Reflecting Back : Moving On and Moving Out

I said I’d be getting more personal with this blog, which may be a good or bad thing, I’m not sure, but I love writing and I’m doing this for me more than for my cosplay related stuff and to promote myself. I said in an earlier post that I keep journals regularly and I stumbled across an old entry dated March 2014, and realized that this week marks my 2nd year living here in Albany, NY.  It has honestly FLOWN by, I can’t believe I’ve lived upstate for two years. For those of you who don’t know, my “Just a Girl from Brooklyn” is more than a Captain America reference, I was born and raised there and have lived there for most of my life (barring my time in Orlando where I worked in the Disney College Program, but that’s a blog for another time, kids). What caused this spark and change in me to leave my childhood home? Well, I think all of that’s kind of way too personal for this blog, but let’s just say I had a need to get out of the city for my mental piece of mind.

Moving out of the city was honestly the best thing I’ve ever done.

People poke fun at me when I tell them I’m originally from Brooklyn, with the jabs ranging from “Ew, why?” to “Don’t you miss real pizza?” (The answer to the latter is YES, and is honestly the only thing besides family that I miss on a daily basis, but I digress.) But, I honestly love it here. People here don’t (usually) scare me, it’s much cleaner and actually affordable. But living at home until I got married just wasn’t for me. I knew I couldn’t do the long distance thing, from prior experience, it may work for others but it’s simply not for me. And when I first visited Albany and got to know what it was like in my boyfriend’s neck of the woods, I knew this is where I wanted to be. Chris and I discussed it and we thought, financially and all, that it wouldn’t make sense for us to have two separate apartments, and thought we could definitely make living together work.

The catch, and the thing that shocked most of my Brooklyn friends and family members, was at the time I’d moved up here, we were only together for 4 months at the time. Yes, it definitely widened some eyes, and perhaps 4 months is a bit too soon to move in with a significant other, but it just made the most logical and financial sense for both of us. I won’t lie: it was the furthest thing from easy. Coming to a place where I didn’t know ANYONE except those people I was introduced to by my boyfriend and his family (who, by the way, massive credit to them, because without them I wouldn’t have lasted two seconds without friends or a car)  was jarring in a sense. It hit me way later that I really didn’t have much of a life. I secured one job for myself, and at first, held a total of 3 jobs when I first came here, because I was really adamant about not receiving help from family, who at first, were not too happy about my choice to move in with someone who was kind of a stranger to them. And I don’t blame them for that in the slightest. It was pretty sudden of a move to them, but they did support the decision since they knew I would achieve the piece of mind I needed.

I would be lying if I said it was easy for me. It was a hard decision to make. But I knew I didn’t want to be that kid who relied on their parents for everything and I knew the only way I could figure out who I was as a person was to get out there on my own and experience new things. Don’t get me wrong, I love Brooklyn. I love my friends I have there but it just wasn’t enough for me to stay there. I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford my own place and the job market out there was just really unwelcoming. Hard times financially took a toll and it was a hard rut to get out of. Add that on top of first apartment shopping, moving in with a significant other and getting used to living with a BOY…all huge changes.

A friend of mine recently brought up my move and asked how I did it…and the answer is, I’m really not sure. I don’t know how I managed to even survive. But I did, and I keep on surviving! When I look back to where I was when I started out here, and how my life is today, I’m honestly really proud of myself. Even with my anxiety issues I was able to push through and make this all work. Of course I had some help, but I’m so proud of the fact that I did something for myself. I spent so much of my life trying to please others and it was such an eye opening experience realizing that not EVERYTHING I do needs to be done with others in mind. I knew I was done driving myself crazy just so other people could have peace of mind. I deserved piece of mind and I’m honestly so lucky I got it.

Moral of the story kiddos: Change can be scary, but ultimately necessary in order to grow as a person. Even though I’ve made mistakes, I’m so glad I have support and that I live in a place where I can be free of the negativity of the past. I was given the opportunity to start over fresh and create the life I wanted for myself and I can honestly say I live a much happier life. Do YOU and make sure you’re living the life you want to be.

