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02 Mar 2009 - 03:2211266
Height and Cosplay
For years I've been cosplaying on the sci-fi convention scene. My height has never been a problem until I joined the anime con scene. I'm now finding that a few people have had problems with my short height with my taller cosplays. Normally this wouldn't bother me but it has meant my cosplays do suffer as a result. Examples;
* My not getting a part in a fan film due to me not tall enough for the character (I've had no problem with my height in my actual acting/stunt work).
* Not being spotted by a Sephiroth fan whist stood next to another Sephiroth. They shouted at him that he was the best Sephiroith at Expo. He looked at me appolgicaticly as his was brought off ebay and slightly modified. He knew that mine was made from scratch. He was much taller than me by six inches of platform boots. We reckon we were more or less the same height if he wasn't wearing them.
* Fans not seeing the work I put into my cosplays and just see that I'm not tall enough for a certain characters.
* Looking short in group photos.
* Not being able to recreat certain pics as I'll be short against other characters.

I could change this by wearing platform boots. But this makes me cringe as none of the tall characters I do are wearing platforms. I personally prefer my cosplays to be accquate looking. Not accquate, height wise. So I think the platforms would look silly. Since this starting to upset me a little I'm thinking of ways around this. My brother has told me about heel lifts to put inside shoes/boots. It would raise me by at most four inches. Or I could just give in a wear platforms.

I was wondering what people think. What would you prefer to see on a cosplay, accquate height or accquate cosplay?


Last edited by Sephirayne (02 Mar 2009 - 03:23) Reason: spelling
02 Mar 2009 - 09:2511267
Personally, I've never really had a problem with height. I wouldn't say I was tall or short but maybe I'm a little short for Rock Howard (that guy has really long legs). No one has ever really said anything to me on it before. I think some people are bit too caught up in their own image of the character that they don't really see the costume but rather how much that person looks like the character.

In regards to the way other people look, I've never really given the height of the cosplayer much thought. I've always been about the costume itself.


Last edited by Ice-climber (02 Mar 2009 - 09:26)
02 Mar 2009 - 09:3611268
I think its more important for the costume to be accurate, than your height to be accurate. The costume is more important than your height.

I know how you feel, I often get over looked because I'm short. I'm really too short to do Sailor Jupiter, she's 5'6" and I'm 5'2". But if I went by height all the time, I would be left with short women and child-like characters that don't interest me.

Yes, it be nice to be the same height as the characters you cosplay, but not at running the risk of making the costume you're wearing look wrong! I HATE seeing cosplayers of any ethnicity ruin a fabulous costume by wearing massive platform shoes to get the height. Okay, so you get the height, but the shoes drag people's attention away from your accurate height and good costume, because they look out of place.

I'd go for accuracy over height any day. Its more important. And anyone who says you can't or shouldn't cosplay a character because you're too short to too tall, or too fat or too flat chested should be hit. Hard. With something metal and sharp.

02 Mar 2009 - 10:0011269
Unfortunatly im on the other end of the spectrum here Im 6,4 and tbh even if I was shorter I would pick accuracy over height any day of the week you bet a new york dollar on that. Sure every now and again people will not recognise you in crowds and stuff, it isnt yours or their fault. I think its important we make the best of things, and you with your superior craftsmanship is your making the best. As for fan film im sure they were just doing what they thought was best for their production, but i will admit it still kinda sucks considering your a qualified actor.

The platform shoe thing gets on my breast ends sometimes as well, it makes things out of proportion O_o

Silver is right, no one in the multiverse has the right to tell you who you should and shouldnt cosplay ^.^ its just wrong. cosplay is about fun not winning awards thats why its called cosplay


Last edited by Captain_Marvelous (02 Mar 2009 - 10:03)
02 Mar 2009 - 10:0111270
Anyone who values physical accuracy over creative accuracy (and worse, gives other people a hard time about it) is into cosplay for a lot of the wrong reasons. First and last of all it's about fun, right? The fun of playing one of your favourite characters and the fun of testing your skills in the making of a costume.

I'm just glad to say I've not encountered this kind of small-minded behaviour yet.

02 Mar 2009 - 11:2211277
As a tall girl (at 5'10 and a bit according to my doctor the other day!) I'd be royally screwed if I stuck to height.

Even female villains are usually only about 5'6 and they are usually the tall ones!

If I stuck to height I'd never be able to do anything except crossplay!

