Cosplay Confession Series #1: Swimsuits and Showing any Skin

Haven’t updated in forever, but now I hope to keep up with this site with a new series I’d like to call “Cosplay Confessions.”

So a lot of times I’m asked the question, “How do you stay so confident?” There are a lot of things I can say in response. I can say how I have amazing friends, a wonderful partner, family, followers, and all sorts of people supporting me. I can go into how I’ve heard negative comments before cosplay, growing up as a black, plus sized geek, and how I added to the quote, unquote “weirdness” by coming out. But instead, I want to do something different.

I’m going to admit to some things.

The truth of the matter is that confidence isn’t a constant. We all can, and do, have bad days. Everyone has moments of insecurity, and I think it’s important to be honest about that. This is because I feel like people sometimes look at me and feel hopeless. They applaud my confidence, but then they look at themselves and feel like they’re doing something wrong because they haven’t felt that good about themselves. So, I’m here to tell you, that there are still things that get to me. I’m still bothered by things, still insecure at times, and have those moments of wanting to hide who I am. I want to tell you this because I think it’s important to show that I’m human, just like you, and I’m not on top of my game all the time. No one is, and that’s normal, and I hope by revealing my insecurities you’ll realize that you’re not alone in this.

So, here’s my first confession:

Cosplay Confession: Swimsuits and showing any skin


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[A Hunters Side Story] Katalynne’s First Day

Now that the first book in our Hunters series, “Seeking the Storyteller,” is out, we’ve decided to write little side stories to go with the book(s).

Summary:  When Randall Fagan walked into that coffee shop, Katalynne Cove already assumed the worst.  However, that worst was far more interesting than her current nine-to-five lifestyle, so she decided to take a chance.  After all, how bad could hunting be?

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Cosplay is for Every Body Support List

This is not the end all, be all list of supporters, since it’s growing all the time, so if you know someone who should be on this list or you yourself want to be included, please let me know (for example, I live in Minnesota, so there’s a high possibility that I missed any groups that center around a particular state)

These are people I either watch or know personally, or who I have seen speak out about cosplay being something that should include everyone, period. This list features a wide variety of individuals who have been supportive in the community 🙂

Brichibi Cosplays (me)

KuramaBabe Kirkland

Akiko Kawaii 

Sweets4aSweet Cosplay

Teh Princess Cosplay

Knightmage

Twin Fools and his Youtube channel

Lonstermash

Jay Justice

Silver Star Cosplay

Dragonmaster Blaine

Raquel Cosplay

Pozer Ninja Cosplay 

Parle Productions

Essie Cosplay (writer for Geek Eccentric)

Strange Land Costuming (made my very first cosplay)

Verssen Werks

Dizzylizzy Costuming

Alanaleilani

Maki Roll’s Chop Shop (author of the article, “I’m a Black Cosplayer and I’m just as Good as Other Cosplayers) https://www.facebook.com/makilovesunicorns

Princess Mentality Cosplay (author of the article, “I’m a Black Female Cosplayer and Some People Hate It)

Misa on Wheels

Daikon Cosplay

Infinite Sky Cosplay

Chocolate Covered Cosplay

Midnight Pursona (and the piece that was written)

 

Facebook Groups to Watch

The Royal Sisterhood

Plus Sized Cosplay (Only Sizes 14+)

Plus Sized Cosplayers in the USA

Minnesota Cosplayers

Plus Sized Cosplay Appreciation

Cosplay Worldwide

Geek Eccentric

Cosplayers Against Bullying

Just Love; Cosplay

Liquor, Games, and Fuckin’ Video Games (has a Curvy Wednesday):

Cosplay: It Unites Us

Be The Minority

The Curvy Geek

Cosplay is NOT Consent

 

Tumblr Groups to Watch

Fuck Yeah Fat Positive

Chubby Bunnies

Body Positive Cosplay Appreciation

Fuck Yeah Fat Cosplay

Cosplaying While Black

Cosfluff 101

Cross-Race Cosplay

Sassy Chubbies

Cosplaying While Trans

 

Magazines

Curvy Cosplay Magazine (coming soon in print!)

Love Cosplay Magazine

 

Non-Cosplay Support

The Big Girl Blog: Tales of a Plus Sized Princess in New York City

Chunky Girl Comics

Tess Munster

Plus Size Modeling

Geek Slink (bellydancing)

Scoundrelle’s Keep (clothing)

It Gets Better Project

Erin Lane

 

Articles to Read

It Happened to Me: I’m a Plus-Size Cosplayer

I’m a Black Cosplayer and I’m Just as Good as Other Cosplayers

I’m a Black Female Cosplayer and Some People Hate It

I’m Demanding Better Representation for Black Girl Nerds in Geek Culture

Dear Insecure/Unsure Cosplayer

 

Videos to Watch

Even Kids think Everyone Should Cosplay

 

Throwback Thursday: Everyone Starts Somewhere

So there I was, surfing the internet, when I found a page that was using a rather old cosplay picture of my friends and I as their header.  And when I say old, I mean old.  2004 old, in fact.  Wow, have I really been cosplaying for that long?

I think, if you cosplay, you should definitely take a moment to look back at your first cosplay.  It’s a great reminder to see how far you’ve come.  Cosplay is always about having fun emulating the character of your choice, but it’s also a great way to see how you’ve changed and improved over time.  I think people don’t realize that, when it comes to cosplay, everyone starts somewhere.  Cosplay is a learning process and, over time, you learn different tricks and your skills improve.  You become better at your craft as you do it more often.

