I feel as if I were destined to cosplay.
It started with dress-up, of course: a spare hamper of Mom’s castoffs and old Halloween costumes, set aside for play time. Perhaps it’s meant to indoctrinate young girls into a culture of fashion and shopping.
It progressed to a love of Halloween, not for the hoard of candy (which frequently lasted until Easter) but for the act of decorating. No other holiday fosters such elaborate and creative contrivances. Maybe Christmas. Whereas Christmas offers icing-painted cookies, Halloween offers layers of sugary imitation mud with Milano-tombstones; placidly-feeding reindeer and twinkling lights instead of heart-stopping shadowy figures and cackling silhouettes. Silent nights instead of unnerving screeches.
Halloween, for me, began no earlier than September (house rule) and required not only the aforementioned dress-up clothes and costumes but also clothes hangers, tape, string, trees, bushes, concrete block walls, peeled grapes, popsickle sticks, and anything else I could find to assemble an engaging environment. (Thanks, Mom! The smoke machine was really cool until we realized how many people had asthma.)
College ended that.
What those things did, though, was give me a love for the masks to hide behind and the resourcefulness to build them. Having a job and income only helped, buying my ticket to being an elf, Star Trek engineer, Victorian (lazy Steampunk) woman, and, best of all, Wraith from Sentinels of the Multiverse.
Of all the things I do, cosplay is perhaps the most expensive and the most frivolous. (Especially when my costume goes unrecognized.) But each assembly is an opportunity to stretch a new branch of creativity, reinforce old skills, and learn new ones.
Thank you, Fandom, for letting me indulge.
Now have a great and creative Halloween!