When Silver and I throw our sailor costumes on we can't help but giggle a little, as I do Venus (who's meant to be about 5'2) and she does Jupiter (5'6) and yet we are totally the wrong way round! But we don't care, as we trend to see the funny side in it!

However there are some height lines I won't cross (mainly because I think I would look daft!!) i.e. doing chibi characters and loli style. I just don't think it suits my frame. I'm much happier seeing all the petite people pull them off so well!

I agree with the thought that costume accuracy over height. But at the end of the day, as long as you are having fun, why worry?

(unless of course your pants are up your bum and your teeny weeny skirt it blowing up in the wind, and your standing next to a really really short guy...)

There is always room for cake
02 Mar 2009 - 11:2711278
I also have an issue with height if I ever want to crossplay or do a shorter character.
I'm 6' which makes me taller than average so it does get annoying especially with my odd proportions if I ever want clothes to modify.
Gets awkward if my character is meant to be shorter than a character who someone next to me is doing. Sort of have to kneel down for photos. ^^;

02 Mar 2009 - 12:4911281
I'm 5ft 2, which really worked as a teen model and younger actress but now it does narrow the field in a professional sense since I'm almost 18 and expected to be a good amount taller! On the other hand, I would look weird if I were tall because my oriental half shows through quite a bit. I feel in proportion to what I should be.

In that sense, I think that proportion is much more important in cosplay than height. Granted, for my crossplays I look a little odd when one or two are supposed to be a good 5'8, and even some of my non-crossplays which are tall women. I'm quite teeny, but still since I'm in proportion it tends to work quite well. Who is to say that a realistic character would be X-height, or X-weight (I mean does anyone really have a waist small enough to pass as most anime women?), or have X-sized breasts (again, hardly anyone has a chest large enough to compare to some of the science defying breasts you see on anime and games!). I think it's more important that the costume be well constructed and look good on your sized frame. Adding small platforms to elevate you, change your posture, or as a design choice is alright, but Sephiroth wearing huge platforms might make him look as though he's stepped out of a fetish club (not that it's a bad thing, granted, if that's the look you want). I personally do get a hard time sometimes when people comment on my height, it's the one thing I'm touchy about and I'd rather people not rub it in my face that I'm so small and that it's the one thing that can take accuracy away from my costume. But on the whole, height doesn't stop you winning awards and it doesn't stop your costume being kickass. A costume should be judged on the accuracy at your own proportion. If I got judged on height alone, then people wouldn't give my costumes a second look!

That said, recreating pictures can be tough but since it's a picture there are subtle ways to get around it.

I'm with the others, if people are judging on height then they need to get a reality check, because sometimes it's just not possible to have the right height. If you have the right height for any character, it's very lucky ^___^

xx Tetra xx
02 Mar 2009 - 13:4411284
Psh, anyone who kicks up a fuss about your height is just silly. I'm somewhere between 5'6"-5'8" (I haven't been measured for a while 8D; ), so I'd be stuck with the few taller female characters I can think of if I was bothered. Aeris is supposed to be 5'3", and I've cosplayed her like, four times now.

Fortunately, I've never encountered the "omg ur soooo nt da rite height" thing. However I have been told my...buxom is too big for certain cosplays that I've done. o_O I didn't think that would be the sort of thing that would be complained about!

Last edited by Luminescence (02 Mar 2009 - 13:44)
02 Mar 2009 - 13:4811285
I don't mind what other people do, but when it comes to my costumes I try to pick characters that are the right height for me and the guys. Even if it's just a case of making sure we all go in the right height order for each character, because at least then we'll look right in group photos.

I think it's less about height, and more about entire body shape. For example I'm slightly too short for Ivy, so I added more to her heels to get me to the right height, but that made me look too tall and skinny, whereas Ivy is more heavy built like an amazon. So my next Ivy costume won't be worn by me, but someone with a more built body.

I got to extreme lengths to make my body the correct shape for a character. For example in my seras costume I have a pair of fake breasts and a 22" waist corset that I wear to make sure I've got her figure. So I guess I would say that you don't have to be the exact shape for a character, but if you're doing it and you can alter yourself in some way you should try because it gives it that extra edge to a costume.


