Have you ever wondered if you can dress up as an opposite-sex on cosplay? Most guys would like to dress in a different gender and and some girls also want to dress as males. Well, of course, when it comes to cosplay and costume ideas, there are no rules whether you want to portray the same gender or the opposite sex. Expect freedom in the world cosplay.
In fact, you’ll see a lot of cross-dressers or should we say crossplayers in the cosplay world. It’s not surprising to see a guy wearing a woman costume to imitate his favorite female characters. Same with female crossplayers, they love to dress up as the other gender. If you are interested to learn more about cross-play and how you can dress up in the opposite gender, here is a comprehensive guide for you.
What Is Cross Play?
The word cross-play is a word blending of cross-dressing and cosplay. It is a kind of cosplay wherein a cosplayer dresses up in a different gender. While it is somehow the same with gender-bending cosplay, the difference is that the crossplayer is completely engaged in the codes of a different gender.
Many countries play host to crossplayers, whether they are females outfitted as men or men costumed as females. Male to female crossplayers are often called MtF crossplayers and female to male is most of the time called FtM crossplayers.
While crossplay may be new to some, it is actually very common in some countries like Japan. Female to male is most common in Japan, but when it comes to the male to female, not so much. In fact, in America, MtF crossplayers love to do Sailor Moon for humorous effect.
Interesting Facts About Cross Dressing
Cross Dressing refers to wearing pieces of clothing and accessories commonly associated with the opposite gender. It has been practiced in the old days in many societies for various reasons. Most people might mistake crossdressing with being transgender but they are not the same thing. Crossdressing is referred to a behavior or action, without suggesting any particular reasons or causes for that behavior. Now that we have defined what cross-dressing is, below are some interesting facts that you may want to know.
- Crossdressing was tabooed in Western history. Women were not allowed to wear men’s clothes or any piece of clothing associated with the opposite sex. There are many historical figures who crossdressed throughout history. One notable example is Margaret King who in the 19th century crossdressed to attend medical school because women were not allowed then.
- In the Bible, crossdressing is cited as an abominable act in the book of Deuteronomy (22:5).
- Male cross-dressing is a part of religious reverence in various Hindu sects. Sakti worshippers consider the godhead to be feminine and the men worshippers offer themselves wearing woman costumes.
- Hatshepsut, who is an Egyptian who lived around the 15th century, is known to be the earliest female who was recorded to dress and act like a man. She is depicted in carvings and statues wearing an emblematic kingly beard.
- There are also many crossdressing stories in the Imperial period. Emperor Nero and Emperor Elagabalus are just some of the best examples who have crossdressed during their time.
- Gender disguise, theater performances, cosplay, sexual fetishes, and passing are some of the reasons why an individual might engage in crossdressing.
How To Cross Dress: Male To Female Crossplayers
Male-to-female cross play entails a guy dressing up as a female character. This may be a little tricky because we all know how different guys’ bodies are compared to women. Males usually have broader shoulders, larger bones, and are more muscular than females. Their facial features are also very different. Men generally have chiseled features, while women have softer jawlines. Women’s lips are also generally fuller than men’s. Though these differences seem very hard to hide, there are some tricks that men cosplayers do to achieve the female character look they want.
Lessen the dissimilarities between males’ and females’ physiques.
Male crossplayers usually put effort into losing weight in order to have a slimmer body. Through exercise, you can achieve a slimmer waist and a much rounder and protruding butt just like women.
Another thing to consider is to shave or wax the exposed body or facial hair. This is very important, especially if you have a beard and mustache. It is also easier to put makeup on a clean and hairless face.
Having long beautiful hair also symbolizes feminity. This is not difficult to achieve because you can always put on a cosplay wig to look like the female character you are portraying.
Wear the correct underwear.
If you think that underwear is not that important because it won’t be seen when you put your clothes on, then you’re wrong. You need to wear the right underwear to make a guy’s body look like that of a girl. Guys should wear the right bra size to make their breast forms look bigger. You can wear a padded bra, or you can even buy fake boobs. Just don’t exaggerate the size so that the boobs won’t look unnatural.
To create an illusion of an hourglass figure, a male body can transform into that by wearing a corset underneath the clothes.
Wearing silk stockings can also make legs sexier and slimmer. This will also spare you the hassle of waxing or shaving your leg hairs.
Make your shoulders look narrower.
To make your shoulders look narrower, you should wear necklines that are more rounded and vertical. This can help in creating a much softer and slimmer shoulder. Do not wear horizontal or square necklines because this can make your shoulders look much bigger than they actually are.
Another tip to make your shoulders look narrower is by wearing the right sleeves. Go for sleeves with a slimming diagonal cut, and avoid wearing shoulders pads because they will just make your shoulders broader.
