I have been cosplaying ever since 2011–almost a decade! Cosplay has helped me not only learn about makeup, but most of all, has introduced me to a welcoming community and many good friends. I realized that I didn’t mention my cosplay history to others and figure it would make a great blog post.
When I was in my early teens, there was an event in Manhattan for the release of a Pokémon game–Diamond and Pearl. I saw someone on a stage, dressed up as one of the characters, Dawn. I was fascinated to see this character come to life. Time passed and I discovered the person was cosplaying. The term ‘cosplay’ stuck in my mind.
I then looked up cosplayers–this was a little bit before costumes were as readily accessible as they were today—and made my own costume when 2011 rolled around. I was Mew Ichigo from Tokyo Mew Mew. The costume itself wasn’t made too well and I lacked the experience (at the time, I wasn’t old enough to work and didn’t have much funds to buy a full on cosplay costume), but I was really happy interacting with others. I felt like I had a sense of belonging, and still do to this day.
My experience in High School was…lackluster, to say the least. I didn’t have too many friends to talk to and was going through a really rough patch at the time. But going to conventions and meeting people with similar interests–and being accepted for my quirky hobbies– helped me warm up to people again. Although I have my own struggles, I am grateful to have supportive family and friends who are still there for me throughout my creative endeavors.
Although the cosplay community has changed a bit over the past decade or so, cosplays are now more accessible than ever, and people can easily connect with one another through social media, staying up to date with the latest happenings for their favorite events. I have learned very basic sewing skills and am now able to make props with a bit of assistance from my Grandpa, who’s one of my closest friends. We even dabbled into making a bit of armor on a few occasions!
One of the favorite characters I’ve ever cosplayed is Sailor Saturn. Sailor Saturn is a super heroine from Sailor Moon. I related to Hotaru, her civilian self, as a teen, and really connected with this character. Hotaru befriends a girl named Chibi Usa in almost every iteration of this series and good friend of mine is cosplaying as Chibi Moon or Chibi Usa with me in the future. I haven’t done a group cosplay before and am really looking forward to it.
I kept most of my convention badges. They’ve piled up as the years progressed and I plan on storing them in a photo book to look back on. Every badge holds special memories, from my first time at Otakon around five years ago in Baltimore, to my more recent introduction to Magfest early this year.
I lost count of the conventions I attended over the years but at this point, I might be considered a convention veteran at this point! I noticed this because I love helping others who are new to conventions. I have a habit of giving friends brief tours of convention centers during their first visit, guiding them, and also helping them prepare for conventions through advice and even hands on help through cosplay prep. I recently helped a friend with her wig and another with spray painting armor for a RWBY cosplay. I genuinely enjoy the opportunities to spend time with friends in this fun hobby. In many of my friend groups, I am known my the nickname and title ‘mom friend.’
Part of the reason why I blog is to give back to the community who helped me get out of my shell and most of all, feel at home. This blog is growing, slowly but steadily and I’ve had folks reach out, telling me that some of my advice posts have helped them out, and I’m so glad to hear this.
Thanks so much for your support!