Confidence Through Cosplay

Guest Writer: BBDesign Cosplay

Imagine a world in which you can express your passions and hobbies without being criticized or belittled but rather praised in a welcoming environment that encourages you just to be, well, you! Imagine spending hours upon hours on creating a character that you look up to or share similar personality traits with and showcasing that to a community that you can be comfortable demonstrating that confidence.

Wait a minute. Comfortable showing confidence? Isn’t that kind of backwards?

Not for me, Brittney of BBDesign Cosplay, in the cosplay world and in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Cosplay has given me so much confidence to express who I am in and out of character. Over the years, I have figured out a couple of reasons why.

Cosplay allows me to emulate characters that I share a personality trait with or someone I look up to, like Korra from “Legend of Korra,” Tigress from “Kung Fu Panda” or Erza from “Fairy Tail.” Whether you are a shy or quiet individual or someone who is able to hold a conversation for hours and hours on end, we all want to improve ourselves some way or another, and oftentimes, that improvement is confidence in ourselves.

My second cosplay competition was at CoreCon actually, and I wouldn’t even say I was confident up on stage the first or second time, and I’m still even developing it now after years of performance. But my confidence did grow, and I enjoyed being surrounded by people who supported something that I loved (that we loved.) It’s important to have a supportive community and group you can connect with that allows you to be yourself; even if that “self” is wearing a wig, colored contacts, and wearing armor instead of street clothes, it’s still you who they are welcoming. Confidence comes more naturally to some individuals, but you can become comfortable with showing confidence when a community of like-minded people includes you. That is a huge confidence boost.

I think that is why I’m a huge advocate against cosplay bullying. The cosplay scene is becoming more mainstream but still has a long way to go to be truly accepted by the outside world, so standing together against bullying within the community is so important. You can laugh and think it’s corny, but I will support anyone who wants to be a part of this amazing world of cosplay, and I’m not the only one. Creating a welcoming community like CoreCon has done allows cosplayers to build their confidence and showcase something that they love.

In 2017, I decided to create an original design based off of Naga, Korra’s polar bear dog in the series “Legend of Korra.” It was my first armor cosplay and original design, so I was super nervous about how it would turn out in the end. I was worried people wouldn’t understand what I was trying to accomplish or think I wasn’t representing X, Y, or Z. After finishing Naga’s Guandao (Chinese pole weapon) and putting the complete cosplay on for the first time, I felt proud. I felt confident. Naga, while a lovable character, doesn’t necessarily fit into my traditional route of picking characters that have confidence. No. This was my own confidence that I was showing and presenting to the community but also to myself.

Most cosplayers have heard the stories and have their own experiences to share about how cosplaying gives them confidence, and I encourage those individuals to share their stories. I want new and veteran cosplayers to realize that this confidence is their own, and they can have it in and out of cosplay, and I am here to support you. So are the F-M, CoreCon, Anime Fargo, etc. communities!

Brittney of BBDesign Cosplay won the Workmanship award at CoreCon IX. Check out her Facebook page here!

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