One life with countless costumes

Dowd expresses herself in Cosplay, costumes that last longer than just Halloween


Dowd portrays Disney character Ariel

Story by Bethany Dowd, staff writer

Everyone remembers playing dress up. Three-year-old girls running around in their favorite princess dress belting ‘Colors of the Wind’ to their heart’s content. Boys forcibly playing the Prince Charming to indulge their pushy sisters. The only difference between those people and I, is that they grew out of it. I just never stopped.

Cosplay, short for costume play, is a hobby of mine that I have been doing for two years. Cosplay does not have a limit– you can cosplay any character from anything and everything. I cosplay as a hobby, though there are professional cosplayers such as Yaya Han, Courtoon and Jessica Nigri.

Though you can buy costumes, they are extremely expensive, usually ranging from $100-$1,600. Therefore, I painstakingly taught myself how to sew, and what kind of fabrics I’d need to buy for what costume. Now that I’ve been sewing for two years, I have slowly began to get better and to tackle larger and harder costumes.

I have cosplayed a number of characters from different animes, Disney movies, popular TV shows, video games and cartoons. A few of the characters are Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Ciel Phantomhive (Black Butler), Echo and Noise (Pandora Hearts), Elsa (Frozen), Blossom (Powerpuff Girls), Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones), Luka Megurine (Vocaloid), Ellie (The Last Of Us) and many more.cosplay2

I’m constantly working on new cosplays and revamping old ones that I wasn’t completely satisfied with. After I finish the costume, I usually debut the outfit by attending conventions such as San Diego Comic Con, Anime Convention, Anime Matsuri, Oni Con and that’s only a few. At these conventions, I make a lot of friends and construct cosplay groups. For example, when I went as Daenerys I found a Drogo cosplayer and a Cersei cosplayer and we took photos together. I even still stay in touch with them through social media like Facebook.

Most cosplayers have a Facebook cosplay page that they use to keep up with friends they’ve met at conventions and to keep them up to date with what you are working on, how much progress you’re making and how the costume is eating away at your very being like an insidious tapeworm. I just started my page around June this year, and instead of coming up with a catchy name like Courtoon, I just went with Bethany Rose Cosplay. Nice, sweet, simple and to the point.

To me, cosplay is an escape. Sure, sometimes life can be extremely difficult, but then I put on a costume and I’m Queen Elsa, and I have magical ice powers and rule a country with my sister. Cosplay is an important thing to me, and I can’t see myself ever stopping.