I still remember 5 years earlier, I was young, working in GAME and asking my boss what cosplay was and what rules there were for it. I am now an avid con-goer with a cosplay wardrobe larger than the unit that houses my ‘normal’ clothes.
Cosplay is creative, expressive, social and quite simply, fun! Even in my later years where I should already be quite mature and mentally developed I notice conventions making me feel happier, more imaginative and more at ease with who I am.
I recently went to film at a local convention ‘Mersey Comic Con’ for BAY TV. We were filming new and established cosplayers of all ages; all there for fun and I was in a world I feel I know inside and out. Later on in the day, I was sitting there and watching two of the cutest sisters Ive ever seen playing together next to their dad. One was wearing a belle dress from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and the other was wearing a Captain America uniform. This completely moved me as this amazing parent was allowing his children to express themselves in any way they wanted. This incredible, but subtle act of good parenting really shook me for some reason, it made me realize, there was something I knew absolutely nothing about in the cosplay world. We all know about the positive and negative effects on adults and ourselves within the cosplay community, but what does it do for the children that attend?
So I got a bunch of incredible cosplay families and asked them about it!
I also should feel, that in no way am I trying to say, good parents make their kids cosplay, bad parents don’t or vice versa! This is more of an article I wrote when researching how these particular families express their creativity and personalities via cosplay with their loved ones.
We've only recently started cosplaying, have been wanting to do this for a long time, our first as a family was Expo in may and my children's first convention.
We have 3 children, 2 girls eldest Natalia 11, Kaneda 9 and our son Kakashi 4. They only cosplayed in may but the girls have dressed up as monster high characters for school discos before now, with wigs and make up. My children enjoyed the experience and spoke to lots of people and we're able to talk about their characters and interests. They also enjoyed the Expo convention and can't wait to go again, they partly decided who they were cosplaying as along with the input from me and their dad.
I would love for them to choose their own cosplay, maybe after a few more conventions they might. I have been sourcing out their cosplay since Feb this year. But knew what they were wanting before last Xmas. I've noticed certain changes with my children since cosplaying....my eldest has come out of her shell a little since doing it, she is now prepared to say to her friends that she likes something different, I support my children, which is something I never had, you had to be a certain way and dress a certain way. We have also been to conventions without the children and it's certainly different as you don't have to think about food and drink so much and toilet stops especially with a 4 year old.
Lyndsey Dawson and her family.
AJ Clark & his little supergirl!
I have only been cosplaying for about a year now. I started with a very easy one, and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. I have one child, a 5 year old daughter called Elizabeth Rose.
I introduced her to cosplay officially last year when we attended MCM Glasgow. She has always been fascinated by and loved dressing up and owns almost one of each Disney princess dress as well as a Pink Power Ranger, Bumblebee (Transformers), Hermione Granger and Supergirl costumes.
When we first arrived at the convention she was a little shy seeing so many people around her but she quickly got over the shyness and was even approaching other cosplayers she 'recognised' as they were dressed as characters she knew from film and TV. She did get tired and a little bored after 3 hours or so but perked up again later on.
When it came time to decide what to dress up as I allowed her to choose and explained that we could be anyone or anything that she wanted. After some thinking she finally decided on Superman for me and Supergirl for herself and I would let her decide for herself the next time as well.
It didn't take as long as I thought to plan the outfits. Admittedly I bought hers from an Amazon store online, however mine was homemade and took about a week to put together. She has become a lot more open with her costume choices and spends more time in them than in 'normal' clothing since her experience at MCM. I haven't been to a large scale convention without her yet but I have been to smaller ones which aren't quite as fun, however I will be attending MCM this year without her so I'll see how that goes.
Sarah Harris & her boys
I have personally not been cosplaying long at all, in terms of actually wearing the costume myself, I’m only doing that for the first time this weekend and am a bit nervous about it! But I’ve been making costumes for my kids forever- for Halloween, world book day etc, and over past years for “proper” cosplay at conventions.
I have 3 children of my own aged 12 up to 25, and 2 step sons aged 16 and 22 – 5 boys, for my sins!
I re-discovered my love for comics about 3 years ago (long story, but in the 80s/early 90s I had a huge comic collection – it took up a whole room – then I lost the lot (SOB!) so I stopped reading them for years. But then I got hooked again….) so I started going to conventions again and the two youngest lads tagged along with me. At first they just semi-cosplayed (Pokemon onesies and the like) but they soon started hankering after doing it properly, and I just love making stuff so it was win win! Now all three of their big brothers want in on the act too (they are planning Link, a Jaina Proudmoore genderswap, and Deadpool respectively), but I’ve told them they are all old enough to make, and more importantly finance, their own costumes!
