I watched Adam Savage’s TED Talk about cosplay again last night. I’m sure there are like a billion blogs about that lecture, but I think I’m going in a different direction so give me a few. Savage discusses falling in love with the armor from Excalibur and a mass-produced Halloween costume from Jaws . I’ve discussed how I got into cosplay, but watching this prompted me to think further about it…like into my childhood and how that got me here. Mostly though, it made me think about how I just never want to grow up.
I remember my friend’s mom asking me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I think I was in kindergarten at the time. Without hesitation, I gave my answer, “A rabbit.” She laughed at me and told me I couldn’t be a rabbit. I mean, we were told we could be anything we wanted to be when we grow up. I didn’t get it. And I guess I still don’t get it. I want to be whatever I want to be.
What it all boils down to for me is that I never wanted to grow up. I mean I pay bills, go to work, and all that fun stuff. I adult the best I can. And I’m getting old. Man, I am like ancient in the cosplay world. But what is old to me? It’s not really an age. As cliche as it may sound, it’s really a state a mind. It’s losing that wonder and fun that life can bring. It’s closing your mind off to possibilities. It’s thinking that your numerical age defines what and who you are.
As a kid, I remember being so proud of my Halloween costumes that my mom made. I remember looking forward every year to the costumes for my dance recital. Those costumes made me feel so glamorous and exotic, like I was from another planet or at least Broadway. Those costumes took me somewhere. To a large extent, that’s what cosplay still does for me. When I put a costume on for the first time my adrenaline starts pumping. I get so excited. I might not exactly feel like I’m from somewhere exotic, but I definitely feel like I’m somewhere that isn’t just adult life.
In addition to the ability to escape, which as an adult type person is really wonderful, the actual making of cosplay is super important to keeping my mind active. When you’re young, like teenager young, for some reason you think adulthood is going to be dinner parties and fancy stuff. A lot of doing stuff. Secret: I’ve found it’s a lot of…boring. Most adults are too tired or busy with boring stuff like bills to challenge themselves. But cosplay does that for me. It keeps me problem solving and researching and learning and exploring.
So yeah, I’m gonna avoid getting old as long as I can. I’m gonna keep dressing up like superheroes and cartoon characters. I’m going to keep that world of whimsy and wonder in my life. I suggest you try it too. Don’t turn into an old person…they don’t even get memes.
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