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@goddessradiance (Atlanta, GA)

(photo: @I_love_cosplay)

The response was amazing! Young and old recognized me. Truly. Sometimes I had younger people asking for photos to send to their parents. Sometimes they just told me they watched the movie and it terrified them. My generation or older told me how much the movie affected them and their fears. Birds are apparently very terrifying. Stand out moments: Multiple times on Sunday (the second day I wore the cosplay), I had people chase me down and tell me how thankful they were that I wore the cosplay for a second day. They saw me but couldn’t get to me to take a photo. Then they would ask for a photo.

My grandmother was a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie and really shared her love of them with me. When it came to deciding to cosplay the Birds, it was because I feel like it’s such an iconic, recognizable movie that I have personally never seen anyone cosplay. Plus, it’s just a really fun, silly sort of horror movie that truly terrified a lot of people.

Once I decided I wanted to cosplay the character, I spent several months looking in thrift stores for a green dress that would work. That was honestly the hardest part. No one really wears that 1940’s to 1970’s green anymore, lol. Finally I managed to find the jacket, skirt combo that I did and bought it without even trying it on. I think I paid under $10 for it. Thankfully once I got it home, it fit perfectly! Then, it sat in my closet for several months. Finally, about a week before Dragoncon last year (2022), I decided to finally make the cosplay happen. I bought some black birds from Amazon and used acrylic paint for the “blood” stains. It all came together better than I thought it would. I think there’s a video of me from that con out there.

I have always loved the concept of being a different person/living a different life. I started reading fiction, especially sci-fi at around 5-6 years old. I was obsessed with Halloween. Then played table top role playing games before they were cool. I truly wish I had learned about cosplay earlier than I did because it speaks to every part of me. Creativity, being someone else, design, creation, sleeping me to be social without having to be myself, etc.

I truly love every aspect of cosplay. The creativity, I have designed and sewn/created my own cosplays. The power, I feel powerful being able to own a part of myself that “normal” everyday people don’t see in me but it’s a huge part of my personality. I think it’s so freeing and rewarding and inclusive. I have been to clubs, events, locations, etc that I haven’t felt comfortable at. I have always felt comfortable at a con. It’s somewhere that I feel like I can be myself, even if it’s my tired, I’m basically at the end of the con myself, there is no judgement. After a lifetime of judgement, I love that and feel safe.

I have shared my love of cosplay and conventions with my kids. I love that they feel the same sense of safety that I do at conventions. I also love that it’s something we share with each other. Even if we wouldn’t normally watch/enjoy the same fandoms, I think going to cosplay conventions has shown my kids that I am open to any fandom they might have. Thankfully, they have introduced me to some really amazing ones because they know for a fact that I won’t judge them on what fandoms/anime/cosplay they enjoy. I think cosplay has helped me be closer to my kids and for that, I will be eternally grateful

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