Name: My name is JaBarr and I go by the cosplay moniker Barr Foxx.
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? Originally from Dayton, OH, I currently reside in Atlanta, GA where I am lucky enough to be submerged in a large community of cosplayers that inspire and promote “cospositivity”.
How long have you been cosplaying? I have officially been cosplaying for eleven years.
Which characters have you cosplayed? Bishop, Green Lantern, Shaman, Black Cat, Jericho, Static Shock, Blade, Nightwolf, Storm, Bronze Tiger, Raven, Superboy, Gambit, Robin (Beyond), Vibe, Geo Force, Samurai (Superfriends),and Warpath.
What inspired you to start cosplaying? I was inspired to cosplay through pure desire. Being that I have an extreme love for the artistry of costuming, altering my look, and promoting obscure and/or underrated superhero characters, cosplay seemed the most logical path to take to combine all of these desires into one visual art form that is both fun and allows me to push the limits of my creativity. And to be honest, dressing up once a year for Halloween was simply not enough to quench my appetite.
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? When I am not cosplaying, you can find me producing content for television and film, which allows me to use other aspects of my creativity that I sometimes get to use with my cosplay…and vice versa. When not at work, you can find me at the nearest karaoke bar, dance club or Top Golf hanging with friends and family.
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why?
I would have to say that my Bishop (X-Men) and Gambit (X-Men) cosplays have provided amazing rewards for me because my renditions of those characters were featured on Marvel.com, which was the ultimate compliment being that I had not long started my cosplay journey when I was given that honor. In addition to Marvel.com, my Bishop cosplay was featured in Cosplay in America Volume 2, spotlighting cosplayers to watch.
The one costume that gave me the biggest challenge was Raven. It was the first time that I opted to do a “genderbent” character and I was extremely nervous because I was concerned about how it was going to be received. At that time, I did not know anyone that did a genderbent rendition of any character, but I love the character and I wanted to do it…so I overcame my fears with the encouragement of some phenomenal cosplayers and I wore it proudly. It was also the first time that I had wings on a costume and the wingspan was extraordinary, therefore navigating through the crowd at the convention proved difficult. Luckily my clumsiness was met with kindness and I made many friends that day that are still very much a part of my cosplay lifestyle today.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? For anyone new to cosplay, I would suggest that they embody characters that resonate with them in a profound way. Also, when doing your cosplay think about functionality. Many of the character’s costumes were not designed with real human bodies in mind, so make the necessary adjustments to maintain integrity and aesthetics while being functional. In addition, know that cosplay is art and you are the canvas, therefore keep in mind “there is no wrong way to cosplay, remember to always cosplay your way and always be…Cosplay Chic!”
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? One thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other is to refrain from oppressing or discouraging other cosplayers from cosplaying based on individual bias, prejudices and intolerance. Cosplay should be fun, expressive and a positive outlet for all involved. No body shaming! No discriminating! No sexism! No bigotry! No costume shaming! It should be about individuality and the special aspects each person can bring to a character whether it is an original concept or one that is derivative.
As a cosplay model and avid comic book enthusiast, I am dedicated to the artistry of cosplay and promoting individual style…an approach that I entitle, “Cosplay Chic!” I take pride in discussing the creative art form of cosplay by speaking on panels at conventions to empower cosplayers to “cosplay their way”. My #CosplayYourWay campaign encourages individuals to ward off naysayers and choose desired characters regardless of race, size, age or gender.