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cosplayinamerica:

I wanted to do a classic character that was simple yet easily recognizable. Superman is an iconic favorite so that’s who I became. My hijab is a part of me so any cosplay that I do incorporates my hijab. I worked to incorporate elements of Superman that were authentic to his cartoon/comic look while also being authentic to myself and that’s how my costume was born. I would never wear Superman’s or Supergirl’s traditional spandex costumes - that’s not how I typically dress and I would feel very uncomfortable doing so. I’ve always loved Superman’s costume colors from the cartoons I grew up watching and his iconic swooshy cape. I also drew inspiration from Supergirl’s costume to put together my Superwoman costume with a red maxi skirt that is also swooshy. Basically, I wanted to be swooshy.
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I wasn’t very happy with any of the options available on the market so I pieced everything together with ready-made items. I got a Superman cape and swapped out the logo to match the one I had sewn onto my blue shirt. Found a blue hijab that matched the blue shirt, bought a red maxi skirt, and added a gold belt and red shoes to tie it all together.
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People flipped out. Like, actually stopped me, engaged in involved discussions, with tears and hugs. The response was overwhelming, honestly. Little kids would yell out “Hello Supergirl/Superman/Superwoman!” at AwesomeCon and on the streets of DC. I’m grateful for the love I received, including being featured on an NBC Washington DC news segment. So many people told me that they saw me on the Friday evening news!
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Cosplay has humbled me. I didn’t realize how badly fellow Americans wanted to see an Muslim woman superhero until I put on a cape and walked the streets of Manhattan and Washington DC. Many parents introduced their children to me and many people of color were just so proud of me. I am feeling a lot of the love and support that the media hides - Americans have more than hate and xenophobia in their hearts.

I think it’s possible to do feminine cosplay without being explicit or very revealing. I think comic artists should challenge their perspective of feminine displays, characters, and costumes, and I also think that female-presenting cosplayers should feel comfortable to adapting a character to suit their own personality while incorporating aspects of the character’s TV or movie costume.


- @helalipop

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