Make sure that your knees and ankles are hidden.
This is not a problem because you can always cover these parts. Knees can easily be concealed by wearing stockings if you are wearing a short dress costume. To hide your ankles, wear shoes that make ankles less visible or just wear boots. Stockings can also easily conceal your ankles if you will be wearing high heels.
Hide your hands.
Men have big hands, and this can easily get noticed. You can cover them by wearing gloves. If your cosplay’s role doesn’t wear gloves, then you can hide your hand by wearing big chunky bracelets. This can help in making your hands appear smaller.
Choose the right wig.
When it comes to your crowning glory, you must take the shape of your face into consideration. Avoid wearing a long wig if you have a lanky face shape. This will just elongate your face further. Wearing a shoulder-length wig will make you look better and more feminine if your face shape is on the longer side. Bright-colored wigs can make your hair appear much bigger. If you don’t like that, then select something that has a bit less hair wig.
Good makeup is important.
You need to have a clean face before putting on any cosmetics. Since a guy’s face has more facial hair than a girl’s, you must wash, shave and prime yourself first before putting any color on. Use foundation to even out your skin tone. Contouring and highlighting are very important to create an illusion of a feminine face. To accentuate your face to look more feminine, use highlight concealer on your T-zone.
It’s now time to play with colors. You can bring out your woman-like features by using just simple neutral colors. Then you can put the colors that you want according to the look that you want to pull off. Have fun doing your transformation and don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors.
How To Cross Dress: Female to Male Crossplayers
Female to male crossplayers are more common in most countries due to different cultural and social factors. Women will cross play in order the portray the male character that they want and hope to represent. Since cosplay has no gender rules, a lot of women have fun representing the male characters they adore. Find out some tricks on how you can transform appearance from a female to a male character.
Bind your chest down.
One of the most obvious differences between a man and a woman is their chest. You will be needing a binder if you are busty. Try to get someone to help you put the binder and make sure that you can breathe properly. Some people even use duct tape or elastic bandages but they are not recommended because they can build up fluids in your lungs and can even crack your rib cage. If you are not very chesty, you can just wear a sports bra. But you will still be needing a binder if your character is wearing something like a tank top or a fitted suit.
Consider a wig.
Though most anime characters have long hair, your character might not have one. If you are not willing to cut your hair short, then consider wearing a wig. You can always tuck your hair in a short wig even if you have long hair. Some male characters often wear hats and this won’t be a problem because you can always hide your hair in the hat.
Make your shoulders broader.
You can build up your shoulders by putting on pads to create a more masculine figure. You can easily add pads if your character’s costume wears a coat or jacket. Adding padding will make your shoulders look slightly broader. This is why suits are made like that – to create a manly profile.
However, if your costume does not require any suit or jacket, then you can always make your shoulders look broader by adding up some props. Pauldrons or armors can help your appearance much bigger than you really are.
Make your eyebrows thicker.
It is very common for men to have thicker eyebrows because men don’t pluck their brows like women do. You can make your eyebrows appear much thicker by applying a brow liner or an eyeliner then brush them up with a thin brush.
Contour your face properly.
Men and women have different face shapes. To look like a man, use a bronzer or contour makeup to construct darker shadows under your brows and jaw to create a more manly look. If you want a wider jawline, add contour under your chin and the side of your face.
Add stubble to appear more masculine.
If you are not portraying a young boy character, adding stubble can make you look more masculine. You can create stubbles by cutting a wig hair into small pieces and attaching them to your face by using glue. If you think that it’s a hassle, an easier way is to use make up for that. Use the same colors that you used on your brows to create an illusion of sideburns and facial hair on your jaws.
Make your voice deep.
Since cosplay is about role-playing, particularly at anime conventions, start practicing to speak in a lower voice. You can do this by practicing proper breathing with your diaphragm and speaking from your chest and lower throat to create a deeper voice.
Pose like a man for photographs.
It’s not enough that your make up and clothes make you look like a man. You need to act like one especially when posing in photographs. One good way to strike a masculine pose is to make sure that your body is in a straight line with sharp angles. Do not put your weight on your hips – it will make you look curvier in pictures.
Crossplaying from female to male is so much fun. Enjoy portraying your favorite male character and don’t forget the tricks above!
Some Extra Tips To Crossdress Effectively
Male to Female
- Pick a character or role model that has the same body type as you. It is easier to cross dress from one gender to another if you will emulate someone who has the same build as you. For example, if you are a chubby guy, then it is much easier if you emulate a female character who is curvy and has a voluptuous body.
- Nails are often overlooked when it comes to crossdressing. If you are crossdressing from male to female, you need to give yourself some manicure to match the look that you want to achieve.
