Students express themselves through costume
Published: Sunday, September 1, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2013 22:09
Half the fun of comic conventions is pulling on the costume of a favorite character and becoming someone else for a day. This practice, known as “cosplay” or “costume play” is a favorite hobby of two Texas A&M students and thousands more people across the United States.
Sophomore biomedical science major Agatha Molski said she does cosplay because it’s fun and stems from a love of theater.
“It brings characters to life for me,” Molski said. “Theater also has always been an attractive topic to me. I didn’t get to do it in high school, so this is basically an alternative.”
For freshman biomedical science major Spring Garcia, cosplay is an opportunity for her to open up and express herself around people while making new connections.
“It brings me out of my shell,” Garcia said. “I have fun making new friends and building new relationships through cosplay.”
Molski said a good cosplay isn’t the stereotype of spending money on expensive costumes and entering contests, but instead is one where the wearer loves doing it.
“A good cosplay is one where you’re having fun and enjoying yourself,” Molski said. “This is a fun thing we do and it’s like theater for us. It’s not something extremely competitive.”
Garcia said one common misconception about cosplay is that the outfits have to be spot on accurate, which she said isn’t the case.
“People think you have to be correct, that the outfit has to be correct,” said Garcia. “For me, it’s all about the attitude and about interacting with people who like the same things you do.”
Melissa Galarza, freshman early childhood education major, said the best cosplayers are the ones who keep it in character.
“What makes a good cosplay for me is attitude,” Galarza said. “As long as you’re in character and having fun, it’s a good cosplay.”
Putting together a cosplay doesn’t have to be expensive. Both Molski and Garcia scour thrift shops for parts of their costumes, even hand making certain pieces or commissioning others to make it for them.
“I actually suck at sewing, so I buy a lot of pieces for my costumes online or commission a friend,” said Garcia. “For one of my cosplays, I actually found the pieces for it at a thrift store for $25.”
Both Garcia and Molski cosplay from an anime comic called “Hetalia,” which depicts foreign nations as people, but they also cosplay from other shows and films. One of Molski’s characters is the angel Castiel from the CW show “Supernatural.”
Garcia, in addition to her many “Hetalia” cosplays, also dresses as a character from an anime called “Black Butler,” the popular video game series “Kingdom Hearts” and the web comic “Homestuck.”
“Cosplay is not limited to anime,” Molski said. “It’s really whatever you like.”
Future projects for Molski include more characters from both “Hetalia” and “Supernatural”, as well as Penny from Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” and the wizard Howl from Hayao Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle,” among others.
“There are literally about 20 cosplays that I plan to do in the future,” Molski said. “I feel like this will be something that I’m not getting out of very quickly, like I’m going to be doing this for at least the next four to five years.”
Garcia plans on trying to do Flynn Rider from Disney’s “Tangled,” more characters from “Homestuck,” as well as characters from live-action films such as Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and possibly one of the hobbits from “The Lord of the Rings.”
Garcia said, for those looking to get into cosplay, that a person’s physical appearance should not be a limitation
“Don’t let your weight or your height limit you,” Garcia said. “If you’re having fun, don’t let others get you down because you might not fit their vision of a character. There are no rules, no limits for cosplay.”