Dare to be: Different

Ever since I started the blog for this assignment I have been having some interesting conversations with females over the last week. One thing stands out – as teenage girls we struggled. We struggled to find our identity. We struggled to find our voice, our power and our position in society as we get told by mass media and the world around us about how we should be. The biggest struggle we had as teenagers was being different. Being different made you stand out – and not always in a good way. Though, as the technological revolution blossoms and social media takes over it is becoming more and more obvious that we are no longer slaves to the media of the past and, as I mentioned in my previous post, we can change how we and the teens view ourselves – it starts with what we choose to read, view, listen to and take part in….

And one way to stand out and be yourself is my love for Cosplay.

“What’s cosplay?” you ask.

For those not familair with Cosplay  it stands for “costume play”. It’s a type of performance art where participants dress and act to represent a specific character.

My first experience with Cosplay was when I stumbled into Harajuku in Tokyo at 10am on a Sunday morning. It was the most mind-boggling, overwhelming and refreshing thing I had seen a group of people do. They were all creative, out there, crazy, in your face, “I don’t care about what anyone else thinks! I’m going to do whatever I want!” kind of atmosphere and I loved it!

(Upload.wikimedia.org, 2015)

(Deviance.iheartsociology.com, 2015)

(Tokyofashion.com, 2015)

The beauty of cosplay is that it isn’t just about shopping. It’s a craft. It takes time. It takes dedication, perseverance and skill. It’s one of those worlds that if you choose to dive in it there is no going back.

One of my personal inspirations for cosplay is this guy. He’s a mad cosplay freak and I have watched his progression with life as a cosplayer with glee. Especially when he isn’t scared to dress up and write blog entries on gender and genderbending and how dressing up as a girl in a cosplay convention can get you a LOT of unwanted attention. Let’s be honest, how many men would be game enough to do this?!?! I salute you, sir!

Classic Leia

(Madartlab.com, 2015)

Cosplay is growing around the world and in Australia. As a resident of Brisbane for the last 4 years I have noticed more pop culture and cosplay events occurring in and around the city.

SupaNova, OzComicCon, the EBgames Expo and the AMC Expo attracts cosplayers like this…

(Photobucket, 2015)

(S-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com, 2015)

They dress up as magicians, warriors, elves, vampires, trekkies, time travellers and mystical creatures and most of all, they have a hell of a lot of fun being diffferent.

(Reeljungle.com, 2015)

(Fc00.deviantart.net, 2015)

The SyFy channel now has 2 seasons running of the Heroes of Cosplay. And you thought this was just a passing phase? Hell naw! Costume it up, peeps!

(Topfamousquotes.com, 2015)

What a lot of people think is that this is all just about getting dressed up. What a lot of people don’t understand is that almost all of this is handmade. Think about how much time, skill and effort all this would have taken. Teenagers who are immersed in this world learn an abundance lessons that they can take away with them to their adult lives. Most importantly cosplay respects skill more than anything else. Yes, it looks good, but the reason it looks good is because someone worked damned hard to put all of that together and this should be respected.

Don’t get me wrong – there is awful cosplay out there. Let’s remember that the world of gaming is dominated by men. So, of course, you will get cosplay like…

I’m not sure the defense forces would find this adheres to Workplace, Health and Safety regulations… (S-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com, 2015)

You gonna fight dressed like THAT? (Snappypixels.com, 2015)

The really awesome thing about cosplay is that you don’t have to stick to the anime/manga/gaming genre. There is also…

Steam Punk Cosplay (Imgfave-herokuapp-com.global.ssl.fastly.net, 2015)

Game of Thrones (Winteriscoming.net, 2015)

Gothic Cosplay (S-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com, 2015)

And just when you thought you’ve seen it all I give you one of my favorites “Dystopian Diesel Punk”.

(Optimalhumanmodulation.files.wordpress.com, 2015)

But let’s not forget the real reason I love cosplay. It’s because for those who don’t quite fit in, for those nerds that have strange obsessions, for those people that have skills they want to develop, for those teens that dare to be different – live long and prosper!

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One comment

  1. madelinosullivan · October 14, 2015

    Ah cosplay! Such an interesting sub-culture with so many fascinating looks and references! What I love about cos-play and how you say it allows us to be different is exactly that. Particularly for youths who find it difficult to fit in. I think that new media and all of the new digital technologies really allow cos play to thrive. Youths who maybe in the past struggled to find where they fit in can jump online and find that community that resonates with them. They can interact and engage with likeminded people and are allowed to be themselves. They aren’t judged but are in fact applauded for their craft and skill by people who have similar interests. I think you have made some key points here and this topic really reflects the community, participatory and interactive nature of youths, pop culture and digital technologies 🙂

    Like

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