Cosplay daughter went to school today rocking her Hogwarts House Colors. And with a wand.
She’s very proud of having been sorted into Ravenclaw by the official sorting hat on the Pottermore website.
….for the record, I was surprisingly sorted into Gryffindor. I was dead certain that I’d be Ravenclaw myself. Huh.
But it does make my McConagall cosplay make more sense:
That my daughter and I were sorted into different houses surprises me not a bit. She has my blond hair….and that’s about it. We are very different on the inside, in talents, personality and approach to the world.
What we look like on the outside (similar, like mother and daughter) isn’t truly indicative of who we are on the inside.
In my beauty class at the university, we are winding up a unit on beauty and identity- how outward appearances signal inner worth and identity. We talk about the French philosopher Paul Valery’s theory of three bodies, where the second body (your outer appearance) is a reflection of the first body (who you are inside). As Nancy Etcoff says, we all seek to show the world who we really are, by what we look like- AND wde all strive for an outer appearance that shows the world what we’d like to be.
This seems particularly true to me in the world of cosplay. Cosplay is the practice of choosing the identity that you’d like to have, or wish you had, or feel you DO have, and showing it more specifically to the world.
Few people to cosplay the characters that no one likes- the mean ones or the stupid ones.
I love the story this photo tells about cosplay choices.
There are six Yangs (one of them gender-bent) and six Rubys (two of them gender-bent), four blakes (one gender-bent) but only two Weiss cosplayers.
Why only two Weiss?
Because no body likes her. She’s the spoiled, bitchy character from RWBY. The mean girl.
We choose to cosplay characters we admire, both because they are like what we feel like inside, and represent elements of who we’d like to be.
I love how the cosplay community recognizes that this might mean that you want to crossplay a character whose biological gender is different than yours, like, say cosplay daughter does when she cosplays 2-D from the Gorillaz (a new cosplay)
and it’s also a great choice to gender-bend your cosplay, take the inspiration of the character, his/her strengths, style, power and value, and make a version of it that fits your own biological gender. (I love the guy rocking the ruby-red hat as Ruby in the above photo).
We all make choices about how our appearance communicates our identity to the world.
Cosplay widens the possibilities for people- male, female, young, old, etc. in what they can show.
Today, my daughter went to school with a wand and house tie that she’s proud to know represents intuition, originality, wit, eloquence, intelligence, and all the other traits listed above in the Ravenclaw image.
How wonderful is it that she has that chance? That she’s empowered by both the great literary work of Rowling AND the cosplay community to confidently claim these traits as part of the identity she feels and the self she shows the world.
What else could a Mom ask for?
Writing this, I am actually even more determined to do a cosplay that I’ve been talking about for years- a weary, bad-ass Mom who will do anything to keep fighting both intractable bureaucracy and the monsters who threaten her girl.
I really need to cosplay Ripley. That’s how I feel on the inside. Time to show you all.