Shampoo from Ranma 1/2 // Cosplayer : Pie Noon
Cosplay has impacted my life in a good and bad way. The bad parts of it is being fat-shamed, being told my craftsmanship is not good enough, having to sift through the cosplayers that pretend to be my friend in order to use me for their own personal projects, being told I wasn’t white enough or Asian enough. The good parts of it is being able to find cosplayers with genuine hearts and similar struggles and or issues within themselves and the community. I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support through this con process. Most of my close friends are now cosplayers. They’re quick to come to my rescue if I’m ever bullied or depressed. And most of them actually call me, which is a rare trait to find. Cons have helped me overcome my apprehensiveness to approach people, it helped me find my voice.
I, at first wasn’t planning to attend this year’s Anime Expo, especially when I was fat-shamed last year for my fruit maid Sailor Jupiter cosplay. At that moment I wanted to give up on cosplay and attending cons. I was dealing with a lot during that event: high anxiety, the loss of my daughter and having to get back into shape and my son’s anxiety. I wasn’t prepared for the crowd and everything that came with it. I decided to attend this year’s AX because a lot of my friends were attending, it’s also my last AX.
Shampoo was a character that I sort of identified with and admired. She, like myself was made fun of and taken for granted. She was always a character I wanted to cosplay for a very long time, but never got around to do it. I’ve grown up with reading Ranma mangas and also following the anime show. I really love Shampoo for accepting Ranma for who he is, her persistence in trying to win him over, her loyalty and how she’s a fighter. I use to own a catering business which is why I chose this version of Shampoo to cosplay as. I made her for this year’s Chinese New Year event. I thought Shampoo would be comfortable to cosplay in this record breaking heat in LA.
The costume was fairly easy to put together because most of it was repurposed. I had already owned a red Chinese dress, the apron was from an Alice cosplay I never finished, floral and bows were made into hair clips and wig was purchased through Amazon and dyed purple. I had to make my props which took longer than expected. I wanted to make her cat cafe delivery box and ramen bowl. The cat delivery box was made from eva foam, spray painted in silver, the sliding door was made from cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil for that reflective effect, and the handle was cut from a bamboo stick from Micheals. The ramen bowl was saved from awhile ago. The actual ramen itself, I crocheted using my own patterns I made up as I crocheted along the way. I did a live video on my IG of how I did it followed by a short DIY post.
The response was surprisingly positive. I really didn’t know how it would be received by the young millennials, but it was positive. I was pleased to see that it was still nostalgic for people my age and older. More than a handful of people asked to take my photo. It was a weird experience for me, weird in a good way because I normally don’t get stopped this much at a con.
Some fun interactions with congoers and cosplayers, some would yell out one of Shampoo’s voice lines from afar or share a touching story of how they were so appreciative to have met me because it made them reconnect with their inner childhood. Shampoo was their first crush. That really made me feel happy to cosplay as her, because that’s what I wanted to accomplish…bringing back that happy childhood.
For non-cosplayers, be respectful when you go to cons. Cosplayers have feelings too. I’d like people to know that cosplaying can be fun when you’re surrounded by the right people. We can find genuine friendships in this cosplay community to cultivate for years to come. Nobody is ever too young or too old to cosplay. Cosplayers come in many shapes, sizes and colors! Don’t let anyone stop you or pressure you into cosplaying a character you don’t like. The whole purpose of cosplaying is to have fun. That meaning is often lost with a lot of cosplayers. Go out and live your best life!