First name and last initial: Madeline P
Where are you from: Delaware
How long have you been cosplaying: 4 years
Characters cosplayed: School version Sailor Moon, Queen of Hearts, Fionna, Eugeal (A Death Buster) villain from Sailor Moon, an evil elf
Website: Trill la Trill Cosplay
1. Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
I was inspired to cosplay from my first introduction into cosplay at Otakon. I had been into anime ever since I watched Sailor Moon on Toonami as a young girl. I was also president of the anime club in my High school. I never knew about cosplay or conventions prior to my friend inviting me to one as a present for her graduation from college. I was twenty-one when I attended my first convention and I was overwhelmed to find that so many people, especially older people, were just as passionate about anime, comics and cosplay. I have always liked dressing up, but what inspires me is the people who don’t cosplay original characters, but put their own creative twists on their outfits, to make it uniquely theirs. I also enjoy seeing gender-bent or universe crossover and combo outfits as well.
2. What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?
I am an artist, so I paint and draw and have had several tables at cons and other art events where I sell my work or exhibit it. I also do spoken word poetry at events as well as sing. Currently I am delving back into martial arts, which I took as a child and I also enjoy belly dance as well. Sometimes I give art, belly dance and self-defense lessons to the community. I love attending cultural festivals, and I also enjoy learning and teaching different languages. I am very involved with church activities. When I have more time to spare I do enjoy filming, acting and editing short videos for my youtube channel. In the meantime I am currently working on my own chapter book and comic books that I aspire to publish.
3. What costumes have provided the biggest challenges and rewards so far and why?
I find that most cosplay outfits are not plus-size friendly. I also find that many outfits made for female heroes are more revealing than I am comfortable wearing. Since I buy accessories and clothes and do not make them to custom fit my body, I am always looking for bigger sized clothes as well as puffy skirts. I always make sure to wear the most comfortable clothes and I rarely wear heels because walking around in cons is too painful to bear. The biggest reward of cosplay is being asked to have my picture taken. It makes you feel proud that others recognize the beauty of an outfit that you spent time and money putting together. I feel special and celebrated and I also like being someone to look up to for young girls of color as well.
4. What is the best advice you would give a POC (Person of color) person new to cosplaying?
I would let a POC know that they don’t need to worry about being alone. I have attended plenty of cons where I saw numerous people of color present and cosplaying. I often think to myself, that if every POC who desired to cosplay came and did it, how many there would be then. It saddens me that some are so afraid of rejection, isolation or harassment that they don’t do it. I have yet to encounter that myself, but I have heard of those who have. Anyway, it’s important not to solely focus on what negative things could happen, but to look forward to all the positive things that can happen!
5. What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
I really think the cosplay community needs to chill out. I have witnessed some nasty internet battles and seen people fight over the silliest things. I don’t understand why a community that has a history of being bullied, would then bully others for lack of accurate costuming or body type differences. The nerd community gets enough bullying from the outside, cons and nerd events ought to be safe havens. It takes a lot of courage for some cosplayers to be in the spotlight in a social arena and have their costumes judged. I hope that as the cosplay community increases and it becomes more main stream that we don’t lose sight of the purpose. Too many people are entering into the spaces and making it more of a beauty contest rather than a skills contest.