As a former huge guy who is now really just a big guy and as encyclopedia dramatica likes to jest, yes, I am a overweight cosplayer. One of the hardest topics for us big guys to address is what cosplay we can actually do and do well (because not all of us have a great body image and willingness to cosplay anything). So, I guess I should start off by explaining what cosplay is to the Average Joe.
Cosplaying is a combination of the words:
Costume + Play
It was initially a fad of people dressing up at fan conventions making or finding costumes of their favorite cartoon, anime, or live action media heroes. It has now EXPLODED into a hobby that spans all walks of life and genres. There are cosplay models and cosplay guilds for just about everything!
For Star Wars fans there is The 501st Legion! For you guys who loved G.I. Joe there is The Finest. It's a hobby I've been embracing for WA-AAAY to long. In fact, a old friend of mine (Sean McGrath) and I went as Genma Saotome and Kuno Tatewaki along time ago for a convention known as A-Kon back in the 90s a whole lot of fun and I highly recommmend it to any convention goer!
...BUT what costumes can a BIG guy comfortably and without too much shame do? There are obviously the guilds above that one can join (a big jedi isn't unusual after all). There are those who do say, Cosplay what you want! Still there are people like me who want to make it look good if not passable--besides doing Peter from Family Guy or Homer from The Simpsons.
So, if like me, you have a fear than there just isn't any good "Big Guy" Cosplay available, think again!
Nothing says fun photo op time like being a Disney Cosplay character, but most of the heroes and heroines are usually physically perfect. Thankfully, Disney has been really, REALLY supportive in giving air time to strong & big supporting characters. So, if you have the time and tailoring skills here are some great ideas:
The Pub Thugs from Tangled
Oaken (the Shop Owner) from Frozen
King Fergus or Young McGuffin from Brave
Fairy Gary and Clank from Disney's Fairies
Baymax from Big Hero 6
Yao or Chien Po from Mulan
If Disney takes the skinny and svelte direction far then Anime takes it to a whole new extreme. You are never, ever going to find a main character in anime who is going to fit the big parameter. Yet, when most people think of cosplay for a convention, this is what they are thinking of--and quite honestly, you've got your work cut out for you! However, hope is not lost--here is a collection of anime characters who fit the bill that you may have forgotten!
Jet Black from Cowboy Beebop
Batou from Ghost in the Shell
Choji Akimichi from Naruto
Genma Saotome from Ranma 1/2
Honda from the Street Fighter series
almost ANY character in armor, such as Guts from Berserk
Comic Book Characters:
You'd think this would be a tough one, but there are actually some pretty good characters out there to fill this bucket up!
Micro sidekick from The Punisher
Kingpin from Daredevil
The Blob from the Marvel universe
Penguin from the DC Universe
The Violator clown from Spawn
The Juggernaut from the Marvel Universe
Hellboy from, well, Hellboy
Movie and Live-Action:
So, now we come to where the rubber (not the latex) really does meet the road, are there any characters to do from Live Action things such as television or movies? ;Of course there are!
Scotty in Star Trek
Jayne from Firefly
Morpheus from The Matrix
Lister from Red Dwarf
Tommy Boy from Animal House
Jake Blues from the Blues Brothers
The Dude or Walter from The Big Lebowski
..and the list goes on!
So whatever you choose from whatever genre you see please enjoy yourself, have fun, and ham it up!
Embrace the Nerdy Side!