I've been a fangirl pretty much my whole life. It started with Star Trek and as I got older, I added many more TV series, movies and books to the list of Things I'm Passionate About. I started doing cosplay back in the early 90's. It wasn't called cosplay back then, and almost everyone made their own costumes. My very first costume that I actually made myself, specifically to wear to a convention, was a first season Star Trek:TNG Star Fleet uniform. I got a lot of use out of that first costume.
My next foray into DIY costuming was a Bajoran military uniform. I had to buy the little forehead ridges to complete the look. It was sharp! I still have the Bajoran uniform. When I look at it now, I realize just how much of an amateur seamstress I was back then. Despite that, I'm proud of my accomplishment.
When the show Xena, Warrior Princess hit the airwaves, I was an instant fan. I LOVED all the costumes, but I didn't have the leather-working skills to make Xena's corset armor. So, I decided to tackle Calisto's two piece scale leather ensemble. Ambitious, I'll admit, but I really wanted that costume! And ya know what? I pulled it off. It wasn't perfect, but I still got a lot of attention and compliments when I wore it.
That was over 20 years ago. Now that I'm--ahem--a woman of a certain age, I've felt a little reticent about putting on what is essentially a black leather bikini and parading around in public. Even though I'm in arguably the best shape of my life, and the costume still fits perfectly. Recently, I've been experiencing a change in attitude, though, thanks to a panel I attended at 2016 L.A. Comic-Con. The panelists all consisted of cosplayers over 40. I was inspired by these men and women who, just because they've passed the age where they can no longer be considered young, they've continued to cosplay their favorite characters, some whose outfits show a lot of skin!
So, I've decided that I'm going to cosplay Calisto once again, proudly and boldly. Sure, I'm not in my 20's anymore. Hell, I'm well north of 40! But so what? Cosplay is definitely NOT just for the young, and us older cosplayers don't have to limit ourselves to shapeless robes. I'm showing some skin!!