- Accessories such as earrings, necklaces, and belts are a very important part of one’s costume for mtf cross dressers. Make sure that you buy your stuff from the women’s department when shopping for accessories.
- For guys, you have to tuck your male organs with a good underwear. But if you don’t have those expensive undies, then you can tuck them with a panty hose and medical tape. Some would use duct tape to cover their genital bulge, but you must know how to properly do it in order not to hurt yourself. Check out some tutorials online on how you would cover that part properly and safely.
- Practicing how to walk on high heels is also very important for male cross dressers. You can do so by walking up and down the stairs with heels on. This way you can easily move and dance around once you are already at the event.
- In order to look more feminine, try to put your weight n one leg at a time, and keep both hands near your hips. This can make you like you’re wiggling while walking.
- Practice your speaking voice. Girls have high pitch while men have very low voice. Do not overuse your falsetto voice. It is better if you speak softer when you want to talk like a lady.
- Learn how to walk gracefully like a girl. Try to sway your hips subtly when walking.
Female to Male
- Find a guy character that has similar features as you so that the transition will much easier.
- Wear a sport bra that is two sizes smaller than your breast size to help hide your chest area.
- Do not bind your breasts too tight because it may cause health problems.
- Use loose clothes to play down your curves. You can also don oversized clothing to look more androgynous or manly-looking.
- If you want to bulk like a man, hit the gym to build your chest, arms, and legs.
- You might forget this part but men don’t grow their nails long. Paying attention to small details such as that is very important, so remember to trim your nails.
- Grow your hair on your underarms and legs to look more macho.
- Bring down your voice and try to speak a bit louder and more flat-toned to sound like a man.
- Don’t put an arch when doing your eyebrows. Fill in eyebrows darker and straighter and brush the hair down to give it a more manly shape.
- Contour the side of your nose. Making your nose more prominent can help in making you more man-like.
- Use lip balm to moisturize your lips and to avoid cracking. Put concealer or foundation to make it less prominent.
- Create Adam’s apple by using a brush and the same color of contour that you use for your face. Feel the bump on your throat to have a guide of where to create your Adam’s apple. Then just contour that part using the brush and the contour makeup to create a shadow underneath that part.
The key to playing the role whether you’re a man or woman is to research the character. Watching them several times will help you better understand and imitate the persona. Practice is also the key. If you’re a man who needs to wear heels, practice walking with heels. If you’re a female trying to portray a male character, then practice how to walk like a man, and don’t forget your voice. Refrain from talking in a sing song voice. Lastly, enjoy the whole experience!
Popular Characters to Crossplay
Looking for ideas on who to crossplay? We listed some of the top characters you may want to imitate at your next cosplay event.
Male to Female
- Lara Croft
- Poison Ivy
- Princess Leia Organa
- Super Girl
- Scarlet Witch And Psylocke
- Emma Frost
- Black Widow Maleficent
- Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Female to Male
- Captain America
- Shadow Link
- Peter Pan
- Blade Runner
- Dr. Facilier From “The Princess And The Frog”
- Green Lantern
- The Winter Soldier
- Newt Scamander
Crossdressing Male Characters And Female Characters In Anime
For people who love watching anime, you know that cross dressing in anime series is not a new thing. In fact, there are many anime characters who have crossdressed for various reasons. Get to know some of the crossdressing male characters and female characters in anime series below.
Sohma Ritsu – Fruit Basket
Ritsu Sihma is a minor character in Fruit Basket. He is very apologetic and has very low self-esteem. He dresses in female clothes because he feels worried and less pressured by society when he dresses that way. He was also mistaken for a woman because of his beauty and beautiful hair by Tohru Honda. He later found self-confidence and dressed like a male in the end.
Fujisaki Chihiro – Danganronpa
Chihiro Fujisaki is from Danganronpa who was constantly bullied and harassed. He developed a weakness complex because he was always told that he should act like a man. Because of bullying, he decided to dress like a girl to escape his tormentors. He did that until he was determined to change and become stronger to properly present himself as a boy. Unfortunately, he died and his classmates found out later that he had invented an artificial intelligence program called Alter Ego.
Nitori Shuuichi – Wandering Son
Shuuichi Nitori is the main character in Wandering Son. It’s a story of being a boy trapped in a girls’ body. Shuuichi Nitori is a sweet kid but caught in a love triangle. This anime shows the difference between female crossdressing and male crossdressing. It is about friendship, love, and acceptance of one’s true identity.
Sugimoto Yasuko – Aoi Hana
Yasuko Sugimoto is a popular high school girl and is the main character in Aoi Hana. This girl is very cool and is even the captain of the basketball team. She liked her teacher, who is dating his sister. In order to look mature like her sister, she cut her hair and began looking like a boy. She caught the attention of many girls in her school. She was rejected by her teacher but continued to dress and act like a male to fill the void of rejection.
