When I was a little girl, I vacillated between wanting to be an actress, artist, singer, historian (Little House on the Prarie books and the Chicago Museum of Natural History did that), dancer, psychologist, ballerina, and, um…lawyer. (There’s always a black sheep, isn’t there?) The passions I did pursue were art and writing. Those two seemed to cover all my bases, except for law. (Don’t argue with me.) In fact, this was back before special programs, and I wrote a story in second grade that got the attention of a teacher, and was given special class privileges. (These privileges involved me and a few other smarty-pants sitting around the library reading or writing our own works, while the other peons drudge through, gee, multiplication tables? No wonder why I almost failed high school chemistry.)
Now that I’m a grown-up, I still love to write, can’t sing worth a damn (threatening to sing the entire soundtrack of ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ on Vent doesn’t count- that’s sadistic), and my supposed brilliant dance career was cut tragically short by a high fever on dance class day, and my mother never had the time to take me again.
So, I think it’s understandable that I love to play World of Warcraft.
One thing I can’t do, however, is dress-up in real life. That time has passed for me. There are just some things that are best left to those under age 28. This does not mean, though, that I think those who indulge in cosplay are weird, strange, dorky, etc. In fact, I have admiration, envy, and perhaps even a sculptural inclination to see if I could engineer something. I just don’t think I could pull it off, hence the envy.
From time to time, I will post some articles and links about cosplay: My Other Me: A Documentary on Cosplay.
I have posted this image before, and have since considered why I think it’s so amazing:
This image reminded me one of my favorite artists, Arthur Rackham. When I saw his work, I was truly, unabashedly enchanted, and have remained so, my whole life. His rich tones, shading, and the dark quality of his work embeds the painful themes that fairy tales are not nice. They are dark, stories of blood, fear, betrayal, morality, luck, pluck and sinister deeds. They are the cautionary tales parents told their children so they would not talk to strangers, (causing xenophobia, but oh well, at least the wolf won’t eat you), and that adults, quite often, are not to be trusted, including one’s own parents. Stepmothers in particular play a terrible archetype of “false, envious” mothering. And fairies, and other creatures without souls, may be beautiful, but cannot love you. Just like your date last night.
So even though I am well past the little girl who loved to play dress up, whose mother kept her hair in a pixie cut, and used towels for my ‘long hair” while playing bride, and painted nail polish on my face to be a clown (my mother said my friend and I couldn’t use lipstick — she didn’t say anything about nail polish), you will believe me when I say, I still wish I could, and applaud others who can, and do.