Welcome back to my Cosplay Confessional, the blog post that started (and I thought would end) here, but grew too big for its britches and so has spilled out into a second section. I’m anticipating there being four or five parts to this, but I may think of more costumes I want to do. I never know when inspiration will strike me…or when I’ll remember something I thought of before.
This entry is going to be a bit hard to write about since it’s going to concern a cosplay I attempted and failed miserably at. I haven’t written about it at all, and it’s really only now that I can kind of not cry. As mentioned in the initial entry, I’m really, really trying to be more body positive, but it’s hard *shrug* I can’t say I’ll ever not want to be skinny even though I follow many awesome blogs with people who specifically do not have that goal. That…is a huge surprise for me, and initially I used to scoff at it. I mean who the hell wouldn’t give up their first born at a chance to be that ideal? But as I read and consumed more information and points of view, which you should always do to hone the best interpretation of truth, I realized we should be questioning and berating the ideal, not ourselves. Sooooo do I want to look the way I look right now for the rest of my life? Hell no. I still want to weigh under 200 lbs, but my viewpoint on people who do not have this wish is changing. I’m starting to see bodies for bodies. Of course the judgments still creep in, but I’m cognizant of them and realize that they didn’t just spring forth from my brain on their own. No, they’re from a lifetime of conditioning and bombardment of images of what people are “supposed” to look like. If you have the ability to say “fuck that” and be unabashedly okay, do not turn down that opportunity. I still refuse to wear a bathing suit after an incident in Cancun two years ago. Being a sensitive empath is great for understanding other peoples’ problems and writing convincing characters (I hope), but it’s shit for not doubting yourself every moment of every day especially in the face of ridicule.
Alright! Well there will probably be more feels for this entry as I’m going to talk about something (else) I’ve failed at. Here goes. Let’s start at the beginning.
I had absolutely no interest in seeing the (now) wildly popular Frozen when it first came out. I…think I read some article lambasting it for not being true to the original, and I made the mistake of using this for my judgment. Plus, I was probably being ultra hipster that day, so while I didn’t scoff at anyone who went to see it, I still didn’t see why I should be bothered. This is one of the many examples of not judging any work of art on one aspect alone. A movie, book, video game, etc. can have glaring issues in one area but still do so many things right in another, e.g. Mad Max: Fury Road does a fantastic job with its depiction of female characters, but falls into the same pit as so many other dystopian films with its portrayal or rather lack of representation of minorities, but this latter foible does not preclude its former strength. You can recognize something’s flaws, but still celebrate its triumphs. The issue I’d heard about Frozen was that it took agency away from the female lead by adding a male character to help her whereas in the story it’s based on The Snow Queen, the protagonist does everything herself. Honestly, I don’t know why I was being such a snob. After I saw the movie with my brother’s prompting (no lie either. He loves movies like that and remains a big kid pushing the age of 40. Love you bro!), I realized how silly I was being. While Anna certainly does get help from Kristoff, it doesn’t change the main point of the narrative in the least, and though there is a romantic element (it’s a Disney film so of course), it’s actually subverted in one sense and not really the main goal in the other. Also…even before I saw the film, I fell in love with Elsa…as I did with another silvery haired figure of questionable repute.
After seeing Frozen I realized I could also identify with Elsa as well. “Conceal don’t feel” has been my mantra for my entire life because if people know how you truly feel, they can use your emotions to hurt and manipulate you. This has happened to me too many times for me to ever doubt it. If you reveal your true face, there will be at least one person who will use it to your disadvantage. It’s better to keep certain things under wraps to protect yourself from the emotional and psychological carnage that would cause. Elsa became my stand in for that for such things, and she’s also a metaphor for depression. When I first read about that, a chill went down my spine (so meta), because it just made perfect sense.
I’ve struggled with depression for the majority of my life. I pretty much deal with it by deflection and disassociation, but also with identifying with fictional characters and narratives as a metaphor for thinking and talking about how I feel. Sometimes this is scary, because the characters I identify with can have…questionable morals, but being able to get into their heads and commiserate with their pain makes me understand my own feelings more. I completely got Elsa’s need to be alone so that she could be herself, because I’m currently experiencing that now. I have been more socially withdrawn and it’s done wonders for my self-worth. I feel I can speak and think freely without so many other voices drowning mine out, and I have the wherewithal to write articles such as this explaining this paradigm and the emotions surrounding it. I’ve made the conscious decision to cut people out of my life and (while being civil) not put up with those that happen to be around social gatherings. That can be hard for me because one, I don’t really lean towards rudeness, and two, I suffer from l’esprit d’escalier where one thinks of some clever retort hours after such a retort would be warranted. The witty words must then be consigned to a silence that can only be broken if the exact same situation comes up again…which it rarely ever does. To combat this I often think of hypothetical situations and conversations, but conversations rarely go the way you expect. It’s why I write my essays and defenses on the things I love so that I have a visual foundation for what I can say in response.
But back to Elsa, I understood the elder sister’s issues as if we were sharing the same cold skin. Finding acceptance in solitude from a judging world really hit me, and all of her expressions and actions prior to and after being found out made perfect sense. Frozen is currently my favorite Disney movie, and I can say without impunity that Elsa is my favorite Disney queen.
So…I decided for Halloween of 2014 that I was going to be her. I came to this conclusion after much debate, because while I’d lost a significant amount of weight I was worried I wouldn’t lose enough to be able to elegantly pull off Elsa who’s extraordinarily beautiful. There are some fantastic cosplays of hers that I was also pitting myself against.
