Monday, September 23, 2013

Plus Size Cosplayers Speak Out Part 1

Cosplay has gone mainstream. The once underground hobby reserved for geeks is now celebrated in media all over the world. And everyone is doing it; from porn stars to aspiring models. There are countless pages on Facebook devoted to cosplay. Social networking and media have one thing in common when it comes to featuring people in costumes; only skinny girls are featured. Plus Size cosplayers, both male and female are completely shunned unless a site is mocking them. Today, I am giving Plus Size cosplayers a voice and a chance to share their work and showcase their talent. These creative individuals also open up about dealing with segregation because of their size, how to cope and advice they have for others.



Brema Ebbing Interview:


Victoria: Have you ever felt, been shunned or excluded because you are a plus size cosplayer?

Brema: I've had my moments with people not wanting me in a picture with my friends or cons not wanting me to be a guest because of my size. I try not to let me affect me but it can be hard sometimes. Instead of dwelling on it I push myself to make better costumes and to make myself look great in them with good corsets and bras!

Victoria:  How long have you been making your own costumes and accessories?

Brema:  I went to college to learn costume design for film but after I got a job at Three Muses Inspired Clothing 3 years ago, I found that I enjoyed working more one-on-one with customers. I love the feeling of making someones dream come true to be a certain character or making someone who normally would not dress up feel sexy! It actually took me a awhile to get used to designing for myself because I was so used to being in the background because of my size but now I want to show to other women that you can be any size and look great!

Victoria: What's your favorite convention to attend?

Brema: My favorite convention is probably Dragon Con. I love that there is so much to do and I get to spend a lot of time with my friends! Plus when I join cosplay groups I get to meet a lot of new people. It's great!

Victoria: Have you ever dealt with any personal issues regarding body image?

Brema: I think everyone has issues with their body. When designing costumes for myself I try to accentuate my best features but use a steel boned waistcincher to take in my tummy and pantyhose to smooth out my legs. It's all about working with what you got. Plus confidence goes a long way.

Victoria: Do you feel that costuming focuses too much on body image?

Brema: A lot of costumes that are designed in media are made for a slim figure. But just because there are not a lot of plus size choices for us doesn't mean we have to just wear a sack when we go to cons. Recently I did Ariel for a con, which I am more Ursula shaped than the little mermaid, but I have always loved that character so I decided to go for it. I used my trusty nude waist cincher to cover up my gut and went for it. The costume was a hit! Just do what makes you happy and screw the haters. More then likely they don't look like the character either.

Victoria:  How can people contact you and view a portfolio of your work?

Brema: You can see my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/BremaEbbingCostume . They costume shop where I work with Candy Keane is threemusesclothing.com . If anyone ever has any questions or wants some more tips feel free to email me: at brema@threemusesclothing.com


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MzTiyah Cosplay Interview


Victoria: What got you interested in the hobby of costuming?

MzTiyah: I got interested in costuming about 6 year ago when I joined a stage combat group in my area called the Jedi Guardians. We performed choreographed light saber routines dressed as either Jedi or Sith (I performed as a Sith called Lady Fatale). I came up with a custom costume that I wore whenever we performed. During my first year some members of the group invited me to go to Dragon*Con. I had never heard of it before but upon seeing all that it was about I was immediately interested. I ended up adding a couple more costumes, went to the con and was hooked. I have been doing different costumes and going to cons ever since.

Victoria: What genre are you attracted to when it comes to cosplay? For example; anime, comics, video games?

MzTiyah: I primarily stick with the comics, scifi and video game genres. I’ve done numerous canon and non-canon versions of Storm, Rule 63 Hawkeye, Black Lantern, Poison Ivy & Rule 63 Bishop from the comics; Sith and Padme Amidala from Star Wars, and Rule 63 Noob Saibot from Mortal Kombat. I’ve also done an original Sci-fi/fantasy character I created called “Syn” from an independent film I wrote called “Blood/CLAN”. At some point I would love to do an anime costume. I have a few in mind that I have been considering so it’s probably only a matter of time before that happens.

Victoria: Have you ever dealt with any bullying or prejudice because you are a plus size cosplayer? If so, how did you cope? What advice would you give others?

MzTiyah: I have been fortunate to so far not have had to deal with any bullying or prejudice do to being a plus size cosplayer. I have heard many stories of other who have and it sickens me…especially since it seems most of it comes from someone who doesn’t even cosplay and just makes these comments from behind the safety of their keyboards.

Victoria: Do you feel there is a lack of plus size characters to choose from?

MzTiyah: Although I think that in general there should be more diversity overall in characters because it would greatly help reduce any stigma associated with plus size characters, I don’t personally choose a character based on them being plus size or not. When I choose to cosplay a character I try to adapt the costume to my body type. One of the characters I have cosplayed often is Storm from the X-Men. She has had many different costumes over the years so I have a lot to choose from. Since I don’t feel my body type is best suited for her most revealing costumes I pick from among her many other costumes. I debuted her Marvel NOW costume at this year’s Dragon*Con. I chose it because in addition to liking the overall look of the costume I felt that it accentuated my curves well while also allowing me to minimize areas of my body that I want to de-emphasize. If I did want to do a costume that I feel does not suit my body type as is then I would alter the costume to suit me. For instance, if the costume has an exposed mid-section then I might alter the design so that it is now enclosed. This also helps me be able to wear my personal costuming friends…foundation garments. I have about 10-15 different types of foundation garments from corsets to body shapers to help create the look I want. I sometimes layer different types depending on what each one shapes in order to accentuate and/or minimize.

Victoria: Where can people contact you and view a portfolio of your work?

MzTiyah: They can check out my cosplay page here: https://www.facebook.com/MzTiyahCosplay

4 comments:

  1. as a plus size cosplayer im happy to see more and more plus size cosplayers comming out and standing up for something we all love :) YAY US!!! lolz

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  2. I think everybody should cosplay! Cosplay is for fun and everybody should respect eachother whether the character you cosplay has another size or another skin tone.

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  3. I'm so happy you did this. Thick women don't get enough love and I think think plus size women are beautiful too... http://www.jwcey.com/hot-women/plus-size-versus-skinny-chicks

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  4. I would love to learn more about becoming a plus size cosplayer but am having a hard time finding outfits and idk how to make them :(

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