This is ONE Esports’ fifth article in an exclusive interview series with Shunsuke. Read about his origin story, how his dad reacted to his cosplay career, how he became a master of self-photography, and his process in choosing which character to cosplay.

Tier One Entertainment talent Shunsuke blends many crafts together. He’s not just a professional cospalyer, but also a model, artist, and self-taught photographer.

Behind the flawless images and glamorous photoshoots, Shun, as well as fellow Tier One cosplayers Hakken and Knite, admitted that they’ve all faced self-image struggles on their journey during a livestream in March earlier this year.

Putting himself in the spotlight, Shunsuke’s image is literally everything to his career. It was heartbreaking when he lost one million followers on TikTok and Instagram due to alleged reports on his sexuality. He had no choice but to rebuild his brand all over again on Instagram with a new handle–which now boasts 91,100 followers–while continuing to promote his work on Twitter.

In this exclusive ONE Esports interview, Shunsuke opens up about his attitude towards cosplay, his mindset when it comes to his body image, as well as how he manages his own mental health.

How Shunsuke builds a positive body image by cultivating inner strength

Shunsuke's cosplay of Howl Jenkins Pendragon from Howl's Moving Castle
Credit: Shunsuke, ONE Esports

During the livestream, fans asked the Tier One cosplays about the biggest obstacle they’ve had to overcome so far. For Shunsuke, it was his self-image and self-confidence.

“The thing is, with cosplay, you constantly see yourself on photos and videos… you’re trying to look like a drawing or a 3D character which usually [have] very unrealistic beauty standards,” he said on stream.

He admits that while he hasn’t fully overcome this obstacle, he has learned to feel a lot more comfortable with himself by letting go of these impossible expectations. Instead of “feeling sad” about the way he looks, he practices self-acceptance, seeing himself as a “unique and beautiful” individual.

“What will make me happy is not looking beautiful or looking perfect, but it’s the people I’m surrounded by,” he shared. “So I put more of my mental energy into the people I love rather than the way I look.”

Since he is a professional model and cosplayer, he still does his best to work out to maintain his body image. Admitting he’s a “lazy person”, it actually takes a lot for Shunsuke to get up and workout, which he’s able to maintain for a couple of months.

Last year, he focused on building deep muscle to develop strength. This year, he’s more focused on burning fat through cardio. Above all else, he watches his diet, since it also contributes to the health of his skin.

Shunsuke's genderblend cosplay of Britney Spears in Toxic
Credit: Shunsuke

When he was 15 years old, he tried out a lot of K-beauty products and cosmetics, but has since stopped. “My skin is best when I don’t put cosmetics on, so now I try to take care of my skin from within: the food I eat, that I drink enough water,” said Shun. “I try to avoid milk products and avoid sugar because that makes me dull and makes my skin texture go bad.”

On top of keeping his body in good shape, Shunsuke is also all about wearing the “right outfit” paired with the “right accessory”, which has helped him feel much more confident about himself.

Inspired by manga author Ai Yazawa’s work “Nana” and fashion brand Vivienne Westwood, which are all about rocking modern punk, Shun draws from their style when he puts outfits together.

“Something I really like about Vivienne Westwood is that it’s a very eco-friendly brand, and its founder supports the left, so I feel like I’m supporting a good brand when I buy from her,” he said.

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READ MORE: Shunsuke’s origin story — from studying business and finance to cosplay king