I'm new here, so please forgive me if I make mistakes. (Like the fact I posted this half done and had to delete it already...whoops.) Anyway, after Megan Marie's cosplay article this morning I felt inspired to write.
So first a little background: I'm a 32-year-old wife and mother, with a 10-year-old at home. Last year was the first time I cosplayed. On my 32nd birthday, I became a cosplayer.
This is just a logical step in a lifetime of being a nerd/gamer/otaku. What really got me into the world of cosplay was my first convention: Otakon 2010. I had seen pictures of cosplayers, of course, but that convention was my first real world experience. Not only were there cosplayers, but there were so MANY and they were amazingly varied. In 2010 and 2011 I was content to take pictures and ask "How did you make that?", but in 2012 I decided it was time to cosplay myself.
Frankly I had no idea where to start, but I was reading the Fairy Tail manga. I liked it so much, I decided to be Lucy for my first cosplay. Now here's the thing: Lucy tends to dress...ummm...skimpy. So I went back through the manga and quickly found a more (32-year-old mother) appropriate outfit. (The top pic. I know it's from the anime, but it's the same scene I based my outfit off of.)
It turned out I had the clothes, so my first cosplay making experience came from crafting accessories.
It was then that I learned how fun being crafty could be. I spent too much time going through hardware stores looking for the perfect ends for Lucy's whip. I learned how to braid whips. I made numerous patterns until I had the perfect Plue plush.
I also learned I could be a sexier character without being overly sexy. I could have a cosplay that I wouldn't be embarrassed to wear around my child. And people still recognized me. That was the best part. I dressed up to show my love for Fairy Tail and Lucy, and people liked how I dressed...and especially my plushie.
This year I am working on two more cosplays: Lilith from Borderlands and Nami from One Piece. They are both in outfits I feel comfortable in, so I don't have to worry about showing too much skin or how people will react. I can just be me and show my love for the characters.