If we go to the definition, cosplay is the contraction that arises from the English terms costume and play. Therefore, the meaning of cosplay is to play dress-up. Cosplay is a fashion that on many occasions becomes a way of life, and for some years now it has been a true mass phenomenon, especially in Japan and other Asian countries. Little by little, this phenomenon has been reaching the West, establishing itself as a very influential branch within entertainment and spectacle.
All this is due to the fact that it is a way of expressing the taste or fondness for a specific anime and a great way to make known a part of the personality, which is linked to an anime character with which the or the cosplayer. Cosplay is «playing a role» by dressing up as an anime character, interpreting it not only in their gestures or expressions, but also in the way they speak and act.
Taking advantage of the celebration of comic markets in the 70s, in which vendors offered manga created by themselves, part of the attendees gathered there with the clothing of their favorite manga and anime characters. In this way cosplay was born, people little by little saw the opportunity to express themselves in a new way, being part of a community with which they had something in common, it became so popular that in many Asian countries it is common to dress as a character and make it part of your life and how you behave.
A cosplayer is a person who practices cosplay. That is, he dresses like his favorite characters and even imitates them in other facets such as their gestures or even character. Someone who practices cosplay very sporadically does not usually identify with the term cosplayer, but is reserved more for people who actually participate in this form of entertainment. Crossplay is practiced in both directions, that is, women doing cosplay of male characters, and men doing female characters. However, the former are more common (woman to man), since socially it is less stigmatized than the opposite practice.