02 Mar 2009 - 14:1511287
If i let height worry me i'd be forever doing crossplays. As long as the outfit is good i really don't have a problem with the height of the cosplayer. I tend to focus more on the outfit and less on the body shape of the person wearing it, as long as the outfit has been made for that body shape (ie large people wearing something far too small or short people wearing something too big) I mean i did Gatomon at last years Amecon and was taller than the kari i was with, but we both had fun and thats all that matters ^_^

02 Mar 2009 - 14:5111288
Thanks everyone for your feedback. It dose really help alot.

I definatly agree that wearing really obvisous platforms can ruin a character's look. I might enhance my height a little with a couple of my taller characters. I would be curious if it did actually make a differnce on how people view the cosplay.

I do agree with that creative accquacy is better than height accquacy. Its something that I try and lean towards with my cosplays.

Its just a shame that I have been faced with the small minorty who didn't like that I was short for the taller characters.

I do much prefer to match my pysical build rather than height. I have no hips or bust so I tend to do crossplays and it works well for me as I also still have quite a bit of muscle from my stunt person days (you'll see it when I'll be cosplaying as Tidus). I do stay clear of female cosplays unless I can pad my chest or shape myself with a corset.

I shall endevour to continue having fun and keep challanging myself with epic cosplays reguardless of height (although I will be doing a height accquate cosplay in the future in the shape of Siegfried from Soulcalibur).


Last edited by Sephirayne (02 Mar 2009 - 14:52)
02 Mar 2009 - 14:5711290
That's the spirit, girl! Just cosplay who you want to and ignore the minority. People who judge someone just because of their height obviously haven't looked at the actual costume, they have no right to be judging at all ^__^
Will keep an eye out for your future costumes, all sound very interesting!

xx Tetra xx
02 Mar 2009 - 15:0211291
With me height does play a factor when I'm picking cosplays. Personally I would feel a little insecure if I was to cosplay a really tall character and to be honest I want to feel happy and confident in my cosplays so I tend to steer away from tall characters. Luckily for me however nearly all the characters I love and want to cosplay are short so it's never been a major problem! ^^

Anyone who seriously has a go at you for your height...seriously are not worth your time. It's one of those physical things that you cant change! Unless you wear those platform things that go IN the shoes...which I am a little interested in actually. As for the platform boots that asian cosplayers seem to love so much...I'm not keen at all. They distract me from the cosplay to be honest. X.X

Okay here's a good example, for my TWEWY group this year we've worked out that basically everyone is going to be the wrong height in relation to everyone else. XD Does that mean i'm going to be like 'You cant cosplay them!'? No. We laugh about it and move on (maybe try and stage the photos to make it less obvious - lotr did it! ), it's only cosplay - it's meant to be fun! It's always exciting to see a person cosplaying a character that totally fits their physical appearance...but If I had to pick which I prefer - a physically correct person with a crappy ebay costume, or someone not quite so physically 'correct' with an awesome costume, it's the latter every time!

02 Mar 2009 - 16:3411294
i hate this word, as if its related to me, it genrally has the words ''lack of'' before as im only 5ft2
Its SO annoying when cosplaying, i am guilty of buying some platforms so i can pull of charatures like vincet and axel, although the boots left me a little out of pocket and look hidiously inacurate with most costumes D;

Although back to the question, personaly, i prefure to see the heights right rather than seeing a realllyyyyyy short vincent say for example next to a really tall yuffie, it just makes no sense in my head, although saying that, if what they lack in height they make up in they're costume then that ballences it out if you see what im saying? ^^

02 Mar 2009 - 17:0311295
I've said it once and I will say it again:

height does not matter, proportions do;

get the ptoportions of your costume right and moone will be able to tell how short/tall you are unless there are other people around you. I'm 5ft and have never even considered a characters height when deciding who to make.

And people who try to make themselved height accurate using platforms look really stupid, too many times its a great big shiny point of innacuracy which ruins everything in what is otherwise a very good costume.

02 Mar 2009 - 17:3111297
Quote infinitydragon:
height does not matter, proportions do;

Exactly! Take my sailor Venus for example, with the heels I'm pushing 6foot, but unless someone is standing next to me no one would know!

There is always room for cake
02 Mar 2009 - 17:3811298
I really don't think height matters!? It's not even something I notice. If someone is that anal it is a bit worrying. :S

I wear platforms and heels a lot in cosplay so I really don't agree it looks hideous haha. I think in some cases definitely don't wear them (I.e. if it's a costume that requires elegant heels or sandals or trainers, no. If it requires boots that are same style as platforms... why not!). I've seen Prince of Tennis cosplayers in massive platform heeled boots and it's like, wow, how can you play tennis in those!? It really stands out. But then in more formal gothy/punky costumes I don't even notice!

