dragon Con not in some sort of costume puts you into the minority. And then there’s medieval and renaissance costuming. SCA people used to corner the market in medieval clothing, but now ordinary people go to great lengths to dress up for a walk around the local Ren Faire.
I’m pro-cosplay because it gets people crafting, and it provides a sadly needed outlet for creativity. I have cosplayed several fandoms, most recently Doctor Who. It’s a real laugh and it’s interesting how wearing a costume really does change your personality.