Jump directly to the content
Confessions of a Cosplay Momalexerde / Flickr

Confessions of a Cosplay Mom

Jul 22 2014
How this Christian parent learned to embrace the wacky Comic-Con scene.

When I tell people that my teenage daughter loves to cosplay, they often have no idea what I'm talking about. Cosplay? What's that?

Costumed play, or cosplay, has emerged as a colorful subculture of dress up and role-play. Cosplay conventions are major events where tens of thousands of fans gather, united by their love of anime/manga (types of Japanese animation) or their favorite comics.

The popular Comic-Con International in San Diego—coming up this weekend, July 24-27—will draw as many as 130,000 guests, and smaller regional and local cons take place all across the country.

Most who attend come dressed as one of their favorite characters. Regardless of the subgenre—superheroes, sci-fi figures, steampunks, zombies—cosplayers are expected to have made their costumes. Store-bought costumes are just not the same as the detailed replicas, bright wigs, and bold accessories shown off in the world of cosplay.

Courtesy of Jamie Janosz

About five years ago, my daughter became interested in cosplay and created her first costume to attend a convention. Since then, we have made countless trips to craft store as I learned to sew, trace, and glue; create patterns from scratch; and apply stage makeup. My husband and I, transformed by her vision and design, even joined her as fellow Pokemon characters. (We looked the part—enough to get stopped for photos—but had to fake it a bit because our Pokemon knowledge is extremely limited.)

Some people may wonder why I decided to cosplay with my daughter or even let her get involved with such an unusual hobby in the first place. The worst of the cosplay critics worry that this subculture represents something dangerous, cultish, and strange. I speak to you as a cosplay convert, a parent who has come to see great value in my daughter's interest in this fun, imaginative, costumed world.

To start, conventions generally maintain a family-friendly atmosphere, with video games, discussion panels, costume pageants, photo sessions, and other activities. (Late-night activities may be 18 and up.) While parents may notice some cosplayers in "sexy" costumes featuring cleavage, corsets, and short shorts, most con-goers focus on accuracy and imagination over sex appeal.

Outsiders may be concerned about some of the characters and the "evil" depicted in certain series. But the themes of cosplay ultimately relate back to classic storytelling archetypes: the ongoing struggle between good and evil, heroes and villains, light and dark (not to mention, a message pivotal to the gospel). So as a Christian and a mom, I not only allow my daughter to cosplay, I encourage it.

Related Topics:Parenting; Superman; Youth
From: July 2014

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

More from Her.menutics
Thanking Our Immigrant Parents

Thanking Our Immigrant Parents

How Master of None points to the joy, not the guilt, of “Honor your father and mother.”
College Can Kill Our Colorblindness (If We Let It)

College Can Kill Our Colorblindness (If We Let It)

I used to be the white girl who didn't get it.
True Love Consents: Why Teach Christian Youth about Boundaries

True Love Consents: Why Teach Christian Youth about Boundaries

“No means no” matters at every stage.
Why It’s So Hard to Resist Grieving on Social Media

Why It’s So Hard to Resist Grieving on Social Media

We’d rather care imperfectly than appear like we don’t care at all.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

Your Husband’s Infidelity Is Not Your Fault

Adultery comes from a greedy heart, not an insufficient wife.


  • RT @michaboyett: Good words for Thanksgiving: https://t.co/dEOd3vtfJM
  • RT @d_l_mayfield: by far my fav episode of Master of None was "Parents." Here is a great take on that theme by @JenShamean : https://t.co/R2026
  • RT @SHoddeMiller: "Being 'you' isn't more important than being like Christ." On the hollowing out of "authenticity." https://t.co/cAoXut8bh2026
  • "I remember dark times of my life from which I struggled to praise him, when I couldn2019t force thankfulness..." https://t.co/6Qn0K928eG
  • RT @dorcas_ct: The parents who speak most openly and comfortably about sex tend to have children who delay having sex as a result. https://2026

What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Confessions of a Cosplay Mom