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When In Doubt, Dress it out by Juliana Campos【Essay Competition】

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When In Doubt, Dress it out

By Juliana Campos

       From when I was a little kid, growing up in Los Angeles, I have been dressing up in costumes for as long as I could remember. Whether it was my parent’s choosing, dressed as a parrot, a dinosaur, or my own choice, dressed like Yu-Gi-Oh, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Power Rangers, or even, Charmander; I was always into cosplay before I even knew what cosplay what. However, when I was a kid, I truly never really got that many good stories about cosplay, or at that time, “dressing up”. It was more of other kids teasing you about what you wore, whether it was cool by their standards, or just something that no one really knew. Those little dressing up memories growing up were not really the best of times, but they gave for some decent pictures, which held that year 90-00 vibe to every picture taken. During the time of my cosplay ‘glow up’, the Obi-Wan Kenobi was a hit, and by hit, it was something everyone took to poke jokes at. Now, I know what many of you may be thinking. Why make fun of a Jedi? Well, for middle schoolers at that age, decided to call Obi-Wan Kenobi Jesus, would be such a good joke. Despite that, it made for good humor, and an eventual, thick skin. Time skip to now, I may have upgraded my cosplays to better quality. From different fandoms, such as Marvel, Star Wars, to future cosplays, like Wonder Woman to Spider-Man’s homemade suit, all have made me into going from a newbie cosplayer to someone that can enjoy playing “dress up” for the sheer fun of it.

       My far best memories of cosplay are from cosplaying as Rey. I remember that it was a group cosplay with myself as Scavenger Rey, my other friend as Kylo Ren with his cosplay bought from Xcoser, and another as General Hux. While we may have been a little too old to go out to get candy from people, we decided we would walk around Hollywood Blvd. to go see more costumes and be able to mingle around people. It was an experience because not only did people decide to take multiple pictures with us, I got to interact with a mini Scavenger Rey, who was almost around the age of 2. With a big happy smile, walking around with a staff of mine that was almost six times her size, it made me happy knowing that maybe one day, that experience could influence her love for cosplay. Another experience that has been memorable was when Rogue One premiered in theaters, my best friend and I had cosplayed as Poe Dameron and Cassian Andor, to show our love for the Rebel Alliance. In the future, there will be many more plans for cosplays, individually and as a group. For Stan Lee’s Comikaze, there will be plenty of opportunities to display many of the cosplays we have, or many of the cosplays we plan to debut on that week. The biggest cosplay debut I am waiting for is The Last Jedi. When the movie premieres, my group of friends want to cosplay in our respective characters that we love. The love we all share for cosplay and our overall love of all things “nerd” truly plays out and goes hand in hand into our own geek culture. We can go out dressed in our cosplays and instead of being made fun of, people will smile, take pictures with us, and just ask us how we did our cosplays, which is generally what cosplay is about. To help others break out of their shell, embrace what they want to cosplay as without being afraid of what people will think, and to be themselves, because no one should really have to hide behind a shadow.

       In the future, I really would like to cosplay as Wonder Woman. My mother and my father have drilled a love for DC Comics into me at an early age, so Superman and Wonder Woman are always favorites of mine. When Wonder Woman had come out in theaters, I knew right away that I wanted to cosplay as a strong icon for people everywhere, and in a way, dressing up as Wonder Woman would be honoring my mom. She loves Wonder Woman, and is her own Wonder Woman to many of my family. I would also like to cosplay as Thor Ragnarok , since I am really enjoying how his gladiator outfit looks like in the upcoming film. It would be a good cosplay to do with my best friend, who enjoys Thor, and would go well with her Loki cosplay.

       All in all, cosplay has helped me get out of my shell, embrace my nerd culture, and become a part of a much bigger community that also does the same. 

Article by Juliana Campos

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