Dear Fangirls & Fanboys: Just be you. Does it really matter what anyone else thinks?

I like to think I live by these rules but I know I’m not there yet. But I’m trying. It’s a work in progress. I’ve recently been thinking a lot about my life and my future and what makes me me. And I think for the first time in my 20 odd years I’m actually figuring it out. I’m still not one to fully partake in an Incredible’s Dance Party or speak up to Prince Charming as the clock strikes twelve but I’m getting there. I’m learning to embrace me.

For years I was the quiet one: quiet and smart and kept to myself. I can pinpoint a couple of places in my life where this started to change, the most recent and one I want to discus is when I discovered cosplay and embraced geek culture.

I’ve always loved fantasy and costumes but as you grow up you’re supposed to move past that. But as mentioned by KG when she discovered cosplay… don’t have to.

Suddenly over the course of a year I wanted to spend time and money making a costume I was proud of. Something I looked good, even sexy in. Something that made me feel good about myself. Suddenly I loved people looking at me and taking my photo. I loved the compliments. This was a huge step for the girl who had been hiding in shadows afraid to speak up for so long. There was also a new found confidence that came with cosplay. You become comfortable in your costumes but you also become comfortable in your own skin. I loved the way it made me feel. I looked forward to the next time I could be in costume.

I embraced cosplay but for the longest time I was afraid to admit it to people. I didn’t want to be ‘one of those people’ who dresses up for comic-con but eventually I realized I was hiding a large part of myself – a part of me that made me extremely happy. Cosplay had had a huge impact on me and I wanted to share it. And when I did everyone was incredibly supportive. People wanted to know more. Wanted to know how I had made things. Wanted to know my next project. It was a feeling of acceptance I had not been expecting. This has since spilled over into other conversations. I’ve always been a fangirl but I often didn’t let people see that. It’s only been recently that I’ll discuss my favourite fandoms with people. I’ve never had a problem when it came to my closest friends but it turns out the majority of my other friends and acquaintances are just as into these things as I am. I only wish I had discovered this sooner.

The new cosplay confidence has affected other areas. I now feel I dress better in my every day life. I wear what I want. I wear what fits my style. I wear what makes me look and feel good. It’s this new confidence I can attribute to cosplay. In putting yourself on display in costume you are vulnerable to others opinions but you rise above it. You overcome it because this is what you want, this is what makes you happy, what makes you you. I’ve now learned every day can be a dress up day just instead of a costume I get to be me and wear what best represents that.

I can also relate this to our most recent Walt Disney World trip. I looked forward every day to DisneyBounding and dressing up. I couldn’t wait for the next photo opportunity. The photo shoots from that trip were some of my favourite memories. I didn’t care if people were watching, even staring. We were having a blast. Arguably having more fun than anyone else at the Park. I don’t think I would have embraced this as well as I did only a few years ago.

I’m finally starting to embrace me. It’s been a journey but I think I’m almost there. I am still smart and quiet but I’m also a mega Disney fan and cosplay seamstress and Titanic freak and lover of YA series. Why should I hide these facts, they make me who I am and I’m ready to embrace it. I’m ready to be me.

I think this is one of the unwritten mottos here at My Fangirl Life. Be You. Whoever that is, be you and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Who really cares what everyone else thinks anyways 🙂

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Thanks for reading,

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