Cos-Playing Hard To Get

My Friends Laura Dagless and Matt Halsey - These are not oddballs
My friends Laura and Matt – not oddballs!

When I was at primary school (man this is going back two decades now) we had a fancy dress competition. I can’t remember why we had the competition, all I remember is that I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be in it. I had a couple of weeks to get a costume together, and the costume I chose came together by accident. I had a pair of blue dungarees, (I’m sure you can see where this is leading) I had a long sleeved red T-shirt, I was given a red cap and some white gloves, (I wasn’t given any extra padding to make my tiny body fat). With all these items there was only one character I could be. The guy from the Go Compare? No you crazy fools, I was Mario!

As a young kid I was a major Nintendo fan. I loved Mario, Star Fox, just anything Nintendo. All my friends were fans of Mario too and I thought it would be really cool if I dressed up as Mario for the competition. With the clothing items I had collected and my paper ‘tash that was coloured-in with brown felt tip pens then sellotaped to my face this was definitely my first experience of any type of cosplay (or even crossplay, something that will disturb you when you first come across it).

It felt so great, everyone who dressed up including myself were showing off our outfits. I always remember the other kids chanting “Mario, Mario, Mario!” I really felt like I was going to win.

I didn’t win, the headteacher who was judging the competition picked a girl who dressed up as the main character from her favourite book. I can’t even remember what it was. I was too busy playing my Gameboy to read. Even with the biased judging, I knew I did great. I was so proud of my costume even though it was, thinking about it now, really rubbish, but for the many years I have now been cosplaying I am always very proud of my hard work and of the work of the other cosplayers.

But now, according to the ‘Daily Star’ I have been an ‘oddball’ since the age of 7.

“Mad Big Brother wannabes are lining up to join the show and make the next series the wackiest-ever to hit telly screens. They turned out in their droves as show bosses trawled a comic book convention for future housemates. Staff hoped London’s Comic Con event would offer up some of the nation’s biggest oddballs.”


Oddballs, hmm, I think they are mistaking cosplayers for mentalists such as Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan (or the inevitable celebrity couple ‘Sheehan’). It really is as if Big Brother assume cosplayers are wacky loons who have no grip on real life, (hmm well they haven’t met me yet). Some cosplayers can come across like this, but it’s only because they are young and have found a place where they finally fit in. They can meet friends that have the same interests, express themselves and not feel alone, this is the amazing thing about cosplay.

Viewtiful Susan and Rob, Edgeworth Svend and geisha Amanda – NOT ODDBALLS!!

Big Brother can only choose people aged 18 years old and over. Older cosplayers are very different from the younger ones. They are not crazy and dorky, (all the time) they often have jobs, ones where real money is involved, and we are not always playing video games, well I do, but it’s part of the job description.  As you might think, the cosplay community have gone crazy mad and I for one, also have a major issue with this.

Steph 'Tails', THE DUKE and erm, my sister as a Banana – NOT ODDBALLS!

I hardly ever complain about things like this, yes I may moan about the kooky kids at conventions because of being accidently beaten up by their massive swords, but this is affecting my friends. Though I must say, if any cosplayers do get put into the Big Brother house, they will be the most normal people in there. I for one have actually applied to this cock-up of a show, mainly because if I do get in, I’m gunna set the record straight (and possibly get a children’s TV presenter job out of it), and hopefully make those idiots at Channel 5 look like something far worse than freaking oddballs, but like a mutated, deformed version of Lindsay Lohan that has merged with the cast of The Only Way Is Essex!

Oh yes, you will be Vajazzeled!





6 responses to “Cos-Playing Hard To Get”

  1. arc14716 avatar

    Fran, for the record you are not an oddball. None of the people who dressed up for the cosplay contests that I’ve attended at the festival this year and last are oddballs. As a matter of fact, I’m acquainted with one of them and she’s a fairly normal person. Cosplay is just one way a fan of any video game or comic book expresses their love and appreciation for their favorite character or game. The hard work they put into their costume shows the love and devotion they’re willing to put into the outfit. And those costumes up above look great.

  2. Laura avatar

    Totally agree with you Fran, hope you get in to Big Brother +give them a good verbal thrashing, also when your a tv presenter i hope you will sneak me into the biz too XD i could make costumes from kids cartoon characters and be your side kick XD xx

  3. SamJM avatar

    Have to agree Fran, first time I cosplayed was about a year ago, and I had so much fun, going to be doing it again for another animé convention this August. Cosplayers are not oddballs. In fact they’re probably more normal and social and wonderful than most other people I know and they need to stop getting all this bad press. It’s great to read articles like this that give them praise. Thanks.

  4. hev avatar

    your defo no odball, games are an amazing way to leave worries back at home and go to a world of magic and mystery ,you can face your greatest fears (lara croft sqashed by bolder)im not a gamer and i dont dress in cosplay but ive lived with a gamer a good part of my life and she is certainley no oddball but is some one who i look up to and is very proud of who shes become xx

  5. Alex avatar

    I like your article but some of your own opinions are being pushed on the reader, just as you accuse the Star journalist of pushing their “oddball” comment. The two that bother me are 1) You saying people will find crossplay disturbing. As a trans person I have to technically ‘crossplay’ every day. A lot of people who are familiar with people outside of the “boys wear this and girls wear that” limitations won’t find crossplay ‘disturbing’ at all. I think it’s unfair to make such a sweeping generalisation of what people WILL think when seeing someone they view as one gender dressed up as the other. 2) The grip on ‘real life’. You have made another sweeping generalisation here trying to justify why every young cosplayer with ‘no grip on real life’ has this lack of grip on ‘real life’.

    I think instead of trying to play to the Star journalist’s obviously contrived stereotype and scream out “NOOO we aren’t all like *that* honest…” you ought to be standing up and saying “yeah, it’s ok to be different! We are and we’re fine with it!”

  6. Steph avatar

    Finally got around to viewing this blog, been so lazy recently and sick yet just moody, but I’m incredibly touched by my photo on here, love you Fran xxxxxx

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