Obviously I’ve gotten beyond the skin color thing, but the thin thing ehhhh, yeah not quite. I needed to be skinny now and I wasn’t and that made me sad. Oh speaking of the skin color thing, I loved Disney’s response to this asshole situation.
Because there is no way this little girl is ugly and I wish I’d been able to pull off Elsa (yeah, did I give the ending away? Spoilers…though I do say “Failed Frozen…” in the title, so you should’ve known), because I would’ve sent this little girl a picture to add to the support, but as fore mentioned, Disney was on it,
Because fuck those people and their racism. Because little girls can dress up as whomever they want. Because Leah Still, Devon Still’s daughter, dressed up as Elsa, too, and they’re both just as adorable.
Okay…end rant, that just pisses me off for obvious reasons. It’s a sad fact that if you’re into cosplay but you’re not the “right” color or weight, you’re going to face some hardships. My thoughts have always been, “Well I can’t do anything about the skin color, but the weight I can change.” Hahaha, oh man…if only the latter were so easy.
I spent about $200 on an Elsa dress (size XXL with measurements shown), a platinum blonde wig, shoes, and snowflake hair clips. I also spent close to $300 on makeup (yes…I take cosplay seriously and don’t do things by halves. You don’t want to know how much I just spent on Sephiroth contact lenses, which I STILL can’t believe I found *jumps for joy* Oh hell…of course you want to know $250 for the pair. Magical credit card, I love you!) If I say I’m going to do something, I want it to be done well. I spent a lot of time watching makeup tutorial videos on YouTube for how to perfectly capture her look, and resigned myself to learning how to put on fake eyelashes (I’m getting better), but it was all for nothing.
I month or so before I tried on the dress and it didn’t fit. So I resolved to lose twenty pounds before Halloween. I…really tried and…did some things I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing, but I don’t want to talk about that long running problem right now. I maybe lost ten pounds? I really don’t remember. What I do remember is spending more money on Spanx at Lane Bryant in a last ditch effort to not look gross in that dress and having my husband wrap my upper arms in ace bandages, which did nada. I was still too fat 😦 I spent about an hour literally crying on the floor still wearing that fucking dress completely destroyed because I’d failed. No matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be what I wanted to be, and this has always plagued me. I absolutely hate the fact that I could try as hard as I want, but my body will do what the fuck it wants. I can live off of 1500 calories a day, go to dance aerobics four times a week and jog the other three days and the scale may still not budge. I’m also tired, cranky, and miserable in that mode, but it’s worth it if that number goes down. Yeah, I know…body positivity, whatever, I can’t deny that there’s a LOT I would give up to see a 1 as the first number in my weight. I’m not going to lie about that.
Anyway, my husband left me alone for the most part and I decided I’d still go to the Halloween party as my ubiquitous back up outfit: dark angel. There isn’t a day that I can’t whip that costume up at a moment’s notice. I managed to put full makeup on by just telling myself it was my mask (conceal don’t feel hahaha, omg my life is cruelly meta sometimes…), and I was pretty much able to keep it in at that party…until someone showed up dressed as Elsa. Thanks universe. Thanks a lot. Then of course someone said “Weren’t you going to be Elsa, too?” to me and I started to cry. First fact about me. I…HATE crying in front of people. This goes back to my rule about not letting people use your emotions against you, and crying shows them what gets under your skin and there you go. The friend who asked felt really bad, and I told her an abbreviated version of why I wasn’t. She tried to make me feel better, but that wasn’t happening. I just decided I’d get drunk (but not too drunk…that’s another story) and that helped. I did get quite a few compliments, because well I had lost weight, and that’s considered good, but I was really sour towards Frozen for a long time afterwards. I’m still not at my original level of fervor because it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, and that worries me for other cosplays.
If I can’t pull off my decade long planned Sephiroth one I…don’t even know what I’ll be. Not thinking about FFVII is singularly impossible. It is woven into my very synapses; it has inspired all of my stories; everything I love hence I love because it reminds me of VII in some way. I’m literally wearing it on my skin.
That’s my favorite tattoo combination btw: the VII and the Tree of Life. It reminds me of an FFVII minimalist picture I found (here is the source).
The central pillar in the minimalist picture and the windows mimic the pillars of mildness, mercy, and severity of the Tree. Oh, and in case you didn’t know the Tree of Life is made up of the Holy Sephiroth. I’ll be writing about that concept in concert with FFVII soon in some of my forthcoming essays.
I thought it would be prudent to get the failed cosplay out of the way as quickly as possible. My husband thinks I should modify the dress and try again, but I don’t have the heart for it. I do still love Frozen and Elsa, but my exuberance has…cooled a bit due to this situation. If I could sell the dress and whatnot that would be fantastic. I did post about it a while ago, but didn’t get any takers, so I’m still sitting on a perfectly good and never worn Elsa cosplay costume that I can’t use. Well, I suppose if you don’t try you’ll never know, right? I wish that brought me some solace.
Next time on Cosplay Confessional, I’ll talk about my latest idea, which was inspired by one of this summer’s blockbusters. I’d meant to mention it here (as promised in the first installation), but as per usual I was too long-winded and I believe I’ve said enough for one post.
Thanks for sticking with me. I know I can be a dour Doris sometimes, but it’s cathartic in a way.