She says Captain America was an inspiration to him over the past year as he lost 45 pounds and went off insulin. So he designed this Renaissance version of the character. The Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy Cosplay Costume, he says, “provided me with the strength. I think that I’ve grown into it and be it. He and Turner were among the attendees at AwesomeCon in June.
“My name is Becki,” says a young woman standing in a convention center turned comic book bazaar. Then she flips a mane of orange hair and launches into Scottish accent. “And now, I am just Merida from Brave.”
Turner, a 28-year-old is at AwesomeCon in Washington, D.C., in addition to thousands of other attendees dressed up in elaborate costumes. When she’s not really a fictional Scottish princess from a Disney movie, Turner says she’s a lot more withdrawn. “I’m a lot less shy when I’m in cosplay. I don’t have as much hangups because i do when I’m me, [like] a small amount of social anxiety.”
She flares her green dress and brandishes a recurved bow using a grin on her face. “[Merida’s] a strong, fierce, independent woman,” Turner says. And now, so is she.
Costuming as science fiction or fantasy characters began at sci-fi conventions in the United States back in the 60s and 70s. The first cosplayers wore outfits from Star Trek and Star Wars. But the practice has really grown. People wear costumes from comic books, anime, video games, movies and TV series. Think of a character from even a modestly popular sci-fi or fantasy universe, and there’s probably been someone who’s masqueraded as that character. And there large subgroups of specialty cosplay such as the “bronies:” guys who dress as ponies from My Little Pony.
Now cosplayers, a portmanteau of costume role players, regularly pack conventions in Japan, Europe and also the U.S. For geeks, the convention provides a sanctuary where they can nerd out and meet their science fiction and fantasy brethren. For that cosplayers, this means sharing the knowledge of transforming themselves into someone, or anything, else.
But also for many, it’s not just a mere bet on dress-up. The Superhero Costumes they choose draw out something within them that’s not usually visible. Ni’esha Wongus from Glen Burnie, Md., carries a 6-foot foam gun and wears a good leather bodysuit. “I am Fortune from Metal Gear Solid 2,” she says. “I still consider myself an introvert. But when I purchased all of the buckles and straps on and the gun and stood in front of the mirror the first time? I fell deeply in love with it. I feel like there’s some strength, some confidence in me now because of this.”
As well as for Leland Coleman of Nashville, Tenn., his costume symbolizes an actual transformation. Captain America was an inspiration to him over the past year as he lost 45 pounds and went off insulin. So he created a Renaissance version of the Marvel Comics character. The costume, he says, “provided me with the strength. I think that I’ve grown in it and become it.”
These cosplayers are invoking clothing’s subtle sway over us. Folks have used clothing to subdue, seduce and entertain for millennia. In a few outfits, people not merely look different, but they feel different. Psychologists are trying to puzzle out how clothes can transform our cognition and by how much. Adam Galinsky, a psychologist at Columbia Business School, spoke with NPR’s Hanna Rosin for your podcast and show Invisibilia. Galinksy did research where he asked participants to wear a white coat. He told a number of the participants they were wearing a painter’s smock, as well as others that they were in a doctor’s coat.
Then he tested their attention while focusing. Those who thought these people were inside the doctor’s coat were far more attentive and focused compared to the ones wearing the painter’s smock. Over a detail-oriented test, the doctor’s coat-wearing participants made 50 percent fewer errors. Galinksy thinks this really is happening because when individuals put on the doctor’s coat, they start feeling jqbzdg doctor-like. “They see doctors as being very careful, very detailed,” Galinksy says. “The mechanism is approximately symbolic association. By putting on the clothing, it becomes who you are.”
Nearly every attire carrying some kind of significance seems to have this effect, tailored towards the article as being a symbol. In a single study, people wearing counterfeit sunglasses were very likely lie and cheat than those wearing authentic brands, just as if the fakes gave the wearers a plus to cunning. “In the event the object has become imbued with many meaning, we get it, we activate it. We use it, so we get it on us,” says Abraham Rutchick, a psychologist at California State University Northridge.
In Rutchick’s studies, they have found that people wearing more Anna Marie Rogue Cosplay Costume like they could wear to the interview thought more abstractly and were more big-picture oriented than individuals casual wear. As an example, those in formal clothing would say that locking the door was a lot more like securing a home, an abstract concept, than turning a vital, a mechanical detail. The result from clothing may well be twofold, Rutchick says. “After I gear up in those activities, I am going to feel a particular way,” Rutchick says. Then, he says, “I [also] feel how people are perceiving me, and that’s likely to change how I act and how I do believe about myself.”