If there is one thing I have learned about cosplayers in my three years of being one of them it’s that cosplayers love attention. So when seated in front of a panel of six confident, beautiful cosplayers it was difficult to know who to pay attention to. I walked in, myself cosplaying as Captain Marvel and was immediately called out by the panel for my awesome costume. We were off to a good start. The panel was comprised of cosplayers of all ages, ranging from early twenties to mid-forties. Everyone on the panel knew their stuff. Some came from an extensive costume and theater background, and some were new to the game but excelling. As far as an educational panel, this one was the most fun I’ve ever had. Theater people know how to command a room—and boy, did they.

Advice was handed out freely, like you can cosplay anything if you know the right makeup technique. The biggest lesson taken away was basically “fuck body shamers” because, like I have adamantly stated in the past, if you are cosplaying you are brave and having fun and shouldn’t let anyone take that away from you. A girl cosplaying as Ramona Flowers had brought up that she is not the right body type to cosplay Ramona Flowers, but the panel applauded her and made her tear up because she put the work into her costume and was kicking ass. Overall, if anyone has ever had any reservations about cosplaying, even as you get older, I’d recommend this panel for an extra boost of confidence.