I have really short legs in proportion to the rest of my body and I wear platforms and heels everyday! I hate my stubby legs. )'; So I agree with MissyTetra's point! ^^ I think it's a comfort and confidence thing why many people use them. Whatever makes people happy~ I would not say it's unsightly or ruin a costume.

Quote Sephirayne:
* Not being spotted by a Sephiroth fan whist stood next to another Sephiroth. They shouted at him that he was the best Sephiroith at Expo. He looked at me appolgicaticly as his was brought off ebay and slightly modified. He knew that mine was made from scratch. He was much taller than me by six inches of platform boots. We reckon we were more or less the same height if he wasn't wearing them.
With this, are you sure it's height? It might be that bummy reason of him just being a guy! I've noticed a lot, especially from people that aren't into cosplay! XD

02 Mar 2009 - 18:1811301
height doesnt matter as long as you look awesome thats all that counts! : D

*cuddles sephirayne* i love your sephiroth <3

and if i truely cared about height i would never touch sailor moon

02 Mar 2009 - 18:4611302
Quote infinitydragon:
height does not matter, proportions do;

Agreed! =]

I have short legs so things look odd with me, instead of buying mid-calf length boots for my Jeanne cosplay I bought knee length instead. It just looks better in proportion to my body... I try my best to make my cosplays suit the proportions of my body, it looks better that way~

Personally I don't usually care about height, if I let height get to me then I'd be stuck with shoddy little girly girls, I know I'm cosplaying quite a few already but I don't want to be stuck cosplaying just them! I like variety! I wouldn't be able to cosplay Fai from Tsubasa if I was stuck to cosplaying people my height T^T

In our KH2 group of Sora, Riku, Kairi. I wanted to be Riku yet was the shortest, we didn't care... we just thought it was humourous In most cases we -try- to keep group cosplays in height order but not as a strict rule, we just talk it out with each other and decide that way - generally we end up sticking with the correct heights but on odd occasions we end up with funny heights which I love! 8D *coughFaiandChii*

Platforms CAN look silly on some occasions, there are occasions when I do actually think they spoil a cosplay. Mainly if it looks out of place, otherwise I love seeing platforms if they're used correctly. Heck I want a pair but I'm scared I'll break a leg LOL! xD [Not to mention they're expensive as hell D< Annnd a lot of them won't fit my calves >_>;]

Another way of changing the appearance of height is camera angles. With the right camera angles you can look taller or shorter I find, the beauty of photography ;P

P.S. Not sure if my post just made sense of not lol... my brain's died on me 8D;

02 Mar 2009 - 19:1711304
Height would probably effect what cosplay i would choose, but i wouldn't judge someone differently because they were too tall/short for the character they were playing, just as i wouldn't if they were crossplaying or wore glasses etc.

The costume is where its all at

02 Mar 2009 - 19:5011305
I think most people have summed up the general feeling - unless it bothers YOU, height is no issue.

I must admit I'm guilty of wearing platforms with a fair amount of my costumes, but I try and hide them (like costumes with long trousers, or for example my Sora shoes because they were supposed to be oversized anyway). Generally I wear them to make my legs the right proportions, rather than height. I gave up on that loooong ago, seeing as my best friend has half a foot height on me and we normally cosplay in pairings the wrong way around!

I just wanted to pick up a few of your initial points though

* My not getting a part in a fan film due to me not tall enough for the character

I think this is less of a cosplay issue, as a fan would never turn you down for a photo because you were too short, but more of an audition? Even if it is a fan film, if they are casting then they might be treating it like any other production - they might want their cast to have specific heights/looks. Unfortunately it is then up to them to be as picky as they want, but please realise that that doesn't necessarily reflect the rest of the community (as shown in the many posts above!)

* Not being spotted by a Sephiroth fan whist stood next to another Sephiroth.

Now, I'm not defending whoever it was (nor blaming!) but I've noticed in recent years that a lot of people will quickly run past and say something to a cosplayer, or shout across a room at a character they like - rather than spending time talking to that person. As such they will spot someone, give them a compliment and move on - probably not noticing the person standing next to them. I would think that most of the time it's not that they haven't noticed your costume - but that they haven't paid attention to anyone standing nearby apart from the cosplayer they were talking to. All I'm trying to say is don't take it personally - cons can be hectic places (especially Expos) and people aren't always paying full attention! I had the honor of seeing your Sephiroth first hand at Amecon during the judging - it is horrendously accurate, and it's hard not to notice the attention to detail

* Fans not seeing the work I put into my cosplays and just see that I'm not tall enough for a certain characters.

