Cosplay Culture

Cosplay Culture

Becoming your favorite character can be very satisfying.
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Have you ever wanted to dress up as your favorite superhero or movie character? Have you ever wanted to walk in the shoes of a video game protagonist or a television star? There is a whole subculture you are missing if you want any of this. Costume roleplay, or cosplay, is a huge subculture that I, personally, am a part of. I love the ability to walk in the shoes of characters that I love and enjoy. Cosplayers mainly show off their skills at conventions or cons such as Comic Con or other conventions like Pop Con and Wizard World. All of these conventions draw a slew of cosplayers varying in skill and interests. Many are there to have fun and celebrate the geek culture.

The geek culture is full of dedicated fans who would love to experience the same worlds they crave and love. I personally have been to Indy Comic Con and Indy Pop Con. I loved both and really enjoyed attending. Being surrounded by other "Doctor Who" and "Star Wars" fans was great because you know what they are there for rather than asking everyone in a regular setting "What are your thoughts on Kylo Ren's force abilities?" In that sort of setting you would get some weird looks, but at a Comic Con you know there are people who are into the same geeky stuff. It's a great way to make friends with the wonderful cosplayers who will wow you every time.

Not everyone cosplays. Out of the people who go to these conventions, only about 20% of people cosplay. It's a popular hobby, but it is also not super common either. I myself have cosplayed, and I loved it. I finished my first cosplay over the summer and showed it off at Indy Pop Con. It was a blast. When someone would ask me if they could take a picture with me, it gave me a great feeling inside. They saw what I was dressed as and really appreciated it. It also gave me the feeling of accomplishment and made me feel happy. I loved it. I had cosplayed as a Titanfall Pilot from the first person shooter "Titanfall," which you can see below. I worked on the cosplay for a year, and it cost me a good sum of money. Cosplay is definitely expensive, but if you're interested, I have some tips and suggestions for you.

For your first cosplay, I would recommend something that doesn't require too much armor, such as a Stormtrooper or a COG Soldier from "Gears of War." That will make your first cosplay very difficult and very expensive. Now for my first cosplay, I had a helmet, knee pads, and shoulder pads. The knee and shoulder pads were not expensive at all. They ran me around $30 without the paint and stenciling. Adding that stuff was not hard and not expensive. Now the helmet was a different story. My ability to make a helmet was zero to none, so I had purchased it from an online cosplay store that took a big chunk out of my wallet. The helmet did turn out great and the cosplay came out just the way I wanted.

There are many ways of saving money. The first is going to second-hand stores or thrift shops. They are plentiful of clothing and shoes that are very cheap, so if your cosplay includes a lot of clothing rather than armor, these stores could be very beneficial. The ability to sew or knowing someone who can is very beneficial. You can then craft the article of clothing you wish to wear. Being hands-on is crucial for cosplaying. For my first cosplay, I did not craft many things, which I was okay with, but it caused me to spend so much money. For my next cosplay that I have already started on, I have already crafted the majority of my outfit without purchasing much. This makes me feel better about being a cosplayer because I can say I made this from scratch. This gives me a greater sense of accomplishment.

Cosplay is one of my biggest hobbies, and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Cosplaying at conventions brings out the best in people. When I see some of my favorite characters come to life, I get excited, and I appreciate that person for loving that character so much. It's a great experience, and I can't wait for my next con.
Cover Image Credit: Bryson Hile

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To All The Girls Out There, Everyone Is Responsible For Their Own Happiness

You are not ideal. Nobody is perfect.

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Your body belongs to you, and no one is allowed to violate it without your permission. If a man forces you to have sex when you do not want to, it is rape. If someone hits you, even a slap, it is violence. No matter whether the man is your father, brother, husband, or lover, no one is allowed to invade your body in any way.

Do not let anyone say that you cannot do something just because you are a girl. It is a bit rough to say, but if it doesn't need "that thing" to do, it is not just for men. If you want to study engineering, study engineering. If you want to beat the drum, play the drum. If you want to play soccer, go to the football field. If you want to love a woman, find yourself a girlfriend.

Many people will ask if you have a boyfriend or not and if you don't, they will feel very pity. It is as if women must have a man next to them to fulfill their mission as a woman. That's silly! You are a perfect, individual and independent person. You can choose to have a single life if that suits you. You can choose to love someone because that person makes your life beautiful, not just to show it to someone else.

In many cultures, there may be people who advise you that women have to wait for men to ask them out because men do not love women who are actively chasing after them If you listen to that advice, you might still be single for a long time. Some men like shy women. Some others like women that are strong and energetic. Just be yourself! Follow what you want, and you will meet the man who loves you for who you are. If you pursue someone who doesn't like you just because you're "active," that person doesn't fit into your personality anyway.

Also in some cultures, you will probably meet a man who wants you to stay at home to do the housework. If you want to spend time raising your children, that's a good thing. If you want both spouses to work and share the burden of housework, that is also a good thing. I already met many women pursuing careers, and their husbands help them by staying at home to do the housework, that is no problem at all. A decent man will listen to your wishes and have confidence in himself to overcome social prejudices about the role of the husband. Both can discuss to come up with a decision together. No one can impose you on their 'ideal woman' model. You are not ideal. And nobody is perfect.

I realized that beautiful women have many benefits. You can learn how to do makeup, use your beauty as a weapon to get what you want. But beauty is not your responsibility. As poet Warsan Shire said: "My existence is not about how desirable you find me." So be beautiful, inside and outside.

If you want to have gender equality, you will have to give up the rights that only women can have. You are not entitled to claim that your boyfriend has to pay for your dinner. If both of you have your career and make money, then both of you should pay. You don't have the right to ask your boyfriend to pick you up wherever you go. You have legs so that you can go by yourself. You are not allowed to make your boyfriend wait for you more than an hour just because you don't know and cannot choose any appropriate clothes to wear. No one is allowed to make others wait for them. But if your boyfriend voluntarily does all the things for you without any complain, then congratulations! You are lucky to have both gender equality and a beautiful relationship.

Finally, remember that you can control your life completely, and whether or not you are happy, it depends on you.

Wishing your life will be filled with peace and love.

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