For those of you who are just now getting into cosplay, I know it can feel intimidating going to a convention and seeing all of the “omg amazing” cosplayers out there.  But the honest truth is that they all started somewhere.  They all were, once upon a time, right where you are now.  And here’s some photo evidence to prove it:

This was my first cosplay with my two friends, back at the first Anime Detour in 2004:

first cosplay

This is us doing Yu Yu Hakusho cosplay and my friend in the middle made the cosplay for me.  This was the start of my cosplay journey.

This picture has special meaning to me when I stop and think about it.  I first discovered cosplay at Anime Central back in 2002.  I was really interested in doing it but quickly discovered how there are so few characters who look like me.  Today, of course, I know that you can (and should) cosplay who you want, but back then I thought I needed to find that plus sized, black, female character.

Later, I discovered Yu Yu Hakusho and I fell in love with the series and with Kurama.  The Hiei cosplay in the picture said she would make me the costume to match her.  I remember putting the costume on in the bathroom and being nervous to walk out as this character who wasn’t black, who was skinny, and who was male (I even tried binding my chest which became a lost cause, back then I didn’t really know any good methods of doing so). Thanks to my friend’s encouragement (and my partner’s encouragement, who was cosplaying Gaara from Naruto), I walked out that door and never looked back.

We met the other Kurama cosplayer in the picture later during the convention.  We ended up hanging out and becoming friends (we’re all still friends now).  She ended up giving me some pretty hilarious, but solid advice, that I ended up sticking to for the rest of my cosplay days:

Be the best, big breasted, black Yoko Kurama that you can be.

There aren’t a lot of characters who I look like, but that’s not what matters.  What matters is that I love the characters I cosplay, and it’s up to me to do the best I can in being that character.  Instead of focusing on what I’m not, I needed to focus on what I was and embrace it.  Cosplay isn’t about meeting requirements, but sharing your love for a certain character, doing your best, and having fun.

That’s why looking back at your first cosplay is so important.  It’s your first step into this world.  When I first looked at this picture I thought, “Oh.  My.  God.”  But when I stopped to think about it I realized, wow, I’ve come a long way haven’t I?  And so have my friends, we all have.  This picture is proof of progress and growth.  I’ve gone from one costume a year and one or two cons a year to several costumes and conventions all over the place.  I really was the best, big breasted, black Yoko Kurama, and that keeps improving over time.

Here is a testament to what I’ve been saying: everyone starts somewhere, and after ten years, here is where my friends and I are now:

My latest cosplay: Neo Queen Serenity

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My friends (the Hiei and human Kurama) cosplaying with two of their friends.  You can find more work via Strange Land Costuming:

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The human Kurama cosplayer is on the left while the Hiei cosplayer is on the right.  Look how much has changed!

So please, always remember, that every cosplayer starts somewhere.

 

Extra Note:  I’m not sure who did the art in my feature image, but it’s a picture I’ve seen all over the place online.  If anyone knows who the artist is, please let me know!

That one time I cosplayed from one of my wifey’s favorite anime series

So recently my wonderful wifey finished my Neo Queen Serenity cosplay.  Usually, the process for me getting costumes done is me swooning over a character and me asking her to make it.  After seeing the amazing fanart of asieybarbie, I immediately wanted to do Neo Queen Serenity, so I did my normal, “Please make this for me,” and she smiled and said yes.  But this costume has special meaning.  Sailor Moon is one of her favorite anime series, so she really wanted to make the dress.  That’s not to say I don’t enjoy Sailor Moon, because I do, but this is her childhood series, that anime series you watch with wide eyes because it’s all still so new to you.  And that’s also, not to say, that she didn’t want to make my other costumes, but this one holds a lot of significance.  It’s special, really, not just because I wanted to wear it, but because she really wanted to make it for me and see it brought to life.

So I feel like, for the first time, I’m bringing a character to life for her, not just for myself, and it makes me feel beautiful  🙂  And I had one of those moments when a person looks at you and really sees the character, not you in costume, and it was amazing.

So, Moon Prism Power  ❤

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A Farewell Post to an Ugly Soul

So the news came in today that Fred Phelps is dead.  I was wondering how I would feel about this.  Would I cheer from the rooftops?  Would I hug my partner?  Or would I be one of those people who suggest picketing his funeral (which, as wrong as his beliefs were, that’s not something I want to suggest doing.  I don’t want to do the same thing he did to so many but, at the same time, I can understand why there are people who want to — certainly the families of people he’s picketed are ready to march to his grave with signs of “Good Riddance,” and I don’t blame them for feeling that way.  No one does.  Your feelings are your own).

Surprisingly, I feel pretty calm about it, and I think it’s because I imagine that, in the afterlife, this hateful man is going to have the sheer pleasure of realizing how wrong he was.  I do believe in a higher power, and I can just see that higher power looking at this man and telling him that his hateful beliefs have been ridiculous and wrong over all of these years. He’s been spending so much time hating people over such trivial things, and now his life is over and he’s wasted so much time being bitter and ugly. Now he’s going to spend eternity watching from wherever he is as the world grows more accepting and pretty much crapping all over his “teachings.”  It’s a slow process, but it’s making progress.  More places are becoming more accepting and now this terrible man has a front row seat to equality and can’t do anything about it.

Well done, Fred Phelps, all you’ve done with your hate is make us stronger. 

Now I’m not saying that there won’t be imitators.  What I am saying is that we’ve become much stronger over time after dealing with this man and the Westboro Baptist Church. Now we have our own organizations and leaders who fight for us.  During his time alive, spreading this hate, we’ve become stronger and we’re still here.  We made it through his awfulness and are going to continue to spread our message of love and acceptance.

So, to you, Fred Phelps, I say goodbye.  Enjoy watching us from wherever your soul ends up because things are just going to get better from here.