Why I Didn’t Cosplay (But Now I Do)

Last year, on this blog, I wrote the most personal blog post I’ve ever written called “Why I Don’t Cosplay.” In it I opened up about my fears about cosplaying as a plus sized girl. It was a hard post to write because normally I’m extremely confident. I have a very strong “you don’t like me? That’s fine!” kind of attitude. Except when it came to cosplaying.

Yet, the response to the blog post was resounding and supportive. I found out that I wasn’t alone in my fears and I wasn’t alone in being a plus-sized cosplayer. One of the comments led me to two very inspiring tumblrs: f*** yeah fat cosplay and fat positive cosplay (which has sadly shut down). Between your comments and those tumblrs; I finally ventured into cosplay.

There’s still folks who post comments even a year and a half later, so I thought it was time to write a follow up.

Tabz as the TARDIS at ComicCon 2013

After writing that blog post, I attended ComicCon in San Diego (2012). For the first time I dressed up. I did a very simple Apple Jack (from My Little Pony) and my friend agreed to be Twilight Sparkle. The experience was amazing. People called out at us from across the con floor (hey Apple Jack! Hi Twilight!). People asked us to stop for photos. No one mocked us. It was a fantastic feeling.

I took cosplay easy. I didn’t go for the high-detailed designed cosplays. I mostly put things together from clothing items you could buy. I didn’t get thousands of people asking for my picture like some of the scantily clad girls, but I got enough to feel good about what I was doing. Having my friend dress up with me gave me extra confidence (hey at least we’ll look dumb together if nothing else) and it’s a moment we could both share. I found myself wanting to take more pictures of myself as well, something I normally never do at conventions. It was a success.

This year at ComicCon my best friend and I did three cosplays. One of them is pictured above, I did a TARDIS dress. This year we leveled up a bit and had some professional hair and makeup help. I cobbled my outfit together from online and handmade pieces. The makeup artist was so into it that she looked up Gallifreyan and wrote “Tabz and Kim are Cool” on my face.

Again, it was extremely positive experience. At one point a girl came over to both of us nearly hyperventilating because she loved our costumes. When I showed her that my hat lit up and made the TARDIS sound she said, “you can’t do that to me!” She then asked, shyly for a photo. It’s the closest I can get to being a rockstar.

Our two other cosplays didn’t get as widely recognized, but we had a blast anyways because we were dressed as characters we loved.

So, if you were like me and feeling self-conscious about your size. Just do it. Don’t rob yourself of a really fun fan experience.

And if some jerk makes fun of you try and ignore them. The rewards for making your own cosplay and having a blast with it are way more than some negative person can understand.

12 comments

  1. [...] Follow up post about this is here. 45 comments cosplay, cosplaying, fandom, plus size, Tabitha Grace [...]

  2. nuchtchas says:

    I love how you’ve jumped feet first into cosplay. Cosplay is so much fun, it dials a con up to 11 IMO. There is something exhilarating about your costume being recognized. I love how you cosplayed you, you were creative and didn’t try to copy exactly what was on screen. That’s my favorite way to Cosplay.

  3. [...] Why I Didn’t Cosplay (But Now I Do) | Doctor Her: Successfully overcoming plus-sized cosplay fears. [...]

  4. Jesselyn says:

    For anyone afraid to take the step – it’s totally worth it. I still get posted on /cgl as ‘fat Yoko’ and guess what? I don’t give a flying f***, because I had a blast doing that cosplay AND got plenty of compliments on it to boot! Ignore the haters, they are far outweighed by the people who will appreciate your costuming efforts!

  5. Alan Bell says:

    love the hat, and wearable electronics are always cool. The thing about the Tardis is that the phrase that is utterly inseparable from the word Tardis is “it is bigger on the inside” which is a brilliant televisual gag that hasn’t lost its charm in 50 years. “is it bigger on the inside?” is the obvious instinctive question to ask about any Tardis, however in the context of a dress, this suddenly takes on a second meaning which is entirely not cool. I was caught out myself, first time I saw a Tardis dress. I asked the obvious question, then realised what I had said and was very embarrassed about the whole thing – especially as I realised in horror that *everyone* was constantly asking that same single question. Not sure I have a deep and meaningful point here, and I don’t want to put anyone off doing a Tardis dress, I guess just be prepared for folk being a bit thoughtless, they are not necessarily trying to be cruel.
    Cosplay is cool, and size is irrelevant, it is a demonstration of your own costuming skills and an homage to the character, it doesn’t have to be a replica, twisting things is fun too.

    • I don’t mind the “Is it bigger on the inside?” Mostly because of “The Doctor’s Wife” where she asks if all humans are like this, “bigger on the inside?” :D

      And no one asked me it at ComicCon, but I can see it happening.

  6. ERose says:

    Congrats on the killer costumes!

    I learned a long time ago that the people who really benefit when I limit myself are those who want me limited. Refusing to help them get what they want was one of the most powerful things I ever did.

    You’re out there being awesome and nerdy and brave. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

  7. [...] Labyrinth of Jareth Tabz’ blogs about cosplaying on Doctor Her.  Amazing Cosplay – Weeping Angel. Cosplay.com Doctor Who cosplay LiveJournal Kim’s [...]

  8. VTEC says:

    I can honestly say that I’ve seen worse cosplays than yours. You put time and effort into your costume and that is what counts, whether you carefully choose each piece of clothing or sew it yourself, the more work you do the better it’s going to come out.
    I would have loved to see you at least smile, however. The other half of cosplaying is owning the outfit, rocking it, feeling confident in it and letting that translate to what you do and how you pose. You are who you dress as.
    I picture the TARDIS, personally, as something like the Tinker Bell to the Doctor’s Peter Pan. This is the mischievous machine who stole a Time Lord and ran away, from her perspective. She is sexy, mysterious, playful, caring, curious in both senses of the word and she wants to see the wonders of the universe, everywhere, everywhen! When you are the TARDIS, that is what I’m looking for, that spirit! Go forth and be awesome!

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