 

 

Undies Updates: Week of 3/13

I’ve decided it might be cool to update this weekly with kind of a recap of what I’ve been up to! I love journaling and keep my personal journal pretty up to date but I feel like I should open up more to my followers because a) it seems like there’s so many more of you now and b) I’m open about everything else, so why not? Besides, I really feel like I need to show you guys a side of me that’s more than just various costumes. I want you to be able to know the girl inside of them a little better.

Okay! So since Katsucon I feel like I’ve been moving non-stop in terms of costuming and conventions. Genericon totally creeped up on me…I really thought that I’d have such a huge gap after Katsu to prepare for it but I really underestimated how quickly it would come around. With the urging of two of my best friends in the cosplay scene locally, Jaye Cosplay and Comatose Cosplay, I entered a skit for Genericon, which yes, marked my first time competing in a skit category. I’ve done a few walk-ons at smaller contests but I’ve never really cared about competing. I don’t really like to sew and while I continue to build my craft, I’m more about giving panels, portraying characters and enjoying the big picture than getting caught up in the competitive side of cosplay. (And I mean, let’s be real, isn’t there enough competitiveness in the cosplay world?) But it seemed like competing in skit was all the fun parts about competing without any of the bullshit, so I was glad to do it, especially alongside two great cosplay pals. We didn’t win but I really felt as if people enjoyed our skit– lots of laughs and it was a ton of fun to do. If you want to watch it, you can click here and do that! I also acted as a human prop in my Fairy Godmother for Miss Ellie F Cosplay, one of my favorite cosplayers and people in general, who won first prize in the Youth Category for skit! Yay! I was also able to give two amazing panels and I had a great time giving both.

After Genericon was this weekend’s event, Syracuse PowerCon, where I was a cosplay guest and media guest with my people at Brotherhood of Evil Geeks. We had a blast there too. It’s been like, forever, since I’ve had to give a lecture/panel by myself so I was having a minor panic attack about it, but surprisingly, it went super smoothly! There should be video footage of it soon so I won’t spoil too much, but there were some adorable kiddos present who really made my day!

Personally, things have been looking up! I’ve got a pretty full schedule for conventions this year and I’m just counting my blessings. It’s kind of crazy that people want me at their events, and I feel like I’m actually making a difference in this community! It’s a great feeling to have. I’m working so hard to bring you guys content in terms of this site, my page, modeling and great panels. On top of that, I’m working on my education and hope that my GRE (Graduate Admissions Test) goes well and I can return to school in the fall! Fingers, toes, and other appendages crossed.

That’s it for this week! Hope you guys enjoyed this teensy glimpse into my life! Can’t wait for you guys to see what I’ve got coming up in terms of cosplay. <3

Convention Announcements for 2016 & What I Learned in 2015

I’m really excited to share with you all my list of conventions and guest appearances for this year. I really am blessed in the fact that many of these cons are farther away than I normally venture, which means new opportunities to foster new connections and relationships, both business and personal.

I won’t lie, but 2015 was a hard year for me, mentally, emotionally, physically, it took a toll on me. Many people I trusted and loved in this community let me down, they cast me aside, used me and tried to make me shut down. I was devastated with the way I was treated by some people I really thought were my closest friends, and I went through a month or so wondering who exactly I could trust. Nobody tells you how difficult it can be to be in the public eye sometimes. I don’t mean to make myself sound more important than I am, really, that’s not what I’m saying here. I try and see the best in people and I will literally stand by them till the bitter end. But once I’m disrespected– that all can change. In a way, everything worked out for the best. I’m much happier now and I’m glad I have these opportunities to step away from the toxicity of some of the people in my local area and start a bit fresh. A few friends that I actually feel that I can trust and I are working to make this community better; so we’ve formed a legion called CosUNITY, where we will be promoting positivity and working towards a better experience for all.

