Until last year’s Wizard World Chicago, I had never really had any interest in cosplaying. The idea of dressing up and having people ask you for pictures all day wasn’t really appealing; after all, there are c-list celebrities to gawk at. Worse yet, what if I spent the time and money on a costume and it was so awful no one would know who I was supposed to be dressed as? I’d noticed that there were a lot of people in costumes that were either fantastic or, to be polite, NOT fantastic. While I wanted so badly to judge them, I just couldn’t; they were passionate about something and were trying to show the world. I felt like I needed to look at things through their eyes for a change, so I decided that C2E2 2013 was going to be my cosplay debut and I would see what life was like as a costumed player. But like any sassy young lady, I looked in the mirror and wondered… ‘what to wear’? I wanted something geeky, TV or movie related and unique. Some girls might be fine dressing as Harley Quinn, or guys wanting to dress as Spidey still knowing that there will be dozens of others dressed the same way, but that’s not me. As a huge Firefly fan, I thought that something from that fandom would be something fun to do, and decided on dressing as an Alliance EMT from the Ariel episode. That was geeky enough where fans would know it, but obscure enough where I didn’t think anyone else would be wearing the same thing. After amassing the required supplies, I ended up with a finished near-screen-accurate costume. It wasn’t too shabby if you ask me.
The day of the con had come, and after having my friend Shaun join me in a matching costume, we head to the back of the queue to get in. It isn’t long before we see a guy across the room dressed like Malcolm Reynolds who gives us an excited smile and an approving nod. Over the course of the day, there were lots of people who recognized the costume and asked for pictures, and some who had no idea who we were supposed to be, but still asked us for pics because they appreciated the effort we put in to out costumes. While that was exciting, the comments we got from the hardcore fans were the best; things like “where can I get a costume like that” to “that is so perfect” were heard more than once. A knight from the Medieval Times booth had one of my favorite comments; while still in character he asked – “How fares life in the Core planets, space travelers? I hear Ariel is beautiful this time of year.” While that was near perfect, a simple two-word acknowledgement made everything worth it, when a guy smiled at us and simply said “keep flying”, the motto of Browncoats the world round.
I now feel a bit of a connection to the guy dressed like the Ninth Doctor, or the girl wearing a Dark Phoenix costume or one of the Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion. I flaunted what I loved for the whole world to see. I let my geek flag fly high and proud, and it might have been the most fun I have ever had at a con. For 98% of the people who cosplay, it isn’t about showing off your sewing skills or trying to get attention from strangers, It‘s showing those strangers that you are passionate about something, and hopefully they can appreciate it. If not, so what? You keep on doing what any passionate fan does: you keep flying.