Monday, January 7, 2013

Confessions of a Wannabe Cosplayer.

I haven't been in a costume since Halloween my freshman year in college.  That was almost eight years ago now.  Yet every time I see an adult in costume going to a convention- or just a Halloween party- I get rather jealous.  The truth is, if I could dress up every day, I would, and I don't know if I'm just too timidly introverted to go to events that encourage dressing up or if I'm afraid that I'm just not nerdy enough to fit in with the crowd that does attend. I don't mean that as a sleight, either; I envy their enthusiasm and (sometimes) considerable skill.   You see, I don't play video games, and when I look at pictures from, say, DragonCon, I see row after row of characters I don't recognize, and I feel... a bit like a mathematician who has just been shown the numbers π, e, and and declared, "I don't know what those mean" to the bemusement of her peers.

√-1 23 Σ π.
My grandmother made four on Thanksgiving.

Then, there's the Booth Babe vs. Talented Cosplayer issue. I'm not too proud to admit that I would gravitate toward costumes that show off my shape.  In the past I found that being in costume made me feel more confident about my appearance; I actually think that wearing an awesomely fitting costume, no matter your size or shape, can give you a whole new perspective on and appreciation for your body.  Sometimes I worry, though, that because I have no sewing or artistic talent (at least in clothing/armor/accessory design), I'd be more in the position of finding characters with whom I have some features in common/don't think would be difficult to copy and trying to emulate them using off-the-rack items and be considered a "fake."

I was going for Charlie Chaplin-as-a-Blues-Brother. Don't judge me.

I am also aware that a significant portion of cosplaying females wear scraps of regular clothing covering enough not to be arrested.  I don't have a problem with skimpy clothing, if you're not in a school or workplace with a specific dress code and are complying with state laws.  But I wouldn't want to fall into the trap of wearing less with the mindset "I'm trying to attract attention by doing this," because that is simply unfair to those who truly deserve the attention even when they are fully covered up.  Yet I am naturally drawn to outfits I find physically alluring.

So, when I fall head over heels for corsets like this:

then tell myself that I can't wear it in everyday life and probably won't ever attend a party or con to wear it to, I wonder whether I'm being practical... or just letting social anxiety and fear get in the way.

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