"This Is My Reality" - Positive Insights From Lady J Cosplay
"Absolutely beautiful. Well written."
- HB Gibson / The XONE
By: Ryan Weiss
Since my meeting with Lady J, there has been a lot that’s happened in my personal life thats drastically affected my family. When I write articles around events or interviews, I usually take a couple days for the information to process, then look over my notes. When looking over the notes for this interview, my experience with Lady J took on an entirely new meeting. I sincerely believe that this was not just an interview, but a positive situation that occurred, purposely, to lift me up today.
As we began to exchange insights, we realized that Wizard World Philadelphia 2011 was each our first comic con! We reminisced about what we thought the con layout looked like, trying to remember who was there and what we did. We then touched on what inspired her to cosplay and how that inspiration went back to watching Thundercats growing up. She jogged my memory; I can still remember my cousin not letting me play with his “Sword of Omens” toy!
I was particularly moved at Lady J’s dedication to the charitable works she participates in through the Philadelphia Avengers. This fuels her motivation to continue to cosplay. As she recalled a recent promotional event, she remembered a little girl that had an over-the-moon reaction to her Batgirl cosplay! It was the smile on the little girls face that continued to validate her dedication to cosplay. A simple smile coupled with innocent excitement is the keystone to Lady J’s dedication. It is her mission to convey positivity in a world that may not appear so positive.
Lady J is a paramount advocate for cospositivity in the cosplay world. She promotes positive body image along with having a "no limit"outlook on your cosplay simply because of your body type. “No matter what, embrace yourself.” These are strong words! These words have ricocheted back to me this week and have given me hope for the future. Lady J revealed that cosplaying has also opened the door to for her own inner strength. By pushing herself with versions of Black Canary and Savage Rouge, she has built up her own inner self confidence. This, in turn, has given her the “super power” to refute critics constructively and have a great sense of humor about herself when needed.
She reaffirmed her dedication to cosplay when we discussed critics in further detail. We discussed scenarios such as adults telling her to “get back to reality.” Lady J’s epic response: “This is my reality.” Nuff said! She believes that it’s OK to still be a kid at heart. Cosplay, “keeps you young.” She loves connecting with children and making them happy. Looking at Lady J through a child’s eyes, she is Batgirl, she is Black Canary, she is anything she sets her mind to. Validation of this ethos presented itself in two forms for Lady J this year. The first instance was at the J1 Prom. Two young women approached Lady J and told her that she was their inspiration for giving them the confidence to cosplay at the J1 Prom. Secondly, at the cospositivity panel at Wizard World Philadelphia 2017, there was a cosplayer in attendance that cosplayed because they were inspired by her previous years panel. This is positive, this is reality, this is Lady J.
As I reflect on our conversation as a whole, I see Lady J as the ultimate role model for children and even adults. She prescribes to the notion of loving yourself as is. Be proud of who you are and what you look like. Everyone can be beautiful.