MTAC 2018: Inspirational Badass Female Cosplayers

The Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (or MTAC) was held last weekend in Nashville, and there was A LOT of cosplay. But as someone who has been attending MTAC for eight years, I’ve always been inspired by the badass female cosplayers who have nailed every detail in bringing their favorite characters to life.

1 random Howl 2
Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals

I was lucky enough to catch up with some of the ladies that were willing to show off their transformations and share their stories about cosplaying, inspirations, and being a female in the cosplay community. Here are some of the badass women who attended MTAC 2018 this year.

Name: Shannon

Instagram: @Kitty__cosplay

Cosplay: Erza Scarlet and genderbent Howl

What inspired you to choose the characters you’re cosplaying?

I chose Erza because she is such a strong character. The reason I decided to wear the flame pants is because that’s when she learns to be strong without her armor. I felt like I related to that, because I used to be scared of everything. But I’ve become stronger and I’m no longer scared. I chose Howl because Howl’s Moving Castle is my all-time favorite book and movie. I also love genderbent characters–it’s so fun!

What’s your favorite part about being a female in the cosplay community?

My favorite part about it is that it promotes self love. Society has made it seem like we have to have these perfect bodies; our tummies have to be flat, we can’t have stretch marks or curves, if our skin is light then we have to tan and if our skin is dark then we have to lighten it, or in some cases we shouldn’t have a flat chest (I’ve been made fun of for my lack of breasts). To me, cosplay is one of the best ways to say fuck society and their body standards. I can show my stretch marks and my puffy tummy. And who cares if my boobs are flat and my skin is the shade of Voldemort? I almost didn’t even consider wearing my Erza cosplay because I was embarrassed about the wound from surgery after the accident. I now realize that I can use it to my advantage, and that it’s now a beautiful part of my life and story. Cosplay is a way for anyone to become anything they want, no matter their color, weight, gender, boob size, etc. And to me, that’s awesome!

4 jocelyn gerudo link1 final
Jocelyn cosplays as Link / Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals
5 jocelyn gerudo link final
I really fan-girled over this one. / Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals

Name: Jocelyn

Instagram: @amamiirantarou

Cosplay: Gerudo Link

What inspired you to choose this cosplay?

Link is my favorite male character of all time! Knowing he cross dressed, I felt compelled to do it. He’s so cute.

Do you have any advice for other girls who want to get into cosplaying?

Be yourself. Be confident. Flaunt it! Rock it!

Name: Kristin

Instagram: @kristinkatnip

Cosplay: Sailor Saturn

What inspired you to start cosplaying?

I started cosplaying when I was a preteen. Back then, I didn’t have many friends and my self esteem was at an all time low. I didn’t have a cell phone or an up to date gaming console, so every day after school I would sit on the couch and watch anime or read manga. I became so enthralled and obsessed, I just wanted to be just like all of the amazing heroines I was watching in these shows and manga I was reading.

What’s your favorite part about being a female in the cosplay community?

Being a female cosplayer has helped my self esteem and shyness more than any therapist has ever been able to. I used to be too self conscious to have my picture taken and my social anxiety was so bad to where I couldn’t even order for myself at restaurants. Now, through cosplaying and going to conventions I’ve completely evolved as a person. I owe it all to all of the excessively nice friends I have met through the cosplay community, whether it be through cosplay-making forums or just friendly people wanting to take pictures of me at a con.

8 Tash Charizard
Tash cosplays as Charizard / Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals
10 natasha charizard sword final
She worked on these for 2-3 months! / Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals
9 Natasha Mimikyu
Tash also cosplays as Natasha Mimikyu / Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals

Name: Tash

Instagram: @Phantxsie

Cosplay: Charizard Knight and Mimikyu

What inspired you to start cosplaying?

I just really love being able to dress up and act out the character I love. Being able to create something and show it off to other people who enjoy it is always such a fun time. I get to be creative, have fun, and make new friends at conventions so I’d say that was my first inspiration that keeps me going even today.

Do you have any advice to give to other females that want to get into cosplaying?

Don’t be afraid to do anything! You want to cosplay a six-foot tall guy? Do it! You want to use Worbla or Eva foam for the first time? Go for it! You are always going to be your biggest critic and don’t let that stop you from trying something new, even if it’s scary. You can do anything you put your heart and soul into, and all those days of swearing, crying, and threatening your project will be worth it in the end.

11 alex mercy final
Alex cosplays as Eidgnossen Mercy / Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals
12 alex mercy wings final
“Piece of cake!” / Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals

Name: Alex

Instagram: @GrimoireAlice

Cosplay: Eidgnossen Mercy

How long much time did you spend on this cosplay?

The entire costume took just under four months, with various trial and error.

What’s your least favorite part about being a female in the cosplay community?

The “fake gamer/anime fan” ideal. Where no matter what I’m doing or cosplaying, some jerk assumes I don’t know where it’s from, or the character, and I have to prove that I belong in the space.

Name: Kelcie

Instagram: @mascara_and_anime

Cosplay: Neliel and Vegeta

What inspired you to start cosplaying?

I always followed cosplayers on instagram, especially Jessica Nigiri, and decided to try my hand at it as well. I’ve quickly found a passion for getting to transform into my favorite characters, plus the crafting aspect is so therapeutic for me.

What’s the hardest part about being a female in the cosplay community?

It’s hard being a plus-size cosplayer. There’s always someone who has something negative to say about it, but I also feel like it’d be the same thing if I were thinner. As a woman, we’re so pressured to have the perfect body, and when you don’t, you’re harshly criticized. Thankfully, I’ve learned to love the body I’m in, and that plus-size cosplayers are just as badass as all the others.

Name: Lauren

Instagram: @Sasuyunakai_1027

Cosplay: Gunner and Songstress Yuna

How much time did you spend making your cosplay?

I spent a majority of my weekends and nights. So estimate around 140 hours.

What’s your favorite part about being a female in the cosplay community?

As a female I feel slot of pride. I’m also a preschool teacher so this flows with my day to day life. Being creative and stepping out of my box has helped me to understand myself better. As a preschool teacher, it’s okay to stand out and be silly than versus the real world where there are so many judgmental people. With cosplay I treat as my preschool by just letting go of the negatives and bringing the positives and fun that life has to offer.

20 Brie Syaoran
Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals

Name: Brie

Instagram: @brie_neko

Cosplay: Syaoran

What made you choose the characters you’re cosplaying?

Design always has a big impact, I like to challenge myself with every new cosplay I make. Other then that I love doing cosplays from Anime and Games that mean a lot to me and are nostalgic.

What do dislike about being a female in the cosplay community?

I would say the questioning on if I know what I’m cosplaying or doing. Mostly pertaining to games. Which is more annoying and hilarious at the same time then anything else. Also the jarring difference in treatment when your cosplaying a male character or a female character.

Name: Kendel

Instagram: @_KendelB

Cosplay: Alleria Windrunner

21 Brechella and Emily V Death Note
Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals

Name: Brechella and Emily

Instagram: @Brechella

Cosplay: Rem and Ryuk

22 Ash Shippo
Credit: Julia Hankins/Geek Gals

Name: Ash

Instagram: @miichan.cosplay

Cosplay: Shippo

That wraps up our photo gallery featuring the badass female cosplayers we met at MTAC 2018 last weekend! 

You can also view this photo gallery as a slideshow.

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5 thoughts on “MTAC 2018: Inspirational Badass Female Cosplayers

  1. Your report was very interesting and made me curious about this strange world. They are no longer strange but rather inspiring. Thanks for these great insights and the description of the wonderful costumes.


    1. Hi Andrea, we are very happy that you like Julia’s photo gallery. Cosplay is a wonderful new world to embark; we hope you learn more about it! Thank you for your kind words.


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