What comes up for you when the term “Mental Health” is mentioned? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Do you feel anxious or sad? Many people struggle with their own thoughts along with the stigma that comes up with it.
Here’s my post on what I found out about the battles and challenges of anxiety, depression and other disorders… at MCM London! – Jono Poon.
Are they really “disorders” or are they there to help people become mentally stronger by overcoming and working with their mental capacity? We are brought up led to believe that by admitting to our emotions is perceived as being “weak” and that we are not allowed to be “vulnerable” to people around us. I say its all nonsense instead, I admire those that overcome their struggles with mental health as it’s a sign of strength and desire to achieve more instead of letting their mind rule their lives.
I’ve self-diagnosed myself with depression previously and it’s easy to feel sad and upset and the whole world seems to be against you, every thought, every action seems to have a negative outcome. It’s a vicious realm when you’re in the dark tunnel as if you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you look believe and stay focused enough on the positives, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is reachable.
The great thing about cosplaying is that you get to craft your costume to become your favourite character that might have inspired you in life, picked you up during dark times, shifted your conscious thinking positively or made a dramatic change in your behaviour because you really wanted to be like them from the comics, anime, movies, series etc. It’s a great place for you to create and let your creativity come out to play.
You also get to be apart of an awesome positive community that has similar interests as you do! So don’t feel left out because you’re a little afraid of what people might think! Everyone is there to enjoy themselves and have fun!
I went to MCM London with a serious purpose, however.
I asked Cosplayers THEIR tips for those looking to get started in cosplaying and those that struggle with any mental health challenges and how they overcame it themselves. These are the real people who have developed their mental health (and overcoming mental health challenges) as THEIR SUPERPOWER!
I’ll also share with you my first cosplay experience being in a Pikachu costume. I’ve never dressed up or cosplayed in my life until MCM Comic Con at London! So when the opportunity came to take the Pikachu costume back from the stage to the stall, I decided to jump into it and see what it would be like.
Now, this is my personal experience and some of you may relate or may not relate for those that haven’t done it before. However, it’s a great self-discovery and self-awareness exercise to try it out too! It felt a little bit awkward and uneasy at first because I was inside a Pikachu costume and no one could see me and I just never knew what to expect. As soon as I put the costume over me, not even a minute later, I had people running up to me asking to take photos!
What I found great about MCM London:
I made people smile as… Pikachu!
During this MCM Comic Con in London, I decided to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I did my first cosplay by jumping into a Pikachu costume, if you were passing by the Sakura Tree stand at Costume and Play and saw a fanatic hyperactive Pikachu constantly jumping and waving at you on a Saturday afternoon between 1pm and 5pm – it would likely to have been me!
It was so much fun making people SMILE from inside the costume! I was constantly smiling inside! (get it? haha) although people could not see my face inside the costume, I was really actually smiling as I saw other people smile when they saw me frantically waving at them until they did the following…
1- Smile back! – awesome win!
2 – Waved back – that’s cool too!
3 – High-fived me – BOOM!
4 – Hugged Pikachu Costume/me Winner!
If they didn’t do any of the above… I would constantly wave in their direction until they acknowledge me by giving me a nod or some sort! (Give the cosplay newbie some points for effort!)
The best part is when you can see the smiles on peoples faces and happiness that is generated within, and that in itself is the biggest fulfilment and satisfaction you can get as a cosplayer.
All the yummy food stalls people prepare! Oh and Boba tea!
Seeing other cosplayers making most of the photo opportunities:
You’ll also have the opportunity to meet some of your favourite actors in real life too at MCM Comic Con!
Also getting to see the next blockbuster movie and take selfies with dinosaurs seem like a great idea.
And lastly, our almighty leader Robin Bates of Coaching for Geeks shared the stage with Jess from Costume & Play interviewing a few cosplayers about their Cosplay Life!
From highlights, secrets and mischiefs that they’ve had during their time cosplaying to quality advice for those that are cosyplaying already or looking to get started! We had on stage MCing Ben Allan along with the guests, The Short Weirdo, Helen Alice Cosplay, Kenny Cosplay Stuff, Dream Away Cosplay and Rocket Penguin Cosplay!
So here’s the tips I got from Cosplayers…
Mental Health Tips From MCM London Cosplayers
Here are some of the cosplayers that I asked for their one life one tip for cosplayers that are looking to get started or struggling with mental health and cosplaying, be prepared to be inspired! You’ll find that some of them say the similar thing because it’s true!
Thor – “Build your character, enjoy the process and stop worrying about the details, it’s the effort that counts”
Wonder Woman – “Learn from your mistakes, enjoy the process and have fun with it”
Winter Soldier – “Don’t take yourself too seriously, do it for yourself and not to please other people”
Skyrim – “Dress up as someone that you want to and don’t worry about what everyone else thinks”
Robin – “Go and dress like someone you resonate with and enjoy yourself”
“Go with what you enjoy wearing”
“It’s like interacting as a mascot”
“Be in someone you enjoy and have fun”
“don’t be afraid, enjoy it and have fun”
Genji – “Don’t be shy, start conversations and don’t be afraid of it”
Hanzo – “Stop worrying about other people’s opinions, enjoy yourself, it’s not about the fame or amount of followers you have, just have fun!”
Simo Sim Cosplay – “If you come to a cosplay and you don’t cosplay yourself, you’ll feel left out, so you might as well cosplay and enjoy yourself”
Harrixon Cosplay – “Come and be who you want to be, surround yourself with others because you’re not alone!”
Monkey King – “Have a lot of patience, keep working on your costume and have fun with it!”
Hopefully some of these words from these amazing cosplayers will have given you some inspiration or a bit more confidence to start your own cosplay journey, or to keep going if you already do it! At the end of the day, you’re not just doing it for yourself but those who are around you – and if you have kids, you’re inspiring them to believe that they get to become whoever they want to be… literally, anyone, even if they’re not human!
If you have read to the end of the article, thank you from the bottom of my heart and our almighty leader Robin Bates for giving me another opportunity to write another article covering another MCM Comic Con. It’s always great to have a different perspective and great fun being able to have the opportunity to cover more personal perspectives from the cosplayers side too.
Cosplaying isn’t just dressing up and becoming your favourite character and developing your own confidence, it helps other people develop the belief that they can go out and join the cosplay community too!
Remember to live a life with no limits!
Jono Poon – the fanatic hyperactive Pikachu constantly jumping and waving at you on Saturday