So here I am, pushing onward, for some odd and strange reason. I don’t know how I do it sometimes. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be able to do it without many of your support. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

I can’t wait for all of these events and I’m hoping to meet a ton of you at them. 🙂.

Book Review: Felicia Day’s “You’re Never Weird on The Internet (Almost)”

The year was 2010 and I stood in a line queue at New York Comic Con. I fidgeted with my fuzzy bear cap and anxiously danced in place as the front of the line grew nearer and nearer. Back then, Artist Alley and the Celebrity Autograph area were one in the same, and since the crowds were nowhere near as insane as they are today, it was MUCH easier to meet celebrities back then. When I saw that Felicia Day would be signing and doing photo ops, I knew I had to meet her. Unfortunately I was a college freshman, and the, gasp, 20 dollars to take a photo was way out of my price range, especially on Sunday of NYCC. As I got to the front of the line, I remember approaching the table which was up on a small platform. “Hey! I’m Felicia, It’s so nice to meet you! What’s your name?” “Uh…Amanda.” “Well, hi Amanda!” “I’m really poor and I don’t have money to take a picture with you or get an autograph, but I just really wanted to tell you that I love The Guild and I loved you on Buffy and you’re pretty much the reason I even came on Sunday.” I blurted out in a weird run-on-sentence way. “I’m sorry I don’t have any money.” I said, looking down and away from her. “No, no, don’t be sorry! I’m so glad you came by to talk to me. That’s pretty much the sweetest thing that anyone’s done for me all day.”  I tried to make small talk through my starstruck stupor. “Did–did you get to see any of the convention today?” “No, I wish, I’ve kind of been stuck at this table all day. But I hope you’re having a great time and you enjoy the last day.” “I won’t keep you any longer, I know you’re probably busy…” “No, It’s really no problem.” Felicia stands up and shakes my hand with both hands, firmly and with a smile upon her face. “It was really nice to meet you, Amanda.”

Would you believe it was THIS encounter that lead me to eventually start up this blog? I mean, if you’re reading this and know ANYTHING about Felicia Day, you know she kind of pioneered the Internet in terms of webseries and general nerdery, you know, before Comic Con was mainstream. But, yeah, I’d be lying if I said that this toe to toe encounter with one of my Buffy/nerd faves didn’t shape me in some way. All the awkwardness and conversation above is 100% true, and yes, Felicia Day is definitely that nice. She seems like someone you could be friends with in real life.

Which is exactly the way she comes across in her book, a New York Times Bestseller, “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)”. My fellow geeks will definitely appreciate this book. It definitely doesn’t pull any punches in terms of the extreme awkwardness of our youth. For example, she explains in extreme detail the first encounter she had IRL with her roleplaying buddies, which was a scene that was all too familiar to someone like me, who spent time on countless forums rather than interacting with kids in my own school, who just didn’t understand my weird hobbies.

I really enjoyed learning more about her early life as well. She really paints a picture of what it was like to grow up in a small town in the South, being home schooled and thriving on the Internet between study sessions, as well as the blessing/curse of being ‘gifted for your age’. Did you know she went to college at age 16? And that she was a violinist? Crazy.

Most celebrity memoirs gloss over the hardships of getting where they are today, but not this one. Felicia’s foray into acting was anything but glamorous, and gives us a realistic image of what it’s like to break into the industry. (She tells a heartbreaking story about a jerk acting teacher who basically belittles her talent and picks on her for absolutely no reason at all. Booooo.) It definitely isn’t all sunshine and rainbows in Hollywood.

Bottom line, I would recommend this book to anyone who’s ever had a problem fitting in or who’s got at least one awkward bone in their body. Through her writing, Felicia Day makes you feel like she’s in your corner. She’s funny, smart as hell, and definitely gifted in all that she does…and an interesting person to boot. This book would be an awesome stocking stuffer for the Fangirl or Geek Guy in your life.

And I’ll never forget how she inspired me that day, just by being nice. So thank you, Felicia Day, for being generally awesome..

