Wednesday, June 22, 2022

For the Love of Cosplay

Mario at Dallas Fan Expo 2022

I was privileged to attend Dallas Fan Expo last week with a few of my friends. I’m a little short on cash (thanks to repaying student loans) so my celebrity meet-and-greet budget was basically nothing. That’s okay though, because my favorite part of a Con isn’t the celebrities (though I loved the Michael Rooker and Ming Na Wen panels). Rather, my favorite part of any convention is the cosplayers.

Back in high school and my early college days, I thought I had to be too cool for dressing up. Dressing up was for little kids in elementary school. Just like trick-or-treating and Disney cartoons. To be a grownup and to be mature meant putting away childish things like costumes (see my previous post about Digimon Kizuna). Thankfully, in the years that followed, I matured properly; I stopped trying to be grown up for other people. and started being myself. So Halloween 2012, my best friend and I did our first team cosplay for a ward activity. We showed up as Mario and Luigi and I was hooked on cosplay.

Halloween 2012: Super Mario Bros

Cosplay is more than just dressing up for me. I’ve never felt like a particularly creative person, but when I get into cosplay, it flows. I can see the colors and the parts. I can see which substitutes are appropriate or not. It gives me a chance to express myself in a way that reaches deep down into the characters I’ve loved over the years. Spending an afternoon dressed as Mario, Newt, or Russell gives me a chance to honor and experience these characters and stories that have shaped who I am today. For a moment, I get to play dress up again and join the carefree world of a child. I see my daughter playing and enjoying whatever world she’s created. When I put on my costumes, I can enjoy a little piece of that childlike spirit that I’ve lost over the years.

If you’re interested in cosplaying, just try it out. If you need help, I’ve included some tips on doing budget cosplays.

Check out some of my favorite cosplays from Dallas Fan Expo 2022:

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