I feel for male cosplayers, they have a lot of pressure on their shoulder regardless of anime or western.
If they cosplay a western character they are expected to be a tall buff man who can pull off Superman or Batman. If they are not tall and buff, they are expected to be smaller as far as muscles but still quite fit like Spiderman or Nightcrawler. Pretty much any other body type banishes you from most western cosplays.
Why? There are very few ‘average joe’ in the superhero world unless they are either villain thugs or background people.
And then there are Anime males which have three basic types. The athletic male (I.E Grey from Fairy Tail), the bishie or the average Joe (think Naruto or Shikamaru).
According to standards if you want to cosplay an athletic type, you basically have to have an attractive face but a well toned and well muscled body. Think Grey from Fairy Tail, Sasuke from Naruto or Spiderman.
If you want to be a Bishie, the internet says that you have to be tall and likely kind of feminine in appearance and let me tell you, fangirls are INSANE when it comes to people cosplaying their bishies.
Why? Because in their mind you are cosplaying their fantasy and if you do it wrong you are ruining that fantasy *(I am not one of these girls but I had an ex-friend who went bat crap crazy after seeing a ‘poorly’ done Itachi).
I guess that is why you see so many females cosplaying as the bishie characters.
Plus size men, though they tend to have more options as far as characters, are crucified way worse than females when they cosplay “outside their body type”.
Comments for these sort of cosplays usually range from “looks like someone put on a few pounds” or “looks like insert character has to get back to hitting the weights”
Another major issue in the male cosplay world is how ignored they are by the media.
In Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay the producer said that “Male characters tend to be simpler – lots of body armor and weaponry and spandex and capes… They’re usually nowhere near as interesting and intricate, or sexy and cool, as the costumes worn by the women.”
Obviously he hasn’t been paying attention to ANYTHING or ever tried making a cosplay. Let’s take a look at a few popular male cosplays: Master Chief – armor and epic weapon, Commander Shepard – armor and epic weapon (though he does have his civilian and military blues), Link – highly detailed leather and armor work, and Sesshomaru – a lot of material plus some armor and a weapon.
I mean come on! Male cosplays are just as hard
As for sexy and cool, one word: Batman.
Male cosplays are JUST as sexy as female ones.
Another big issue I have heard from cosplaying males is the extreme lack of hairy characters.
A lot of men have body hair and frankly there are very few anime males with any hair on their body. What I have noticed is that the characters with body hair are usually thugs or considered gross, which is terribly unfair for male cosplayers.
Actually on that topic the only characters I can think of with any body hair are a few in One Piece and Captain Kyoraku in Bleach.
Guys are stuck with trying to decide if they want to (a) lose their hair for the sake of a single cosplay or (b) keep the hair but potentially risk asshat comments.
My opinion – do what makes your comfortable.
Finally, male cosplays are often considered weird or freaks way more often than female cosplayers. A guy who cosplays has to deal with accusations of being ‘gay’ or a ‘pedo’ while women tend to get a lot less flack.
Why is that?
To be honest I have no idea.
Anyway, moral of the story is a guy should cosplay whoever he wants. If you are a big guy and you want to be Batman – you be Batman! If you are a thin guy and you want to be Batman – you be Batman.
Just like the ladies, don’t let the opinion of others change who you want to cosplay.
BTW any guy who is confident in them self to cosplay who they want is a hottie in my books so go for it!