Amazonian Musings : September Suicide Awareness

As we’re approaching the two year anniversary of my blog (I know, crazy, right?) I’ve resolved to get back into the habit of actually maintaining this thing. I do, after all, pay for the website, and I feel like it could be used way more often. And one thing I’m resolving to do on here is to get a bit more personal. [Potential Trigger Warnings]

If you’re active on any social media site, you’ve probably seen a post or two about September being Suicide Awareness month. I felt like I should do something for it, and what better to do than to share a personal experience? I’m kind of nervous to write this out, I’m shaking a bit as I type. I get a ton of messages every day from people saying things about how I’ve inspired them in one way or another…through cosplay, through promoting positive body image…but this is a topic I haven’t touched on yet, or even spoken about publicly. I do keep a private journal, because in this age of hustle and bustle and social media, it’s rare that many of us new-age writers have anything personal to call our own. We post online where we receive comments and instant feedback on everything we publish. Having something like a private journal is nice because you don’t need to stress about post reach or feedback. It’s, well, private. But in the interest of helping others, I’ve decided to share this with you guys, whoever you may be. Not for comments, or likes, but because if I help ONE person by sharing this experience, I feel my job has been done.

I never really talk about it openly, but this year I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It didn’t come as a shock to me, since I’ve been struggling with it for nearly my entire life up to this point — alone, and without therapy or medication. I can’t pinpoint where it all began, but I can tell you it’s been a source of many other problems in my life. Depression/Anxiety is something like my ongoing antagonist. It’s destroyed friendships, my GPA, some job opportunities — the list can go on and on. I always thought it was just me. I was lazy, un-motivated and a failure. Years later, I can now understand that it wasn’t me. It was this stupid final boss I needed to conquer. And this year, I finally took steps to help myself get better.

Did I finally slay the final boss? I’d be lying if I said I did. That the mean old monster was vanquished, I cleared the last level and the final credits rolled. I’m a long way off from that. But hey– I’m not doing so bad thus far. I have a pretty awesome track record for surviving — I’ll be leveling up to 24 in a day or so.

It sounds cheesy, but it DOES get better. Whenever I see a story on the news about a teenager or child being bullied to death, I feel personally affected. That’s just my way. I’m sensitive and empathetic, sue me. I was bullied A LOT growing up for one reason or another. It’s so crazy to think that I get messages of support daily, have nearly 5,000 followers on my Facebook page alone who see me as some sort of body positive pioneer. If you’d told me back in elementary school that people would literally stop me in the mall or at conventions for photos and thank me profusely for helping them through a hard time, I’d probably blink at you all confused-like and walk away. I really can’t wrap my head around it, even today. But it’s not about that. You don’t need 5,000 people to tell you you’re awesome. If you’re reading this, you’re awesome. YOU ARE AWESOME. Unless you’ve committed serial murders or bludgeoned a baby or something…in which case you should probably stop reading my blog and go turn yourself in?

We may not be able to defeat the final boss alone, but we can do it together. Your party is always stronger when you’ve got different weapons equipped and different skill levels. Reach out to a friend in real life or a friend on the Internet. Reach out to ME, if you need to. You’re never alone.

I’d like to close with some inspirational words from one of my favorite Disney attractions, ‘The Carousel of Progress’. I hope they resound with you the way they do for me.

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day. There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away!.

The Cosplay Issues Nobody Wants to Talk About

Hi y’all! I know it’s been a few days since I posted, and I’m sorry about that, I’ve just been working non-stop on a billion and one different projects, so trust me, I’ve got a good reason and it’s allllll worth it!

Recently on my Facebook page, I posted a rant at midnight about how I think that cosplay is so much more than making money. Some people took this in the wrong way, saying I was throwing stones at glass houses, since I make money off of certain things, like prints and appearances from time to time. (I spend and lose waaaayyyy more money than I make, though, I’m no fancy cosfamous person.) Let me clarify for you all: I am NOT, nor will I ever, judge cosplayers for making money off their craft. I think it’s a beautiful and admirable thing, and admire anyone who can make money off of something as awesome as cosplay. Rather, I’m trying to say that MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING.

