Every year, I try to attend some fan pop-culture conventions and events during the year. As of this moment, the only one I have attended so far is this year’s Asia Pop Comic Con, which I do attend every year. However, this time, my experience was very different, especially as my social anxiety was almost non-existent as I experienced all the sights and sounds that the con had to offer, cosplaying as Ruby Rose from “RWBY”.
Just like most people on the spectrum, I always experience some level of social anxiety when I attend events. I explained all about it in this particular post. However, this time around, I experienced no social anxiety whatsoever. In fact, I have never felt as confident as I felt that day.
I think that a part of it was the fact that I was the one who made my own outfit this year, and I made a post on how I made my costume over here on my other blog. I chose to go as Ruby Rose from an anime inspired American animated show called “RWBY”, which, coincidentally, just celebrated its fifth anniversary.
Among all the awesome characters in “RWBY”, my favorites are Ruby Rose and Nora Valkyrie. These two girls are the characters who are most like me. However, I chose to do Ruby first. I can relate to Ruby as I can be a little fail and clumsy at times, yet I’m really good at topics and areas that are my strengths. However, I can be extremely clingy to those I rely on the most, just like Ruby can be clingy towards her older sister, Yang, and to her best friend, Weiss. Ruby is a fighter, but she has a huge handicap as she prefers her scythe-gun, the Crescent Rose, which is more of a long range weapon, and she cannot do hand to hand or close quarter combat at all. In her team, she was made the leader due to her ability to inspire others despite her shortcomings, and her ability also to direct her team in combat situations. Just like her, I have my shortcomings and handicap, and I do largely have an optimistic view of life, and in a group setting, I’m the one who gives moral support and helps inspire others to do what they need to do or to come up with what we need to come up with. I also am pretty good at logistics, and directing and coordinating those things when need be.
Making the costume wasn’t easy, and knowing that I was able to overcome these challenges to make it made me feel even more confident.
That feeling just kept on growing and growing as several people called out my character’s name, asked to take my picture or to take a picture with them, and some even asked me “RWBY” based questions. I tried to make the Ruby voice as much as I could, and I do regret that I wasn’t really able to study any of her poses or make that huge scythe of hers to pose with, but considering everything, I think that I did well.
Wearing the costume also made me feel more brave in asking for pictures with cosplayers whose costumes I really liked, with the 501st Legion as I always do every year, and with cosplayers dressed up as characters that I really do like.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I am of the opinion that cosplay has does empower people like me who are on the spectrum and who have severe social anxiety on top of that. I think that this is because it not only does it help you celebrate a part of your special interests, but it is also a gateway to meet other people as you already have something in common so you do skip the small talk, but it also allows you to be yourself by celebrating a part of what makes you unique even though you are pretending to be a different character. Because of this, during the event, you end up being more confident and able to conquer everything, just as your the character your dressed up does.
I also felt even more validated as they liked my outfit, despite its flaws, which taught me that I can sew and do arts and crafts after all.
I will continue to cosplay and hopefully get better at it, even though I’m not the type to join competitions, because it shows me that I can do something like this, and it helps empower me to be more self-confident at events like this.
What do you think? Do you also cosplay? Let me know what you think in the comments below!