There’s been a fair amount of folks lately trying to shame “fake nerds”, give newbie nerds a hard time, or make female nerds and cosplayers feel “not nerdy enough”. Nerd fandoms are awesome and cosplay is awesome. Don’t scare people away from learning more about the things you love by being a jerk. Plenty of other people have spoken much more eloquently than I have on the subject, so… let me just tell you how awesome cosplay and cosplayers are.
- I’ve been a girl cosplaying since 2000. I’ve been a nerd, I suppose since I was a kid. I loved video games, anime, comic books, sci-fi and fantasy books and movies, etc, and not just the “girl comics” or the “girl video games”. I’m not the girl with the biggest nerd cred in the world, but I’m pretty darn geeky. I work in animation with lots of other awesome geeks.
- I love cosplay so much I’ve stuck with this expensive and ridiculous hobby for 12 years. Here’s me and one of my best friends as girl versions of Chewbacca and Han Solo. This was before digital cameras, yo. I still have this wig in a bin in my garage, I can’t bare to part with it.
- Cosplay gives me a great creative outlet that isn’t drawing. I get intense satisfaction from trying to figure out how to recreate a favorite costume or character and then actually wearing it. If I want a crazy fancy princess dress covered in rhinestones with a six-foot-wide hoop skirt, then by golly, I can have one. If I want to do a girl version of one of my favorite male characters and cover the costume in sequins and dance to The Temptations on stage, I can.
- Cosplay also gives me an outlet for my fangirly-ness. If I love a show or a design so much, it’s like the love just has to go somewhere.
- I’ve had some of the most amazing memories due to cosplaying. We’ve taken photos in some really awesome places and done some very silly skits and had wonderful times staying up all night sewing together. We cosplayed in a palace in China. We cosplayed in an aquarium!
- I’ve met some of my very best friends through cosplay. Seriously. Who knew girls dressed up like a dwarf, a ringwraith, an elven queen and other crazy things would be calling me and bringing me cake when I’m down 10 years later?
- Cosplay is something I can share with my husband (and in the future, my children.)
The bottom line is that cosplay and other geeky hobbies are supposed to be fun. It takes a lot of time and money and dedication for most people who cosplay. In most cases, those cosplayers are devoting all this energy because they really love the costume or series. So let’s all enjoy our geekiness together and stop with the fellow-nerd-shaming.