I recently unfollowed a cosplayer on Facebook because she kept ranting about how she wanted to be more famous, and was basically resorting to all kinds of desperate measures to get there. It’s stuff like that that really makes me miss the old days of cosplay.

As far as the cosplay vets that have been doing this since the early to mid 90’s, and even further back from that, they obviously have more to say about the olden days of cosplay, but even as someone who’s been going to cons since ’07-08 and cosplaying since ’09 or so, I can see a huge difference in the cosplay community. So many people, myself included, get caught up in the “cosplay branding” thing.  Making a Facebook page, securing a cool cosplay alias, etc. These are all things that are fairly new to the community. Now, once again, before some people attack me for ‘shaming’ people with pages– I’m definitely not trying to say there’s anything wrong with building a name for yourself…I’m just simply saying I miss the good old days. I did everything for the fun of it. I didn’t care what people thought of the quality and craftsmanship of my work. I didn’t use the internet to promote my cosplays, I didn’t even have a Facebook page for them back then. I don’t even have photos of my earlier costumes. People would stop you at a convention and geek out with you. There were no barriers within the community. Everyone just simply co-existed and it was wonderful and beautiful.

There are obviously still reasons to get yourself involved with cosplay, and it’s still an enjoyable hobby for me, of course, since I still do it…but a part of me deep down inside wonders what it would be like if I didn’t have my cosplay page. If I still did what I did purely for fun and didn’t have to worry about the social media aspect of it.

In regards to Gofundme pages, while I do agree some people misuse them and overdo the crowd sourcing from time to time, I don’t personally care what anyone does. If I don’t like a campaign, I’ll ignore it. Far be it from me to prevent someone from giving their own money to a cause they find worthy.

In short, do not concern yourself with the opinions of others. If you feel you’re a good person and make good choices for YOURSELF, that’s all that matters. There will always be naysayers and someone who will take offense to something you do. The more followers/the more you put yourself out there, the more this will happen. Just try and be the best person you can possibly be, and spread the positivity throughout the community!.

Talk Nerdy To Me: Days 3&4 of the 30 Day Book Challenge

I would go through and explain why I’m doing this again, but chances are, you’ve read my other posts if you’re bothering to come back here and check on my blog. So without further ado I’ll start Days 3 and 4 as I don’t have that much time to write today!

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I didn’t feel too badly about missing a day for posting because Days 3 and 4 kind of go together anyway. Day 3 asks for your favorite series, and Day 4 expands upon that asking your favorite book of the series.

This to me is a complete no brainer…I would have to say the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. I know that’s kind of a cop out and the “basic bitch” answer. I could’ve picked something worse, I guess. But yeah. I first picked up a Harry Potter book at age 8, and by then, books 1-3 were already out. I powered through them like nobody’s business and loved every moment of them. I remember having to wait for my copy of Goblet of Fire to arrive at my house, since we pre-ordered it on Amazon. My mother had read the books as well, so it was so cool that I had someone to geek out with about the wizarding world. I’ve been through so much with this series, seriously. It followed me from my childhood to my adult years. I cried when Dumbledore died and threw the book at my bedroom wall, leaving a mark that’s still there today. I’ve laughed with these characters and cried and mourned with them as well. I could literally go on forever, but I would bore you all.

My favorite book in this series…that’s a loaded question. I would have to say it’s a tie between “Chamber of Secrets”, because to me that’s the most captivating (aside from ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ which started it all) or “Goblet of Fire” because that’s when shit got real!

I apologize for this sloppy blog entry, but I’m literally rushing to write this as I am headed to NYC for a comedy show tonight and to prepare for FCBD tomorrow! I promise my next challenge days will not be as horribly written!.

Talk Nerdy To Me: Day 2 of the 30 Day Book Challenge!

 

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Click to enlarge + get a clearer view of the challenge!

