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Cerritos’ Cosplaying Covergirl

Business+major+Elizabeth+Craig++has+been+cosplaying+since+the+age+of+15.+Craig+views+cosplay+more+as+a+part+of+her+life+than+a+hobby.+
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Cerritos’ Cosplaying Covergirl

Business major Elizabeth Craig  has been cosplaying since the age of 15. Craig views cosplay more as a part of her life than a hobby.

Business major Elizabeth Craig has been cosplaying since the age of 15. Craig views cosplay more as a part of her life than a hobby.

TM Cesar Villa

Business major Elizabeth Craig has been cosplaying since the age of 15. Craig views cosplay more as a part of her life than a hobby.

TM Cesar Villa

TM Cesar Villa

Business major Elizabeth Craig has been cosplaying since the age of 15. Craig views cosplay more as a part of her life than a hobby.

Cesar Villa and Desmond Byrd

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It’s humid and smelly, a young cosplayer is struggling to keep her costume from falling apart, at the same time she is being welcomed and applauded for it at the Anime Expo.

The illustrious world of cosplay belongs to those who dare to bring fantasy into reality, whether it’s building an elaborate armor or wearing almost nothing at all.

For students like Elizabeth Craig, a 19-year-old business major, cosplaying isn’t a hobby or a phase, it’s apart of her life.

Craig began her cosplaying career at the age of 15 and has learned to design her own costumes through the help of YouTube and two artists, her parents.

“I’ve always been an artsy-fartsy person, I like to just make stuff, and I was kinda cosplaying before I knew what cosplaying was,” she said.

Craigs earliest cosplays were of Ash and Pikachu from the notorious “Pokémon” anime series.

It wasn’t until she went to the Nasai Festival in Little Tokyo where her admiration and inspiration for cosplay blossomed.

She admitted that at the time she wasn’t dressed as a character, she had simply worn a pink wig, a black dress and white thigh highs at the event.

“All these cosplayers came up to me and said, ‘Hey, come join us in the parade,’” Craig laughed, “So I was in the parade and I was like this is something that I really want to do, and ever since that day cosplay’s been an obsession to me.”

Her first official costume that she made was Yuno Gasai from the manga series “Mirai Nikki” (Future Diary).

It took a long sleepless night to make just so she could wear it on her first day of school in her junior year.

Because Craig likes to “go all out” on her costumes, they tend to range from $200-$300 and can take a week to two months to finish.

She currently has two favorite costumes, the first is Deathwing from the “World of Warcraft” that was an armor build along with a charmanders tail attached to it.

The second is Alex from “Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux,” which had a dark, yet sleek look, both are role-playing video games.

Photo 1

One of Craig’s favorite character to cosplay is Alex from “Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux.” Craig spent a total of three weeks and $400 constructing the costume. Photo credit: Eliseo Velasquez

Craig spent over three weeks crafting “Alex” and about $400 went into materials like: fabrics (that she personally sewn into a cape), a $200 bodysuit, a wig, a headset made of resin and a gun made of apoxie sculpts and pvc.

This costume also holds sentimental value.

“It took me three weeks to make this intricate cape and I finished it just a couple of days after my grandma died,” she said, “whenever I wear the costume it’s like I feel her with me.”

Unlike many cosplayers, Craig tends to dress up as characters from video games over anime because she’s a gamer at heart.

Craig grew up watching her father play games and picked up the controller at five years old, “I played mainly Playstation and around 11, I got my first Xbox 360 — now I play Nintendo and PC, I’m moving on up to the master race,” she said with a chuckle.

With the combination of her timid nature and the bullying she received in middle school she ended up diagnosing herself with social anxiety and depression.

Because Craig was bullied she often found friends by playing online and would invest lots of time playing.

She found out later that the best way to cope with her depression was through cosplaying, she said, “I fell into depression for a couple months because I wasn’t making anything after my grandma passed away.”

“If I play a video game, working, going to school or even doing school projects it’s not the same, if I’m not working on cosplay, my life’s a wreck,” she concluded.

Photo 9

Craig uses cosplay as a coping mechanism to combat depression. Cosplay can even be attributed to Craig’s “cracking out of her shell.” Photo credit: Cesar Villa

Craig also said that she’s been cracking out of her shell due to her cosplaying, and has been gaining more friends on social media.

She has even gained fans that look up to her ability to create and model her costumes and is filled with content and bewilderment as to why they would choose to support her.

Craig has immersed herself with Japanese culture by learning the language, listening to their music and consuming anime and Japanese video games.

She has also faced criticism by others calling her a “weeaboo,” which is a derogatory slang term used to describe a westerner who is obsessed with Japanese culture.

“I used to be really insulted by it, but now I embrace because it’s true, its bad but it’s true,” she said, “it’s probably insulting to the Japanese like no you’re white stop acting like your Japanese.”

