Comic fans headed to Cardiff last week sporting costumes from Iron Man, Batman, Joker, and Superman. What is the culture behind the costumes?
When you’re trying to report on an event, you need to get orientated and who better to ask than an organiser, someone at the information desk or even a security guard. Yes a security guard, I thought as I wandered over to 24-year-old Brittany Morris from north Wales.
She had the hat, the security badge and the smart black tie, she’d be able to point me in the right direction.
“Hey, you’re the guard from Five Nights at Freddy’s,” says a young guy beating me to her.
When you’re attending a Cosplay Convention, nobody comes dressed in their normal clothes, but among the Jokers, Batmans, Joker and Superman. Brittany looks remarkably realistic.
“It is not that just young kids can do this, I reckon anyone can do it. It’s not like that I cannot do this because of my age, my height, my weight or what I look like. If you want to do it, go for it. No one is gonna judge you.” Brittany said.
Thirteen years ago, an American comedy called the Big Bang Theory came out, showing what were the stereotyped science nerds. The Big Bang Theory gang often go to the comic book store and dress up to be their favorite characters. That was what most people thought of cosplay and people who do cosplay. Back to now, people give it new definitions.
For some people, cosplay provides a way of communication with the outside world. “cosplay is related to my confidence. It makes me be able to speak to people,’’ said Zack, who cosplayed as Joker. “When I was the first time in a convention, it was really bad in a big crowd. Now I just don’t care.”
Except for that, according to the research led by a scholar Osmud Rahman, cosplay makes it possible for people to change the identity from a high-school student to a hero, from a woman to a beautiful boy, from an ordinary person to a celebrity with excitement, contentment, escapism, and empowerment. It also offers a comfortable space to express themselves.
As for cosplay, thirteen-year-old Isabella Pitt also had something to say. She said: “I want to give others inspirations that you can be who you want to be, dress what you want to dress. I am wearing a sleeping bag, it is not people usually wear. Now I am wearing this, it can tell others like if she can do that, I can do that.”
Although to most people, cosplay is still considered as a subculture, more and more people start to accept it compared to the past.
Katia was a mother who claimed to know barely anything about cosplay. She said: “I am dressing as Little Red Riding Hood and I always dress up like kids at parties. It is fun, you can be somebody else. It is common for me because my kids like it.”
“Cosplay is used to be regarded as geek culture but it becomes mainstream now.” said 47-year-old Si Allen. His first experience in cosplay was to dress up as a character in Star Wars when he was nine years old and He called himself an expert in cosplay.
Brittany said: “Every community is different. I think we are all accepted of each other within the cosplay community. When you come, you make friends.
“ If you are into it, you into it; if you are not, at least you try it.”
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