Hi friends, as I said in yesterday’s “Book Challenge” post, I’ve been thinking of ways to make this blog a lot more personal, so you guys can get to know me a bit better, and one of my biggest loves are books! Today I’ll be doing Day 2 of the Book Challenge, and the prompt is “A Book You’ve Read More Than 3 Times”. 

A book I always find myself super gravitated to is ‘The Princess Bride’ and the abridged version by William Goldman (which I think is the only version in English? Maybe?) . The first time I read this book, it was actually assigned summer reading in high school. I remember rolling my eyes and thinking I wouldn’t like this book, but instead, read it all in one day while lounging on the beach at the Jersey Shore. Despite there being a movie I can rewatch, I always find myself re-reading the book, and while the movie is great I much prefer the book. While a lot of the ‘abridged’ bits get written into the movie as conversation between the grandfather and grandson, I really enjoy it a lot in the context of the book because it makes me feel like the story is being read to me, despite the fact I’m reading it by myself. I hope that doesn’t make me sound weird.

My copy of the Princess Bride resides in my parents house, and I seriously need to grab that sucker next time I visit because I’m dying to re-read it again, despite having a few books on my shelf that I am meaning to finish. The copy has breaks in the spine and creases on the pages and I love the book that much more because of it. Next time I read it, I might even be a monster and annotate quotes and things I really love. To some, that might be blasphemous because they love to keep their books in immaculate condition, but for me, a sign of wear and tear just means the book was EXTRA loved!

The saddest thing I remember about reading The Princess Bride the first time was when it ended.  My copy had a few pages of ‘Buttercup’s Baby’, which is the sequel to The Princess Bride, and I remember getting super excited about the thing, only to later research it and find out that it never came to be in a fully translated version because Goldman couldn’t get the rights to it.

This book is literally perfect in every single way, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it, especially if you’re a lover of the movie, or love high fantasy and silliness.

More tomorrow from this lovely challenge!

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Talk Nerdy To Me: Day 1 of the 30 Day Book Challenge!

Hello lovely people of the internet! In an attempt to try and have this blog be more personal, I’ve decided to undergo some challenges in order to help you guys get to know me better. For those of you who don’t know me on a personal level, I really love to read, which is probably the reason comics and manga appeal to me so greatly. Rather than talk about comics, I’ve decided to go the route of straight up literature and talk my favorite books by doing one of those neat challenge thingies. So, without further ado, here’s the 30 day book challenge I found online. I’m attaching the image so you guys can play along too, if you’d like.

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Click to enlarge + view image more clearly!

So Day 1’s prompt is “Best Book You Read Last Year”, which is aughhhhhh so hard, because I read so many books at such an alarming pace when I have the chance to. But I’ll have to say it’s a tie between ‘Dark Places’ and ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. I won’t spoil the plots for either, but both were crazy thrillers I just could NOT put down. It’s been a long time since I powered through a book like that, but I just had to know what was going to happen next in both of the books. I will say that the endings to both books also infuriated me in different ways. Neither really left me with a satisfied feeling, but rather with a little twinge in my gut, still hungry for more of the story. It’s a bit unsettling, but hey, that’s how a thriller is supposed to be, right? In short, Gillian Flynn is literally a fantastic author, and I really want to read ‘Sharp Objects’ soon.

Have any of you read either of the books? We should have a discussion! Write to me in the comments or message me on my page so we can have a book talk.

Sorry this blurb was so short, I didn’t want to spoil two (sort of) mainstream popular books for anyone. More tomorrow!.

Things Nobody Tells You About Being A Cosplayer : A N00b’s Guide to the Cosplay Lifestyle

For us seasoned veterans, some of these things may seem like no brainers, but for those who are new to cosplaying or are strangers to the hobby, some of these things may come as a surprise. Since my family and friends ask me a ton of questions about my hobby, I thought an article of this nature would be helpful to explain certain aspects of cosplay, and that others could share this with others and a ton of people could benefit from it! How many things surprised you, my non-cosplaying friends? How many things on this list have you been asked by “muggles”, my cosplay pals?