This I'm afraid is something that crops up a lot - someone will make an offhand comment, probably not realising how much it affects the cosplayer. Unfortunately this is where you have to look back at why you are cosplaying, and if it's for fun and for the love of making/wearing costumes - then you should be able to put it to the back of your mind. You'll find that the people who make these comments generally aren't cosplayers themselves! The cosplayers will generally be poking and prodding your costume (with permission of course!) and asking detailed questions XD

* Looking short in group photos/Not being able to recreate certain pics

You just need to find a patient photographer who is happy to try different arrangements - you can easily make someone look taller or shorter with positioning and poses. My bro took this picture (middle image 'Grandia Trio' - http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/costume/view/465 ) which tried to put our heights right. Now Inky (the guy in the middle) was easily half a foot taller than me even with me in 5" platforms, but my brother managed to make me look a lot closer to his height. (I'm about 5'2" I think, so definitely not a towering figure!) So don't dispair, it is possible Of course this makes it harder, but then perhaps it's more impressive when you can emulate a tall character when you are short!

Keep on making costumes how you like, if you feel the need to add in some extra height based on how you want the costume to look - then do so

(Crap - sorry for the wall o' text!)

Last edited by Delusional (02 Mar 2009 - 19:53)
03 Mar 2009 - 05:2411324
Quote miiol:

Quote Sephirayne:
* Not being spotted by a Sephiroth fan whist stood next to another Sephiroth. They shouted at him that he was the best Sephiroith at Expo. He looked at me appolgicaticly as his was brought off ebay and slightly modified. He knew that mine was made from scratch. He was much taller than me by six inches of platform boots. We reckon we were more or less the same height if he wasn't wearing them.
With this, are you sure it's height? It might be that bummy reason of him just being a guy! I've noticed a lot, especially from people that aren't into cosplay! XD

I have to admit at first we both thought it was beacuse he was a guy whilst I was a girl but the look on the fan's face was one of 'oh I didn't spot you'. Not to worry. Been chatting about this alot though DevArt and I'm finding myself no longer bothered by this. The other Seph was great we had a really good Seph bonding hug at the end of the event.

Quote angel aiko:
height doesnt matter as long as you look awesome thats all that counts! : D

*cuddles sephirayne* i love your sephiroth <3

and if i truely cared about height i would never touch sailor moon

Awww, thanks hunXXX I love your Salior Moon. I agree that I shouldn't be worried about heights anymore.

Delusional, Thanks for your very depth post it has been very insiteful. I do agree that I shouldn't be bothered by the height issue any more. Just try and have fun with my cosplays. I guess it was a bit of the shock to the system as I've never came across in all my years as a sci-fi cosplayer (started in late 80's) its only when I hit the anime cons has it hit. I didn't expect it so it kinda throw me a curve ball. I shouldn't really think too much about it.

Re the fan film. Its something that I try not to let get to me. Its something I did expect from a Film but not a fan project. Its just weird to me that I've never had a problem with my height in my acting and stunt career (I've even stunt doubled for guys). I agree I shouldn't judge the rest of the fan community as most people have been fantastic.

Re people focusing on one cosplayer but not others. I guess your right there.

Re the group shots. Yes I'm definately going to try and learn how to work within a group photo. Its something that I'm only just getting to grips with. Its surprising in my 16 years of cosplay that I've rarely have had group shots done so I can get a bit lost within the group as I'm not used to it.

Thanks for your reponses everyone. It has been very insiteful. All of you have put across some very good points. Ones that I'll remember if anyone comments about my height again.

*bows* Thank you all XX


Last edited by Sephirayne (03 Mar 2009 - 05:44)
03 Mar 2009 - 21:2011335
See I'm 5 foot 7" and someone told me I was too short for Jupiter.... I thought she was taller than 5ft6" =/

I'm technically way too tall for Selphie or Rinoa but if someone dared tell me I couldn't cosplay my fav characters because of my height I would throw a fit lol So someone can can throw on something that looks like cut up blue curtains and claim to be Rinoa and they'd be more accurate than me because they're the right height? Pfftttt no way.

03 Mar 2009 - 21:4011337
im about 5' 8" (not overly huge at all), and ive never had a problem cosplaying as really tall people. most notibly my Darcia and Balthier cosplays. i say that you can do any costume you like. its your hobby after all, and were all here to have fun, so have fun! lol

Disasters road has been walked by better men

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