This year, I made cosplay one of my New Year’s resolutions. I’d been to Dragon Con for the first time the year before, and in my constant battle with social anxiety, I resolved to don the uniform of the con and become someone else. Cosplay is a social thing, at least that’s what it appears to those of us who don’t generally participate. Working on a costume for days, weeks, even months assumes a level of exhibitionism. Someone who has created their perfect look, an amazing transformation, wants to be seen. For those of us who are shy or socially anxious, that’s pretty much the last thing we want.
But I did it anyway.
On the way up the escalator at the Peachtree Center station, a little girl looked at me with wide eyes and pointed. I’m sure the broom is what caught her attention, maybe the goggles, but I just gave her a tiny wave and held my boyfriend’s hand a little tighter. My costume (a Gryffindor seeker from Harry Potter) wasn’t outlandish, it didn’t draw the eye like some, but it still made me feel a little uncomfortable. My fellow Harry Potter fans gave me the thumbs up as I made my way to different panels, though—that helped me settle in.
During my cosplay experience, I watched my fellow con attendees and wondered—what makes them want to put together such amazing costumes? Sam, who decided to be Venom in a skin tight body suit explained it this way: “I cosplay because I love the fun and creativity. I love the freedom to be someone else.”
A gorgeously realistic X-Men Beast said simply that he does it because it’s fun.
I have to say, however, that I think my favorite cosplayer was probably little Cody, our star-studded Captain America who stood big and strong as he used his shield to make his way through the throng outside the Hyatt.