Cosplay Can Be Expensive!

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Many people unfamilar with cosplay don’t realize how much money goes into these costumes. I know I have to budget in order to be able to afford big projects I am working on. A lot of family or friends outside of the cosplay world who I’ve spoken to about my costumes are frankly shocked that you can’t just buy some things, and you have to make them with expensive supplies.

No, We Cannot/Will Not Make You a Free Costume for Halloween…

While I’m flattered that people think I’m good enough at my costuming that I can pump out creations all the time, that is definitely NOT the case. I don’t even really sew, exceptions being small hand-stitches here and there. As I said in the previous point, so much time and money goes into making these costumes, and taking on commissions for free is just simply not an option. And no, you also cannot borrow any of my cosplays to go get drunk in on Halloween. I am not a costume rental shop!

Cosplaying at Conventions Can Be Physically and Emotionally Draining…

We all love the attention we receive as cosplayers at conventions, and while we love posing for photos and stopping to talk about our costume, sometimes it can be exhausting. Although I’m a social person, I need to step out of cons and take a breather sometimes because it can all get really overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times I just feel like I’m about to die because my plastic boned corset is attacking my ribcage, but I’m smiling like a champ through photos and conversations. Every cosplayer has had that frustrating moment where they’ve just sat down to eat their first meal of the day, or to rest their blistered feet, and is approached with a sheepish smile and asked for a photo. We feel like assholes saying no, so we’ll stand up and take a photo, but secretly, we want to murder you slowly.

It’s Not Adult Dress-Up or Some Sexy Kink Thing…I Promise.

Photo by Imodelzone Magazine
Photo by Imodelzone Magazine

I don’t know why people think it’s a dirty thing, I literally for the life of me do not understand how I get this question more than every other question. Cosplay is anything but that. I promise you, I’m not a secret porn star. And it’s so much more than just playing dress up. Many cosplayers do charity events in costumes. They  treat it as art, and it’s borderline offensive to refer to it as “goofing around in costume.” Even if we do goof around in costume!

Not Every Cosplayer Enters Competitions…

I’ve never entered a serious competition in my life. For me, it would take some of the joy I find in costuming out of it. I get anxious when I feel like I’m being judged, which you LITERALLY are judged in costume contests. A lot of people who assume every cosplayer competes have become acquainted with the popular SyFy show ‘Heroes of Cosplay’, which has largely brought cosplay to the mainstream world. However, competitive cosplay is just one small faction of the entire community.

Cosplayers Are Everywhere!

Us cosplayers attend conventions all over the place. Some cosplayers can taut themselves as “International Cosplayers” because they’ve been to cons in Canada, Puerto Rico, and even Mexico! There are tons of cons, not just ‘Comic Con’ in San Diego and ‘New York Comic Con’ in Manhattan. Cons come in all shapes and sizes!

Some People Can Even Make a Living By Cosplaying…

From Yaya Han’s Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/yayacosplay

Yep, you read that right, newbs. Some people even make money off the hobby. Some talented seamstresses and propmakers run shops where they take commissions from cosplayers from all over the place. Yaya Han, one of the most notable cosplayers, has her own shop where she sells everything from cute wings, to wigs, to costuming materials such as Worbla, a thermoplastic. Other cosplayers get paid to appear at certain booths at conventions, or to speak at different events. Still think it’s adult dress up? Didn’t think so.

Cosplay is For Everyone!

 harleylaydown

Sadly, this is something that sometimes we need to explain to both cosplayers and non-cosplayers alike. It’s not a hobby purely for “hot models” or “people who fit the characters”. It’s for everyone. Everyone reserves the right to re-imagine characters they love into a form that makes them feel comfortable. Screen accuracy is cool and all, but that’s not the main objective. The most important thing is having fun! And literally anyone at any time could take up the hobby. Your skill grows as you keep doing it. So why not? Come join the dark side!

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