“I’m not at the point where I’m disrespectful anymore, where I’m speaking half broken Japanese […] I want to be on that line where I can be interested and willing to learn, but not to the point where I’m actually disgraceful to people,” she said.

Most cosplayers go through some sort of sexual harassment whether it’s online or in public, Craig explained that more often than not people will be harassed when doing photo shoots in public.

Recently she faced an ordeal with a user who left inappropriate comments, and fearing for her safety, she decided to block and report the person.

With the help of her friends she was also able to remove all locations from her Instagram profile, delete an old Facebook account, changed her online name on all social medias and archived all the photos the user had found her in.

She did all this to insure her safety she said, “You can’t always pass things off as internet comments or trolling because they can become very real.”

Craig has been fortunate enough to not have dealt with any body-shamers while cosplaying, and that she feels comfortable with her body while understanding that it’s actually a luxury to feel that way.

Photo 5

Contrary to most cosplayers, Craig prefers to cosplay as charcteres from video games as opposed to characters from anime. One example of Craig’s cosplays is Link from “The Legend of Zelda.” Photo credit: Eliseo Velasquez

She has said that she normally sticks to characters with her body type and skin color “As much as I believe whatever color of skin or weight you are you could cosplay whatever you want.

“I do think that when it comes to me, a skinny white person, I need to stay in my lane,” she concluded with a laugh.

If you would like to see more of Craig’s
cosplays then follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter @Wyvellie.

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About the Contributors
Cesar Villa, Staff Writer

Cesar Villa is a Talon Marks staff writer. Cesar's interests are music, games, books, random facts, and cars. Cesar is exceptional at photography and communication...

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Cerritos’ Cosplaying Covergirl”

  1. Inquisitive Feline on January 26th, 2019 12:36 am

    What a piteous title. Allow me to dissect this article little by little.

    This cosplayer is everything a progressive cosplay community would be against and what they represent for; she is an abysmal example. Allow me to raise these following points: ( which are purely subjective, and of course, the authors may just brush this aside as me “hating”. Ignorance is bliss, however! )

    May I ask who decided as a community nominated her as ” Cerritos’ Cosplay Cover Girl”? It doesn’t seem like she has any professional background, let alone any standing from a social standpoint of her having merit to the title.

    Aside from her cosplaying as a busty character ( that is underage, mind you ) from a video game that values gacha over actual stories and actual compelling storytelling, there are more flaws in this article that I question or the views of this cosplayer being featured.

    ” It’s humid and smelly, a young cosplayer is struggling to keep her costume from falling apart, at the same time she is being welcomed and applauded for it at the Anime Expo-”
    First of all… yes, she is an inexperienced and young cosplayer. But these words are brandished with heavy egoism trips over being applauded over… not being prepared for a summer convention? I understand mistakes are inevitable, and it makes you grow as a cosplayer. But this is kind of a bleak introduction especially when she is donned in a scantily clad costume as it seems that veiled under the “applauds” and “praise”, it is simply because she is cosplaying as their “waifu”.

    And second of all, this is not her cosplay career. There is no mention of Elizabeth making commissions, expressing her love of making costumes, let alone she does not brag of any profit that she makes of this hobby. She is a hobbyist of cosplaying; this is NOT her career.

    ” Because Craig likes to go out on her costumes, they tend to range from $200-300 and can take a week to two months to finish”

    That seems really… flamboyant to say, personally. “Go all out”? What about the cosplayers who don’t have the resources to make the “impeccable costumes” that the public seems to adore her for? This gives off major elitism vibes.

    Third of all, this was an extreme metaphorical red flag I find myself shaking my head at.

    ” With the combination of her timid nature and the bullying she received in middle school she ended up diagnosing herself with social anxiety and depression. ”

    Excuse me but NO. Self-diagnosis does NOT MEAN SHE HAS SAID CONDITIONS. A mental health care professional have not evaluated her and therefore there is no evidence of her having these conditions. Being an advocate for mental health myself I find it disheartening there are people like Elizabeth who claim they have said mental illnesses without a proper diagnosis. And especially because of the bragging earlier regarding how much money she spends on said costumes, would she not have the resources to seek mental health treatment instead of using cosplay as a glorified, nerdy version of retail therapy for validation?

    ” She has also faced criticism by others calling her a “weeaboo”, which is a derogatory slang term used to describe a westerner who is obsessed with Japanese culture.”

    That is incorrect. A weeaboo is basically somebody who WANTS to be of asian descent and disrespects the asian culture.

    I also find it quite interesting how the article highlights a tearjerking tale on how she is the target of online harassment, yet at the very end shares all of her social media yet again as a form of “metamorphosis” that the “haters” totally don’t bother her anymore.

