She says Captain America was a motivation to him in the last year as he lost 45 pounds and went off insulin. So he designed this Rebirth version of the character. The outfit, he says, “gave me the strength. I feel like I have 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. “Now, I am just Merida from Brave.”
Turner, a 28-year-old reaches AwesomeCon in Washington, D.C., together with a large number of other attendees dressed in elaborate costumes. When she’s not really a fictional Scottish princess coming from a Disney movie, Turner says she’s much more withdrawn. “I’m a lot less shy when I’m in X-Men Kitty Pryde Shadowcat Cosplay Costume. I don’t have as much hangups because i do when I’m me, [like] a little bit of social anxiety.”
She flares her green dress and brandishes a recurved bow with a grin on the face. “[Merida’s] a strong, fierce, independent woman,” Turner says. And now, so is she.
Costuming as sci-fi or fantasy characters began at science fiction conventions in the United States back within the 60s and 70s. The initial cosplayers wore outfits from Star Trek and Star Wars. Nevertheless the practice has really grown. People wear costumes from comic books, anime, video games, movies and TV series. Consider a character from even a modestly popular science fiction or fantasy universe, and there’s probably been someone who’s masqueraded as that character. And then there large subgroups of specialty cosplay like 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 delivers a sanctuary where they can nerd out and meet their science fiction and fantasy brethren. For the Sexy Cat Suit For Halloween, this means sharing the experience of transforming themselves into someone, or anything, else.
But for many, it’s not a mere game of dress-up. The costumes they choose draw out something inside them that’s not usually visible. Ni’esha Wongus from Glen Burnie, Md., carries a 6-foot foam gun and wears a strict leather bodysuit. “I am just 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 as well as the gun and stood while watching mirror the very first time? I fell crazy about it. I feel like there’s some strength, some confidence in me now due to this.”
And for Leland Coleman of Nashville, Tenn., his costume symbolizes a physical transformation. Captain America was an inspiration to him over the past year as he lost 45 pounds and went off insulin. So he designed a Renaissance version of the Marvel Comics character. The costume, he says, “provided the strength. I feel like I’ve grown into it and turn into it.”
These cosplayers are invoking clothing’s subtle sway over us. People have used clothing to subdue, seduce and entertain for millennia. In certain outfits, people not only look different, however they feel different. Psychologists are considering how clothes can change our cognition and also by just how much. Adam Galinsky, a psychologist at Columbia Business School, spoke with NPR’s Hanna Rosin for that podcast and show Invisibilia. Galinksy did a report where he asked participants to put on a white coat. He told some of the participants they were wearing a painter’s smock, yet others they were in a doctor’s coat.
He then tested their attention while focusing. The people who thought they were within the doctor’s coat were far more attentive and focused than the ones wearing the painter’s smock. On the detail-oriented test, the doctor’s coat-wearing participants made 50 percent fewer errors. Galinksy thinks this is happening because whenever people put on the doctor’s coat, they begin feeling more doctor-like. “They see doctors to be careful, very detailed,” Galinksy says. “The mechanism is all about symbolic association. By putting on the clothing, it will become what you are about.”
Nearly every attire carrying some kind of significance seems to have this effect, tailored for the article being a symbol. In a single study, people wearing counterfeit sunglasses were more likely lie and cheat as opposed to those wearing authentic brands, as if the fakes gave the wearers a plus to cunning. “If the object has been imbued with a few meaning, we pick it up, we activate it. We wear it, and we get it on us,” says Abraham Rutchick, a psychologist at California State University Northridge.
In Rutchick’s studies, he has found that individuals wearing more formal clothing like they would wear to the interview thought more abstractly and were more big-picture oriented than people in casual wear. For instance, people in Deadpool Cosplay Costumes For Halloween would state that locking the entrance was more like securing a house, an abstract concept, than turning a key, a mechanical detail. The impact from clothing is probably twofold, Rutchick says. “After I gear up in those activities, I am going to feel a certain way,” Rutchick says. Then, he says, “I [also] feel how folks are perceiving me, and that’s going to change the way i act and just how I ormaua about myself.”