How I’m learning to love myself through cosplay

Up until my current relationship, I had only an inkling of an idea as to what cosplaying was. I knew that people dressed up for Comic-Con, and I knew that I saw a lot of scantily-clad girls in colorful wigs getting in on the action. But it was never something that I thought that I could do, because, honestly, I hated my body, and I didn’t really feel comfortable dressing like that in public.

It was my boyfriend who suggested that we should try to cosplay. At that time, he was crazy in love with Deadpool. After he found a guy on YouTube who does cosplay videos as Deadpool, I think Jonah was a little bit star-struck. Soon, he wanted to cosplay for the comic expo in our city. He bought himself a spandex suit and wore it everywhere.

Because I could see how happy Jonah was cosplaying, I wanted to try it out, too. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had just come out, and he was adamant that I was the real-life version of Gwen Stacy. After a lot of persuasion, he convinced me to cosplay Gwen. Jonah even went to Wal-Mart with me to get the clothes I needed for it, and helped me look on Etsy for everything else I needed.

Trying on the completed cosplay for the first time was awesome! I couldn’t believe how good it looked, and I genuinely couldn’t wait to show it off at the Expo. It made me feel pretty, and it made me feel like I had talent. Plus, the way it looked on my body made me want to cosplay more.

After the Expo, I realized that I had been bitten by the cosplay bug, even though Jonah didn’t feel the same way about it. I wanted to do more, and so I asked my friends on Facebook what I should cosplay next. I got a lot of positive feedback, which only fueled my desire even more.

One thing that I didn’t really expect was to get as popular as I did on sites like Instagram and deviantArt when I posted my cosplay pictures. People were actually my fans, and people actually thought that I was attractive. Of course, Jonah tells me all the time that I’m attractive, but to have people outside of our relationship think that definitely boosted my confidence.

Another thing that I didn’t expect to happen was that I would feel so hot and empowered by dressing up as a fictional character. I never thought that I could actually feel so sexy and confident. Cosplay served as my new escape into a world where I was someone. It allowed me to shed my own identity and take on a new one. Being that new person made me feel invincible.

Even when I wasn’t a fictional character, I always felt that surge of confidence when I looked at my cosplay pictures. In those pictures, my face looks good, but my body looked better than I had ever thought it did. I have an hour glass shape, so it’s hard for me to fit the standards of beauty and be stick thin. In my cosplay outfits, I could tell my shape was there, and it looked really good. I didn’t feel “fat” like I usually do.

It took some time, but even when I’m not looking at my cosplay pictures, I can look in the mirror now. I can face myself, and I can face how I look. I don’t feel like I’m just some fat, disgusting slob anymore. I feel like I’m an incredibly hot, desirable girl. As much as I would like to preach that you don’t need to be attractive to have self-worth, I’ve always wanted to feel attractive, deep down.

Cosplaying has gotten me to the point where I’m comfortable showing off my body. Instead of hating on my curves, wishing for the straight up and down figure that a lot of “hot” girls have nowadays, I embrace them in skirts and spandex suits. I show my calves (which I used to think were man legs). I show my arms and my thighs. I even wear tight shirts from time to time.

Another thing that has helped me so much from cosplaying is that now, I want to be stylish. I feel like I can rock cute clothes, because my characters rock cute clothes. I don’t want to hide myself in hoodies and jeans anymore, because I’ve more or less fallen in love with my own body because of cosplaying. When I actually take the time to put myself together, I feel that much more confident and good about myself.

Of course, there are haters. There are people who are straight up bullies. For a long time, these bullies kept me from loving my body. They made me not want to work out or eat healthy, because they lowered my self-worth so much. I didn’t think that I deserved to take care of myself. These bullies continue to try to bring me down to this day.

Sometimes, they succeed. Sometimes, I feel so worthless and unattractive that I think of giving up. Honestly, I’ve thought of giving up cosplaying more than once because bullies have told me how sucky I am, or how ugly I am, or how I’m fat, or whatever. Then, I noticed that the only time people told me these things were if they could be anonymous or hide behind a screen.

When they try to get me down, cosplay has made me want to ignore them. Being able to feel good about myself is something that’s really precious to me, because I’ve been battling depression for so long. Cosplay has made me want to power through the bullies and keep on truckin’, because there’s such a fantastic community of cosplayers online and there’s always going to be at least one person who asks you to marry them (with heart-eye emoji’s).