If you've been on social media lately, you've probably seen the ads for the popular app TikTok. Surprisingly, most of these ads include cosplayers lip-syncing and bouncing around as though they were animated. Some people hate it or find it annoying while others love it, but either way you have to find this interesting. No other social media app has taken to cosplay quite like this.
Surely there are dozens of Facebook pages dedicated to individual cosplayers who try to garner support from the public and Instagram is an obvious place to find plenty of dressed up nerds. However, there's something different about TikTok and the way it's purposely utilizing cosplayers; it brings a very specific community together, namely nerds.
When I originally found the app, I didn't think much of it. If anything, I assumed this was taking the role of Vine by letting people create dumb memes that would probably get shared on other platforms anyway. But cosplayers are taking to showing off their art and craft in so many different ways. Some are making second-long tutorials on how to build craft weapons while others are basically making an AMV of themselves dressed like Bakugo.
It may seem silly to an outsider, but it's actually genius. This gives us something new that's not just a photo or a blog post and it's only taking up small sections of time. This isn't like a cool photo you can like and move on from, because you actually have to sit there and look at what the cosplayer is doing. You pay attention to more detail than you might have scrolling past their picture. Not to mention, you don't really have to think about it; unlike reading a tutorial or fandom post, you're just watching someone bounce from one thing to the next.
This doesn't only apply to people cosplaying popular characters either. There's also a increase in people creating original characters and posting intricate cosplays that include small snippets of a background story. For people who are nerdy, and talented make up artists, it's pretty much a dream come true. TikTok normalizes it in a way that it seems to be popular verses niche; something other indie sites often seem to place these passions in.
The app also prizes itself on having different audio challenges that users can participate in. Dances and certain poses may seem easy to a viewer, but if you try it yourself it actually takes quite a few tries to get it right, not to mention make it look good. Overall, it takes a lot of time and effort for cosplayers to really create something the #foryou page can turn into a viral sensation; but that's a lot more than what they typically get.
Personally, I haven't tried using TikTok for my own cosplay stuff (yet). With how much attention cosplayers of all different levels are getting right now though, it's definitely making it worth the consideration. Love or hate the app and its various ads, it's definitely giving cosplay something we haven't seen before.