There are many deeper, more personal reasons why I cosplay.
One of them being that it is a healthy form of therapy and a coping mechanism for some painful past memories.
I was in an abusive relationship.
It was a relationship in which I was not so much physically abused, but rather much more mentally and emotionally abused.
The abuse went both ways I’ll admit. It was a very toxic relationship and my former partner and I fought so much that our own friends would leave during our fights.
It lasted on and off for a span of about three years.
There were many things that he did that really broke down my already low self-esteem at the time.
One of the biggest things was trying to change numerous aspects of myself.
Insulting and disrespecting me in front of other people.
Forbidding me from doing certain things or going certain places or hanging out with certain people.
Requesting that I do chores for him such as his laundry, his homework, making his bed.
As if he wasn’t already a grown man who could do it himself.
And because I was weak at the time, and I wanted to give all of myself, I obliged.
I gave into requests when I did not want to simply to make him happy.
I took care of him and basically became his emotional punching bag.
He had many issues and he took many of them out on me.
His constant excuse was that he was just “upset.”
As if I had no things in my life to be upset about, but I digress.
I have dated a “Mr.J” and I have been a “Harley Quinn.”
I say that because Mr.J or the “Joker” as we know him manipulated Harley and played the sympathy card.
Harleen Quinzel was a brilliant psychologist. She wasn’t stupid or weak, but she did fall prey to her emotions and felt sorry for someone who was just using those emotions to take advantage of her.
That’s how I feel about my past relationship. I am brilliant too, but when it comes to matters of the heart, I fall prey to sympathetic emotions for damaged characters.
I want to help and heal everyone, even to my own detriment, and I have no fear about being so open about this because I have hardened since then and become more discriminatory about who I let into my heart.
I am not the same weak girl from before and I am much stronger now and unfortunately more bitter because of it. I am still healing and coping, even though this took place years ago.
Seeing me ex triggers me, and I feel weak all over again.
I absolutely hate that I have given him that kind of control over me, even to this day. I hope that one day comes where I can see him face to face and I feel nothing, as if he were a total stranger.
Anyway, I sympathize with Harley Quinn for that reason and I appreciate her character is where she came from and who she became and that the comic still shows how part of her personality is still kind, beneath the insane villain she has become. She hasn’t completely turned over to madness or wickedness, and that kind part of her still lies beneath.
Mr.J only uses her when it’s to his benefit, in the same way I felt in my relationship. Mr.J also changes his character around her, sometimes he is kind, sometimes he is mean and sometimes he is neglectful and completely abandons her.
Again, it was the same with my ex. I never knew which personality I would get that day but I held on for the romantic, sweet one and the expense of suffering from the cruel and neglectful one.
Plenty of other guys noticed how he neglected me and offered to take me away from that, but these guys too, also had their own ulterior motives, and did not mean well for me.
What I hated most about college was, I went from my middle and high school years of being ignored and teased to then finally having the attention I craved, but in a bad way.
In college, I was just a piece of meat to most people. Most guys did not see my intelligence, or my creativity or my humanity. They saw a piece of ass that they wanted to conquer, a strong woman that they wanted to dominate and a virtuous woman in which they wanted to attain.
For this reason I really resonate with Harley Quinn.
I also resonate with her because in the real world, mental illness, and going past a breaking point of sanity is highly stigmatized.
All humans have their breaking point, but many hid it with drugs, alcohol or simply cry in the dark and hide their inner demons.
Villains are highly celebrated and super popular at conventions.
Harley Quinn is the most popular cosplay for females, while Dead pool is the most popular cosplay for males.
When I think about their characters, I think that has a lot to say about some true life circumstances for males and females.
Both characters have been through major trauma.
Both characters have a good heart and are sensitive and have partners that they deeply care for.
Both characters trusted certain individuals and got screwed over and became ruthless, murderous criminals afterwards.
What I appreciate at conventions is that I get to be someone that I have felt like on the inside.
I get to be someone who is hurting, who has snapped and who has lost their way.
I get to be that person and not only NOT be harshly judged for it, but be celebrated for embracing that side of me.
Everyone at the convention knows my story and appreciates it.
They don’t look down upon it or look at me as a weak victim.
I’m looked at as a popular, sexy, strong, vicious sympathetic villain.
And I just wish, that in the real world, that we would look at survivors of abuse as that too.
But we rarely do.
So I think, that, there are many “Harley Quinns” in the world.
And perhaps I theorize, maybe, just maybe due to the abuse in her backstory, is why she is the most popular cosplay among females because she is relatable.
Instead of crumbling into nothing-ness she fought and eventually left and joined her girlfriend* Poison Ivy.
I say girlfriend* because in some comic cannons they are actually a same sex couple instead of platonic friends.
But I digress.
No matter what anyone has to say about it.
Cosplay is a healthy, harmless form of coping with real world issues, and whether it’s simply a fun activity for some, or catharsis for others, continue to have your fun and always remember to be safe and stay sane because, I have met individuals who truly have lost their mind to the hobby. There are people who literally live in the cosplay anime comic realm 24/7 and truly believe they are the character that they are dressed as.
Although I don’t want to leave the conventions, I do have a live to live, bills to be paid and other hobbies such as art and language acquisition and instruction in which I wish to partake.
Cosplay is a hobby but for some it’s a full-time lifestyle.
The real world can be very ugly and very hard to deal with.
Cosplay allows a space and time to forget and pretend.
It’s basically playtime for people of any age, adults and elders included.
We all need to play and relax sometimes, because constant work, constant serious-ness it unhealthy.
Adults need to play and have fun for our own sanity.
We need to laugh and smile and share hobbies with our friends.
Some do that through sports fanaticism, I choose to do it through cosplay.
So to all the Harley Quinns, Deadpools and various cosplayers, keep doing what you’re doing and never stop!
You’re never too old to cosplay, never too broke either (seriously I’ve seen many cardboard box and sign holding cosplays) never too ethnic, never to big, never too skinny, never too this or that to not participate.
Join our crazy world…we have cookies, and hugs and lots of love!
Cosplay is Life!
If you would like to leave a comment about how cosplaying has helped you cope with any serious situations in your life please feel free. If it’s too personal, but you’d like to sill share it with me, please feel free to inbox me.