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Babychwan (Anaheim, CA)

I found out about cosplay through my friends when I went to high school. My friends Brittanie and Mat invited me to stay with them at Anime Expo 2006. I had barely watched anime at that time, just whatever popped up on Adult Swim. Needless to say my knowledge was very minimal. Brittanie had already decided to be Freya from Chobits and said I could be Chii. I just went along with it because it seemed fun even though I didn’t know the anime. We got clothes together, but only one set of Chobit ears. We decided to buy them at the con, but with our luck they weren’t selling them. Brittanie was kind though and let me use the ears. 

The experience was amazing. I was asked to take pictures and do poses. I felt completely lost, but beautiful. Even though I had no idea what I was doing, I fell in love with seeing the possibilities of different cosplay all around me. The satisfaction you see in a cosplayer’s face when they show their finished work. I decided I wanted to do this and really try my best.

It’s funny because I’ve been crafting ever since I was little, is what my mom likes to tell me. I was always a new character everyday, though most of my costumes and props were made out of paper. My mom always likes to tell the story of how I would come out with petals around my face and say I was a flower. Then change into a dress and say was someone like Dorothy from Wizard of OZ. Then change again with paper triangles on my forehead and chin saying I was a buffalo. When I do look back to my childhood, I remember that I wanted each day to be an adventure. And I wanted to embody the characters that took part in that adventure. My imagination from my childhood is what helps me today. I believe that any cosplay is possible. Whatever tools are required are just something I need to learn along the way. Hopefully, I can be a jack of all trades one day.

Of course there are things I don’t particularly enjoy. The rude people mainly. I’ve had people say pretty mean things. At one meet-up, a cosplayer said something very rude to me and walk away. The only good part was my cosplay made it hard for me to understand what he was saying. It was something along the lines of, “you think you’re so good”. Whatever it was, since I couldn’t understand him quite, it didn’t put much of a damper on my day. 

I also don’t enjoy when people decide they can touch me. I was in a cosplay that covered everything but my face and yet someone still decided to grab me. A guy and his friends asked me to take a picture with him. He put his arm around me, which I expect when taking pictures in cosplay, but his arm very suddenly went lower. My smile disappeared and told him to please remove his hand. His hand moved up, we took the picture, and I walked away. I understand that people are going look at you. You can’t control that. But when they cross the line of personal boundaries just because I am in cosplay is inexcusable. But still, after dealing with rude people, I still love cosplay. The good people and the self achievement are worth so much more than the distraction of a few ill-behaved individuals.

 A lot of people think that time is the biggest problem with cosplay, but not for me. If I want to make a cosplay, I make the time (many a sleepless night). Difficulties with cosplay and day to day life can filter down to just one thing for me. Money. It takes a good amount of money to make things possible. Even regular arts and crafts supplies can add up very quickly. And if you want to get the specialized materials that can really open doors for your projects, they will make your cosplay bill ridiculous. Hence, my boyfriend, Devin, and I recycle anything that can be used.

Also, you have to plan for more than just your cosplay. Hotel, food, travel, etc. also have to be included in your plans. If money was no object, cosplay and cons would be amazing! But it’s like that with everyone. Hence, I can go only one big time a year.

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