Last week I walked into a seamstress’ shop, pulled out my phone and showed the owner a photo of a glorious costume interpretation that caught my eye months ago. I’d spent hours Googling things like “foam warrior swords” and “metallic corsets,” and looking at bolts of fabric. Now it was time to get down to brass tacks.
Just 15 minutes later I had finally taken my first step into the wonderful world of cosplay.
Cosplay is the most fearless display of fandom I can think of. It represents the best thing about being a geek: Freedom to exhibit sincere, unapologetic enthusiasm. Even in a sea of like-minded people, it takes guts to dress up like Ravager and walk around as if it’s no big deal.
As much as I love observing the costumed members of my tribe, I’ve always shied away from joining them. You’ve got to bring your A-game if you’re going to an event like Dragon*Con, and that requires time, dedication, planning and a not insignificant amount of money. No Party City getups here. Most of all you have to be bold enough to suit up and own the part you’re playing. That’s a bit of a challenge for an introvert like me.
After seeing how much fun V. had cosplaying Black Canary last year, however, I was inspired to get over it and have some fun. While I’m very open about being a fangirl, dressing up is another level of expression that can subject a person to snarky comments about cosplay in general and, more specifically, judgment of his or her body. But life’s too short to give that much power to those who either don’t get it or enjoy picking apart other people’s appearance. At Dragon*Con, there are people of all shapes, sizes and ages in costume, and they look like they’re having the time of their lives. Maybe they’re stuck in business casual drag the rest of the year, but for one weekend, they get to be Hawkgirl or Boba Fett.
About my costume: It had to be something worn by a character that meant something to me, but not too revealing or crazy expensive to make. That’s why this modern interpretation of Nubia was perfect.
So it’s official. Project Nubia is totally on. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be at Dragon*Con 2013 with my silver cape and warrior pose — and I am ridiculously excited about it.