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“Heroes of Cosplay” Is Turning My Kids Into Cosplayers

Cosplaying kids at NYCC, Image: Nicole Wakelin

My kids have been gradually getting into cosplay thanks to all of our trips to the local ren faire. It’s been a few years now and they’re building up their outfits one piece at a time in a plan that seems to morph and grow and evolve from year-to-year. It’s really fun to watch them, but now, thanks to the show Heroes of Cosplay, they want to cosplay just like Yaya Han when we go to GenCon.

I have absolutely no talent for costumes. I will help them however I can, but Yaya I am not, so they’re going to have to work on growing their own skills. It’s not just a fly by night impulse on their part either. We are watching episodes of the show almost every night and the kids are really getting into how the cosplayers construct their outfits.

One guy fabricated his own rings for a Mandarin costume, which my kids thought was scary but the coolest thing ever. My oldest told me she bet she could figure that out with some help. Uh, I don’t think I can figure that out! But you know what? I bet when she gets older she’ll create something amazing.

Jesse as Mandarin, Image: SyFy

Say what you will about cosplay, but it’s an incredibly creative endeavor. Most people don’t compete or strive to do it in a professional capacity but do it just for fun. That’s what my kids see when they watch Heroes of Cosplay. They see talented people who are working hard to make something amazing that will make them happy and bring joy to a lot of others, too.

They see creativity and dedication and they see people supporting each other when things go wrong. Sure, there are arguments and petty squabbles. That’s life. In the end, though, people work things out and the results are some amazing costumes.

Now, there’s a lot of debate about Heroes of Cosplay and whether it’s accurate or good for the community. Some say it loses the “play” part and gets too focused on the idea of winning a contest and turning it all into a career. Yes, that’s the focus of many of the cosplayers on the series, but it also encourages people to be creative.

My kids are working on ideas for what they’re going to wear to GenCon this year. They’re brainstorming not about how they can buy stuff to wear, but make stuff to wear. That’s a good thing.

Just so long as they don’t expect me to do any sewing that could pass pre-judging, I think they’ll be just fine.


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