    ” I do think that when it comes to me, a skinny white person, I need to stay in my lane,” she concluded with a laugh.

    Excuse me for sounding like an “aggressive feminist”, but that’s the epitome phrase for white privilege there. There are women of color in cosplay who are not represented enough in the community and the whitewashing and gentrification in media seems to not only drown in mainstream media as well, but also it seems into “nerdy hobbies” such as cosplay as well, this article being an impeccable example.

    Personally, I believe she is a poor role model for cosplay. Also, the comparison between the cameo shots taken by Cesar Villa and the pictures taken by Eliseo Velasquez are quite a stark contrast; you can definitely tell how edited and photoshopped her images are.

    Cosplay isn’t about being fake; cosplay is about being authentic to not only to the character, but who you are behind the mask as well.

    And this article is clearly blinded by egotistical trips, humblebragging, stories trying to induce you to cry, and just a very poor article on what cosplay truly entails. I really do suggest a revamp regarding Talon Marks on what cosplay truly is and not just some metaphorical worship around this cosplayer.

  2. Alison Hernandez on January 28th, 2019 6:14 pm

    As someone who is a part of the cosplay community I find your comment to be very hypocritical. This article was not meant to place this cosplayer on a pedestal and suggest she’s the ideal cosplayer to represent the Cerritos College cosplay community. The intent of the article was to spotlight individuals who attend the school and have interesting or unique hobbies. This cosplayer just happened to be one the writer knew was a student here and who agreed to be interview, this wasn’t something that was “decided as a community”.

    Who are you to judge what characters the cosplayer chooses to cosplay? She is simply showing her appreciation for a game or character, which is the point of cosplay. Cosplay is for anyone regardless of their skill level, it’s meant to show how much you love or appreciate a certain game. There are no rules that you have to cosplay from some sort of high level series with deeper meanings and world changing commentary. If she wants to cosplay a busty character that is her choice, and it’s wrong of you to shame her for it.
    If you have a problem with the character’s age and how they are portrayed in media why don’t you take it up with the company who designed them instead of a cosplayer?
    If the article lacks information such as whether or not the cosplayer does commissions (which she does) and if she expresses how much she loves the hobby, then that fault lies with the interviewer for not asking the right questions or not getting that information. Your comment reads as if you’re aiming your criticisms more at the cosplayer than at the writer of the article.

    The cosplayer had no control over how the article was written or what words the writer used. This was a feature story, she was interviewed for HER perspective and the writer wrote the story. If she wants to share that for her going all out means spending $200 – 300 on cosplay than so be it, that is her experience.

    Though I do find myself agreeing with your stance on self diagnosis, I still believe that your comment reeks of cosplay elitism more than what you critiqued of the article.

  3. Anon on January 28th, 2019 6:17 pm

    In response to Inquisitive Feline:

    You talk like you’re a huge advocate for the cosplay community, yet you’re such a hypocrite attacking this cosplayer for her costume and cosplay experiences. Sorry the person herself is a busty woman, wanting to cosplay her favorite character in the same outfit she is portrayed wearing in the game. If you have a problem with the character’s costume design, because she is a minor, then take it up with the maker of the game. There is no reason to attack the cosplayer for making the costume fit her body.

    You want to talk about the title of the magazine? Obviously she isn’t the only cosplayer in the school. She’s not the cosplay mascot and anyone who takes the time to think critically knows that. She is just one of the cosplayers who they were able to contact and interview. You don’t need to talk badly about the quality of her cosplay to prove your point, if you actually cared about the community. Just say the writer of the article can’t write/doesn’t know anything, and leave.

    That being said, cosplay is something for anyone, and can be practiced in multiple ways. Yes, she spends money to craft her cosplays, because SHE likes to go all out. She didn’t say cosplaying is about going all out and spending all your money, if I have to nitpick the writing like you. She talks about HER experiences as a cosplayer, and growing from the criticism because that’s something many cosplayers face. This article shows only ONE experience and you’d have to be a 5 year old to think she’s meant to be the symbol for all.

    And the part about her staying in her lane, because she’s white? It means she doesn’t speak over P.O.C. cosplayers and will elevate their voices. Unlike many cosplayers, she knows she has a certain privilege given to her by people in the community, and she knows not to use it to block out P.O.C. cosplayers. I don’t know why you’re attacking her for that.

    That nonsense about her making it into a career? What do you know. You don’t have to have commissions for it to be a career. Not everyone has the time and energy to do commissions. A lot of big time cosplayers, don’t have commissions; and you do realize you can make your hobby apart of your career?

    Here’s a suggestion for a criticism that doesn’t involve attacking the cosplayer, “You should have interviewed a variety cosplayers, to show multiple views on cosplay.” That’s it. You are literally the type of person that the cosplay community HATES.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
Cerritos’ Cosplaying Covergirl