My children love both cosplaying and convention itself also, the two youngest definitely enjoy conventions even more now that they are cosplaying fully themselves. It helps them make friends from similar fandoms and they get the rock star treatment, getting stopped for photos constantly, what kid wouldn’t love that?
The costume choice are 100% their own but I have the final veto if their choice is either unsuitable / offensive / totally not age appropriate or if it would be impossible or insanely expensive to make
We don’t cosplay together in a group, the two boys and myself all have very different interests – the 16 year old is into his manga / anime, especially Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, the 12 year old is a big PC gamer so most of his cosplays are game related, and I’m an old comic book and book nerd – so as far as cosplay goes we go our separate ways. This means I can just work on one costume at a time without the pressure of having 3 to do for a single deadline. I’m pleased about that as I think that would kill me. Each outfit takes around 3 to 4 months to complete.
I have certainly noticed a difference in my children since they’ve entered this world. I definitely think they are both more confident in cosplay than out, and they are now reading more comics which can only be a good thing.
I’d just like to add that I really believe cosplay is a great hobby for tweens and teens. I made their first couple of costumes for them entirely on my own, but now both my youngest are helping with the construction of their own cosplays, so that teaches them all sorts of useful crafting skills. Also it takes up a lot of their time that they would otherwise spend sitting in front of the telly or doing something else equally unproductive. And the actual conventions are great social experiences for them, they make friends, and lots of people stop them for a chat or a photo which really does help their confidence levels.
Family cosplay page: CLICK HERE
Paul Kassim & his grandkids
We been cosplayers about 4 years now, myself and my 3 grandkids. The eldest boy is 9 and the two girls 7 and 6.
We went to our first comic con me and cory, seeing every having in fun in cosplay we decided to try it, the girls saw us and they wanted to go as well.
The 2 eldest were very excited and loved it, kodi was a bit scared but still enjoyed
Its completely their choice what they cosplay as but I usually have to give them some ideas to help them along and they pick from those choices. The first time we cosplayed also, it took us about a year to plan it all, now we just try to do it a couple of months ahead of time.
Ive definitely noticed a difference with them, they are using their imagination alot instead of being stuck in front of technology. Their confidence has grown so much too.
I have been to conventions without the children but I also take people I care for with mild learning disabilities who also enjoy it. This year for Manchester MCM their father is going too so it will be 3 generations sharing a great day.
Cosplaying with my grandkids has brought us so much closer and created a bond that is just ours.
Editors Note : I think this story touched my heart so much because I was so close to my nan. This family and conventions really does highlight conventions and cosplay really has no rules, age limit. Everyone is accepting of all who want to be there.
The Super Maians!
We started cosplaying at MCM May 2013, we already went to other conventions, where we fell in love with cosplay, after that it was a non stop.
We have Guilherme (Gui) who is 7 years old, and Connor who is 21 months old.
Gui was 5 when we started cosplaying, Sonia was 6 months pregnant with Connor by that time so you can say he was born into cosplay. His first costume were dressed up just after 6hours he was born at the maternity and his first convention was when he was 3 weeks old.
When people ask how my children react to cosplay all I can say is, They love it! The idea of dressing up and turning into the character just makes their day. Gui goes the entire weekend (or even 4 days like it was at Dragon Con) non stop with more energy that any adult can think off, just running around posing for photos and interacting with everyone. Connor actually sleeps part of the cons, the noise and confusion don't bother him and he feels totally at home there, he first stood up by himself dressed as bumblebee during a photoshoot and started walking by himself during a convention dressed as Green Arrow while a photographer was taking photos of him.
The costumes are decided in a way that they mix well as a group, that each individual likes and that they are within our skill level.
When it comes to the time it takes to design and make a costume, it really depends on the kind of costume we are talking about, our Star wars set (fabric), the 4 costumes for the family took 2 weeks to be ready. The Transformers set (foam armour) the 4 suits took a bit over 3 months to be done.
The differences I have noticed with in my children since cosplay are actually quite important life lessons. They feel comfortable and confident around adults and are able to separate fiction from reality so even more scary costumes don't represent an issue to them. It's also a good time to bond as a family.
If you have a family and you like cosplay, by all means, take the entire family and have fun!!
Family Cosplay Page : CLICK HERE!
Lucy writes this blog about all the hobbies and projects she will be running on this and other website!
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