One can watch a show or movie and enjoy it and never have a second thought about it; or spend the rest of their lives obsessed, devoted and embody those fictional stories and personify the characters into reality. The life of a cosplayer is built on passion, sweat, tears, laughs and sometimes blood ( those pesky needles.) Cosplaying is a community, a fandom and a lifestyle. Some more die-hard than others; a global community that comes together to enjoy their passions together across all spectrums.
I’ve been given the pleasure to interview 19-year-old Queen Of Birbs; fellow otaku, a cosplayer and previous attendee of SakuraCon in Seattle, WA. Certified Con Mom, you can generally find her with a first aid kit and snack, her 3DS packed to the brim with her weakness; adorable cell phone charms. At home, her walls are painted in prints. When she gets the chance you can generally catch her taking photos of her orange doge or enjoying one of the greatest android games ever graced to us otakus: Love Live! School Idol Festival.
Queen of Birbs: My best friend, Mischiefstudios (on Tumblr), we’ve been best friends since middle school and I started cosplaying a lot because we would go to conventions together. I hesitated a lot when I first wanted to start cosplaying but with all of his help fabricating wise and the support we both give to each other, I finally started to cosplay more often. We do partner cosplay occasionally too; AKA he’s the greatest best friend some could ask for.
Queen of Birbs: I would have to say finding things that fit me, I’m plus-sized so it can be a bit tough when I’m looking for something specific, and then find it and then realize it’s not even vaguely in my size. Another thing would probably makeup; I didn’t have that whole preteen phase where you get obsessed with makeup so when I started cosplaying a lot more I forcefully taught myself how to do it. Now I spend way too much money on makeup and absolutely love it so it really was for the best!
Queen of Birbs: Just do it! Don’t worry about it being perfect or how much you weigh or if you suck at makeup or anything else. Just have fun and enjoy the moment, we all have to start somewhere so don’t be afraid to have your start!
Queen of Birbs: A tie between my first ever commissioned, Mercy and my first ever handmade one that I was really proud of, Punk Sailor Moon. I love them both so much and I honestly never want to take them off when the convention is over. Even though I didn’t have my glasses on for both of them and had to hot glue Mercy’s halo to my head. I’m blind as a bat without my glasses but I never cosplay anyone that wears them for some reason?
Queen of Birbs: My first Con ever, we shoved 10 people into a 4 person hotel, ate nothing but top ramen, and had to hide people in the bathroom to get forks from room service. It was absolutely crazy but its one of my favorite memories. I went with a couple of my older friends since I was a freshman in high school at the time and they showed me the what to do and what to avoid. I’ve been hooked on conventions ever since though I wouldn’t dare try to shove 10 people in a hotel room now.
Queen of Birbs: SakuraCon, its local to me and I go every year, I always have a blast no matter what I’m cosplaying. I make new friends every year now too so I always look forward to meeting people and clearing out my bank account from buying merch. I’ve always wanted to go to AnimeExpo, I don’t know if I ever will since I hear the crowds are super big and that’s a bit daunting but hopefully one day I’ll go!
Queen of Birbs: Four years, my first ever cosplay was 2P America from Hetalia, I kept the coat because its super warm but the rest of the cosplay was put to rest. I cringe at the photos looking back but everyone has to start somewhere right?
Queen of Birbs: All the insulting and making fun of people for silly reasons. I don’t care if you commission your outfits, make them yourself or buy pieces of it; everyone deserves to be treated the same and be able to have fun with cosplay! Not everyone can fabricate weapons or sew elaborate costumes, not everyone is super skinny, beefy or tall, not everyone is always the exact race or gender of the character they love. The elitism is so annoying and it totally kills the fun sometimes. Cosplay is for fun, enjoying yourself and getting to be your favorite character for a day and honestly, I think sometimes people need to remember that every now and then.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. The cosplay community is diverse, inclusive and loving but like everywhere there are some bad eggs. What matters is we do our best to be welcoming, judge less on the exterior but more on who the person is behind the cosplay. Cons are our worlds within a world, and inception of interests and stories. Make friends, create memories but most of all have fun.