For some cosplay is seen as a current ‘trendy’ activity for those who wish to be part of the media backed ‘geek culture’; which has received a lot of attention in recent years, mainly due to popular TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory. One by-product of this is attractive women, (who proudly call themselves ‘geek girls’) dressing up as characters from games, cartoons, movies, anime and comic books.
Some accuse the women of trying to cash in on a popular trend (with the intention of launching a modeling career) and have no real interest in ‘geek culture’ at all. While this may be true for some, it does not apply to all; and certainly not to Ireland Reid.
Drawn to dressing up as her favourite characters since a young age Ireland Reid fondly recalls looking forward to each Halloween, when her mother and grandmother (both seamstresses) would create costumes of her favourite characters for her; as well as teaching Ireland the craft of clothes making.
This skill served her well after moving to California (to pursue a modeling career) when Ireland moved from being featured in magazines, (such as Maxim), to working with swimsuit companies to design, and make, bikinis. Not one to rest on her looks Ireland first achieved a degree in business, then health care administration before beginning work on an MBA.
As if that weren’t enough to keep one busy Ireland officially launched herself as a cosplayer three years ago, and has since gone on to receive lots of recognition for the costumes she creates for her multiple appearances; which she keeps fans informed of through her various media.
While many have reported the (often) negative attitude and overly competitive nature that many cosplayers have toward one another, (which shows such as The Heroes of Cosplay has helped fuel) Ireland views cosplay as an expression of a personal art form and disagrees with body typing cosplayers based on their looks.
To this extent Ireland was quoted in one interview with this statement: “People come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Cosplayers should focus more on the craft of the costume than judging what the person looks like based on society standards.”
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight