I don’t consider myself a cosplayer. I’m a chick who occasionally dresses up as Wonder Woman at comic conventions. The New 52 version, with kick ass full coverage pants and usually never longer than an hour because until now the only super looking black boots I had were thigh high hooker platforms picked up at a local thrift exchange for a dime and a song. Let’s face it, those types of shoes don’t really lend themselves to comfort, or standing for that matter.
When a friend of mine who is pretty high up the Tucson Comic Con chain of command suggested that I enter the 1st annual costume contest, I was flattered at first, and subsequently terrified. When it comes down to it, I’m more comfortable behind a camera than in front of one. I mulled the idea over for a couple of weeks before dismissing it, and decided to volunteer instead- though I did take my red corset to a seamstress for alterations anyway. As Tucson Con grew closer, I was asked again if I was going to compete. This time I said I was thinking about it. I’d gotten new boots, ones I could actually walk in.
I’d been to larger conventions and seem some amazing costuming- movie quality costumes that blew my DIY assembly out of the water- but in the interest of trying something new, I decided to go for it. I questioned if I looked bloated in my spandex, how much makeup would be too much or just right, should I get fake eyelashes, should I shave my arms for this, if I forgo a bra just how likely was nip-slippage, and, oh, have I mentioned I’m in my 30’s? I suddenly took it more seriously than any Halloween costume in my entire life. It’s a lot to consider when wanting to portray the daughter of a god.
In the end, I decided against shaving my arms in favor of curling my hair. When I showed up for
prejudging, I received several compliments on my costume. I was the only Wonder Woman not in a skirt or underwear- apparently leaving something to the imagination still works after all. All contestants were placed along a wall according to category (novice, intermediate, advanced) like a comical lineup, where I was literally stuck between two Jokers (both incredibly personable.) One by one, we were collected, photographed, and grilled about our costume. I stood there fidgeting with my golden lasso of truth while the four judges eyeballed me up and down, making notes and circling where I rated on a scale of 1-5. I saw lots of 3’s, and smiled nervously as a few on the panel made polite conversation while others looked on disinterested. Thanks for stopping by and be back in time for the contest.
I decided against changing, and spent the next couple hours as both Wonder Woman and Jimmy Olsen, running around snapping pictures, as part of my usual convention duty. However, this time I was stopped almost as frequently as I stopped others, so that someone could snap a picture of me. I’m new enough at this that 90% of the time I looked around to make sure that they weren’t talking to someone else. I received a lasso lesson from the Black Adam, tied up more fan boys than I can count, and despite my general aversion to rug rats, I found myself warmed and elated to see one little girl’s face after another light up as they posed with Wonder Woman.
By the time the contest rolled around, I was almost comfortable in my stylish but reasonably affordable boots, right up until the entire ballroom became standing room only. They say that most brides don’t remember their wedding day; that’s what this was like. I have no idea what the Master of Ceremonies was saying, just that someone nudged me toward the steps, and I briefly stood there, posed, and got the frak out-of-the-way. Someone said, “the twirl was a nice touch.” I couldn’t really recall.
I didn’t win, I wasn’t a runner-up, and I couldn’t care less. The experience was amazing. While I don’t know if I’ll compete in another contest, I have decided to apply to a couple of costuming groups that do events for charity as a result. So there you have it: “strong enough for a man, pH-balanced for a woman”, all amazing, and all the world is waiting for more like her.
If you are interested in learning more about costuming groups in Arizona here are a few resources:
Marvel: Arizona Avengers http://avengershq.com/?page_id=28
DC: Justice League Arizona http://justiceleaguehq.com/chapters/justice-league-arizona/
Dr. Who: A.Z.Tardis http://aztardis.org/
Star Wars: 501st Legion http://www.az501st.com/
Mos Eisley Rebel Legion http://www.rebellegion.com/base.php?b=49
Ghost Busters: AZ Ghost Busters http://www.arizonaghostbusters.com/