Sci-Fi Weekender 8; or How I Popped My Cosplay Cherry
Wales is responsible for many things; dragons, leeks, rain and Torchwood to name but four. Now another auspicious event is added to that number, for at Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, North Wales, I popped my cos-playing cherry and created not one, but TWO costumes to be worn over the weekend (okay, it’s Thursday to Sunday, but that’s close enough).
As you can see, they are both really simple, and in fact the Willow costume is only the jumper as I could neither afford nor find the rest of it. However, I did make that jumper – no I didn’t knit it, I bought it and sourced the applique/patches/daisies (thanks Emma for saving the costume when I was notified that it would take TWO MONTHS to ship my original daisy order), sewed them on with my fair little hands, and I also made the FBI badge inserting my own headshot in place of The Divine™ Ms Gillian Anderson.
Willow and Scully, two iconic redheads whom I adore with a passion verging on unnecessary; who else was I going to be?
Well, two seconds of wandering around the site (which was huge and had many, many activities and items on which to squander my groats) I realised that I am a hopeless, bumbling, pathetic amateur meandering in awestruck wonder through the realms of Cosplay Royalty. What was created and worn by my fellow attendees was incredible!
And yet, I did not feel jealous or inadequate…
Seriously, have a look at some of these:
L-R: (1) Lucien, librarian to Lord Morpheus (2) Kaecillius, foe of Dr Strange (3) Double Willow!
L-R: (1) Cyberman & Dr No 12 (yes, I include the War Doctor) (2) a Dalek, (3) No idea but I like it.
The Group Costumes were awesome too. Cyberman, in case you hadn’t read the previous caption.
L-R: (1) Lady Sybil Vimes (2) No idea, which is embarrassing as that is my friend Philippa in the costume (3) Boba Fett
There were so very many more, all just as good.
But the best thing? Not at any time did I feel judged, or belittled, or unworthy, because my costume did not measure up. Instead, the only feeling was joy in sharing a love for all things geek, especially the women, because we are still very much under-represented in all aspects of geek culture, either sexed up for the gaze of the hetero-male viewer, or seen as an add-on, or not a ‘real geek’. It’s a thing, trust me. Or don’t, have a google, I would suggest you start with ‘Gamergate’ and move on from there…
Even the wonderful Big Bang Theory only goes so far in including women in the geekfest; the women do not want to go to Comic Con (really? WHAT’S WRONG WITH THEM?!) and whilst I applaud the fabulous representation of women in STEM careers that BBT encourages, it is very frustrating that geek culture is still very much predominantly white, male and straight.
When I try to buy graphic novels, I am still hard-pressed to find a female-led or even female-participant product, and this was reflected at the SFW convention in the panel for comic artists. Authors are more likely to be female.
That is a criticism of geek culture as a whole, and certainly not of the SFW experience. It was inclusive and very supportive at all turns, even with the children wandering around during the day in all the cutest costumes – I especially loved the family groups in which it was clear the costumes were built around what their children loved (baby Ewok and mini-glittery Wonder Woman, I’m looking at you!).
So, I popped my Cosplay cherry and as I thought might happen, I now want more.
What to do next, I ponder… Any other famous geek gingers I can imitate?