When I first started attending comic conventions as a plus size geek, the people who stood out to me the most at events were the plus size cosplayers (“cosplay” being short for “costume play”). All around me, con-goers strode by wearing capes, walking on stilts, carrying enormous faux weapons, and sporting brightly-colored and towering wigs... the variety seemed endless.
I was especially impressed by all the plus size cosplayers I saw, who subverted beauty standards and gender norms by dressing up as their favorite characters from films, comics, and television shows. While in many ways con culture is a pretty accepting place, there are still those people who consider themselves gatekeepers of some imaginary "authentic" geek identity or experience. I've seen plus size cosplayers harassed because their bodies weren't "right" for a particular character, or because their reclamation of sexualized imagery didn't match up to a sexist fanboy's ideal.
Despite this behavior, many plus size individuals continue to break down barriers and live out their creative fantasies, while inspiring those around them. So, if you love living the geek life and need some body positive inspiration, check out these 15 fantastic plus size cosplayers who make being a nerd look so good.
How fun is this Skullgirls costume?! Nikki Nono is definitely rocking this sweet and sexy look.
What do you get when two curvy, cosplaying friends come together for some geeky adventures? An enviable Instagram account that's double the fun.
If you love lush, detailed, carefully crafted costumes, then you need to check out Erica Brookfield ASAP. Not only does she post smoking costume pics (like this fab Poison Ivy), but she also includes fascinating images in her feed that show all the painstaking, behind-the-scenes work that goes into a great cosplay.
This glam, villainous shot is just too much. West Wylde does Cruella proud, and her friend Novastar's Darth Vader outfit is pretty sweet, too.
This anime-inspired gown is a real stunner, and that hair! I feel some serious fangirling coming on...
Morgan does some truly gorgeous, varied cosplay, but I think this stunning Little Mermaid costume is my favorite. Head on over to her account to see more (her genderbent Iron Man is not to be missed).
Can we just talk about this amazing Mary Jane Iron Spider costume for a minute? Sometimes you have to take accessorizing to a whole new level.
Another genderbent cosplay that's making my heart beat a little faster, this Poe Dameron outfit is utterly femme-tastic. I so need that BB-8 purse.
German cosplayer Lizzie obviously knows a thing or two about repping Ravenclaw pride. Nerd girls unite!
I love all the pretty, thoughtful details in this Snow White cosplay so much. That little glimpse of gauzy red petticoat is everything.
It doesn't get any prettier than this Steven Universe Rose Quartz cosplay right here. And those tattoos make things even better.
Such a badass take on a classic costume, this Wonder Woman cosplay is the definition of fierce. Liberty is so great at portraying powerful feminine characters; head over to her Instagram to get a serious girl power fix.
I cannot even describe how here I am for this Zatanna cosplay. Those fishnets! That hat!
I'm a sucker for a good cape, so you might say that this Scarlet Witch cosplay put a spell on me. Slay.
Shannon's absolutely adorable Anime costumes are pretty perfection. Check her out for a mega dose of kawaii inspiration.
These amazing plus size cosplayers show us that we should never feel like our bodies limit our style, creativity, or imagination. So go ahead, live your fantasy.
Image: Courtesy Cmpumpkin/Instagram (1)