Harley Quinn was my first waifu, my intro into geekdom, and the first comic book character I ever felt a connection with. This is why I *probably* will never cosplay her again.
I've been cosplaying officially for just over two years now. It's been a short adventure so far, but it's been a whirlwind nonetheless. I've been a geek for much much longer. I wasn't a geek through out school - just a dweeb. I had glasses and braces at the same time. Therefore, I don't have an emotional recount of being bullied* for being a geek and making a comeback to show them what's up.
*I was totally bullied throughout school. Just not for being a geek.
I developed a love for geekdom shortly after high school through mutual friends and ex-boyfriends. I was introduced to so many fandoms. I'd never seen so many Spider-Man comics in one place before. And then a few hangouts later I was hooked with my good friend's collection. We'd spend nights playing 8-bit TMNT, or Capcom vs Streetfighter, or Lego Batman.
I adopted a dog named Harley, and rather than imagining a bike or a romance novel, I saw the love of Mista J's life. The underrated villainous queen of comics. Although she did suffer the nickname Harley Rae Jepson for a short while...
Harley led me to a nerdy relationship watching all the seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh and going to my first ever comic convention. Shortly after that I fell in love with cosplay and even dabbled for the first time a few years back.
One of my first official completed cosplays was Bombshell Harley Quinn. It was the easiest variation of her I could pull off with my timid beginner thrifter skills. I had plans and aspirations to do all versions of her eventually, and I even still have designs for an apocalyptic / steampunk version of her still in my cosplanner list.
But 18 cosplays, and 11 cons later, I find myself dreading the idea of a Harley Quinn cosplay. I still adore Harley Quinn as a character, I even loved the brand new update she got in Suicide Squad. But the thought of cosplaying any version of her now makes me a bit sad.
I guess I should be happy that Harley is finally getting the recognition she deserves, but for whatever reason, she seems to have lost integrity at conventions. It seems like a game to count all the Harley cosplays at a convention because you're guaranteed to see a large number of them every day, in different variations of the character. It seems like every cosplayer has tried a variation of Harley Quinn at least once in their career.
Is this a bad thing? No! Everyone still looks amazing, and the cosplay is in no way a taboo. But for me, I look at this special character I connected with for the past 10 years. She was underrated, unique, and rare. Now she's an iconic symbol of geeks everywhere. I feel like I've lost the special connection with her I once had.
Friends still send me memes that reference her, or fan art mashups with her, and I will always say how cool it is, but my heart just doesn't appreciate her as much anymore. My waifu is now just a symbol of my past and something everyone else does. Just not me!
I've always been one of those people who said "I liked this before it was cool." I did it with music, tv shows, clothing style, whatever. I've always liked feeling different and special. *GASP* SOMEONE IS ADMITTING THAT ON THE INTERNET. So now that my Harley Quinn is as common as the air we breathe, I'm just kinda bored of her.
I know I have all the wrong reasons and I shouldn't care about anyone else's opinions, but it's exactly how I feel and I'm wondering if others feel the same! Comment below whether you agree or disagree to open a friendly discussion!