Kashima Yuu – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Yuu Kashima was nicknamed “The Prince of the School” because of her staggering height and great personality. She is considered as one of the best actors and even made her act as a senpai in their drama club. Her character may not be regarded as someone who intentionally crossdresses, but she dresses somewhat like a boy and seems masculine when outside school.
Akemiya Masaki – Whispered Words
Masaki Akemiya in Whispered Words is the older brother of Manaka Akemiya. He is described as a quiet and shy guy. He cross-dressed as a female when he found that the one he likes is a lesbian, and he thought that dressing like a girl would give more chances of winning her.
Naoto Shirogane – Persona 4: The Animation
Naoto Shirogane of Persona 4 The Animation is a detective who usually wears a schoolboy uniform. She works with a team of investigators to solve and unravel a series of strange murders troubling their town. Naoto Shirogane has conflicts with her sexuality, and he dresses as a boy because she knows that she’ll be respected more as a detective if she were a man.
Matsuyuki Atsumu AKA Yukiatsu – AnoHana
Atsumu “Yukiatsu” Matsuyuki is a tall, slender and handsome young man who is a member of Super Peace Busters. He crossdressed because he was trapped in the memory of Meiko. He believed that he could see and talk to Meiko’s spirit, but the ghost was Yukiatsu himself in reality. He dressed in a nightdress and wig and wanders in the forest at night. He stopped crossdressing when he was caught later on in the story.
Fujioka Haruhi -Ouran High School Host Club
Haruhi Fujioka is a highly intellectual freshman who is the protagonist in Ouran High School Host Club. She belongs to a middle-class family, and in order to attend the prestigious Ouran Academy, she needs to keep her scholarship. Ouran Academy caters to the elite members of society. She crossdresses in order to be able to work in their school host club so that she can pay her large debt. She continued crossdressing even after she had paid her debt to keep close to the friends she had made.
Mariya Shidou – Maria Holic
Mariya in Maria Holic is a boy who has long blonde hair and amber-colored eyes. He attends an all-girl school, while his sister attends an all-boy school. His grandmother, the head of both schools, promises them to take over the schools if their identities won’t get exposed.
Tsukimiya Ringo – Uta no Prince-Sama
Tsukimiya Ringo is known as the cross-dressing idol and plays as a teacher in Uta no Prince-Sama. He wears a long, curly pink wig. He crossdresses because his agency insisted that he wear female clothes to match his cute looks. He was forced to do that to get a job.
Yamamoto Isabella – Paradise Kiss
Isabella Yamamoto is a transgender woman in Paradise Kiss. She acts as a mother to other characters because she likes cooking for others. She is a very gorgeous woman with purple hair and grey eyes and dresses elegantly. During her childhood time, she (still a he at that time) confessed to her friend George that she wanted to dress like a girl, and George helped her and made her a dress.
Koibuchi Kuranosuke – Princess Jellyfish
Kuranosuke Koibuchi is a character from Princess Jelly who enjoys to cross dress. He came from a prominent political family. Though his family is in politics, he does not want to have anything to do with it and his main interest is in fashion. He had appeared in different fashionable and stylish clothes and wigs all through the series.
Whether in real life or in anime, crossdressing is truly a part of everyday life in society. People are more accepting now and respectful of every individual’s decision to express their identity through clothes. There are still many anime characters that did not make to the list, but we hope that you all had fun learning about these remarkable characters in anime.
What is cross cosplay?
Cross cosplay or Crossplay is a term used when a person dresses as a fictional character from a movie, anime, book, or video game of the opposite gender. It was originally seen in anime conventions, but it is not limited to that genre. Crossplay implies the blending of the two words, cross-dressing, and cosplay.
What is an example of cross-dressing?
An example of cross-dressing is when a boy wears a dress and stilettos. One good example of cross-dressing in the movie is Robin Williams’s role in Mrs. Doubtfire. In cosplay, Sailormoon is a very popular and favorite character amongst male-to-female crossplayers. On the other hand, superheroes like Superman, Batman, or Spiderman are just some of the most popular characters for female-to-male crossplayers.
Can you cosplay as the opposite gender?
Yes, cosplay knows no gender, race, age, etc. You can cosplay anything you want as long as you are having fun. You can cosplay a guy character even if you are a girl and vice versa.
So, have thought about the character you’d like to try for your first crossplay? The characters I’ve mentioned above are some of the best cosplay characters to start with. There’s unlimited access to information in the online cosplay communities. Remember that when it comes to crossplaying the other gender, you have to play the part like you’re actually them to make it more realistic. Cosplay is more than just wearing costumes, you have to immerse yourself in the character as well.