I love interviewing cosplayers from other countries besides my own. This one was no exception. Enjoy!
I used to go by JuniorFox Cos, but now it’s PeachyFox Cosplay. I figured I’d go for a name which is more reflective of me, so i chose my favourite colour (peach) and favourite animal (fox).
Tell me a little about yourself.
I’m a 20-year old student living in South Africa. Currently, I’m in my third year of game design. I enjoy reading, watching series, gaming, role-plating, and, obviously, cosplaying. I am also big into the BJD hobby- or Ball Jointed Dolls. I’m pescatarian (as in, the only meat I eat is fish), pretty young-looking- hence why I get away with cosplaying younger, primary-to-high school characters-, and enjoy dyeing my hair, tattoos, and piercings. I’m relatively shy and quite soft-spoke, despite my strong opinions and ideas about cosplay and the world in general.
When did you start cosplaying?
I originally began cosplaying in 2014, however, to most of my local community, I was introduced only near the middle of 2016. Because of my shyness, I struggled to make a name for myself and grab the attention of the higher-ups, resulting in my being overshadowed for the first two years of my cosplay experience.
Why did you start cosplaying?
It’s actually kind of… uninspiring? I saw a bunch of pictures on Gehichous.tumblr.com of Geheichou cosplaying Jack Frost, from Rise Of The Guardians back in 2013? And I was awe-struck. The ability to become something you loved that didn’t even actually exist was just so magical to me at the time, so I did my first ever closplay- or closet cosplay- of Vanellope Von Schweetz, my favourite Disney, “princess”. I used a cheap wig from an Oriental Plaza, a pair of knee-highs, a blue hoodie, and stuck some cute craft knick-kacks onto the wig. It was terrible. I didn’t know a thing of makeup, nor did I own any, anyway. But that was my starting point. I kind of put it aside for a while, since I was in a fairly judgmental school at the time, but once I’d hit grade ten, my confidence boosted and I thought, “Screw it!” and started cosplaying officially more and more, eventually turning my Instagram from a plain ol’ account to my exclusive cosplay page.
Who are your cosplay idols?
Well, definitely Geheichou (that’s his Instagram, Faceboook, and Tumblr username, if you’d like to check him out). I hold him in very high regard due to his talents in cosplaying, drawing, and crafting. I also look up to a few local-to-my-region cosplayers: Puggy Penguin Cosplay, Yamaki Cosplay, MaouKami Cosplay. I also love Julia_Harnois as their cosplays are so unique, and they’re a very versatile cosplayer. One day they’re cosplaying a boy, the next they’re a beautiful Sailor Moon.
What types of cosplay do you do?
Mostly anime and cartoons, but I have done a few cosplays from games on a more Indie spectrum (i.e. Life is Strange, Undertale, Harvest Moon)
What are your favorite cosplays?
Of mine? I love wearing The Last Airbender’s Toph Beifong, because she’s well-known, a favourite among youngsters, and a particularly awesome character. I also enjoy cosplaying Love Live’s Hanayo Koizumi as she’s my favourite Love Live character, but also because Love Live comes with so many official outfits that there’s quite literally, a cosplay for every occasion. Of other people, I love seeing armored cosplays because those are next-level and can be really incredible to watch being made.
What is something you want to cosplay but probably never will?
Skyrim’s NightWing armour. I’d love to make it but I don’t have the skills to.
Do you make, buy, or special order, your cosplays?
I buy and make them, depending of the level of complexity. Usually, if a cosplay is more detailed, it won’t be accurate from stores, and if it is, it’s really expensive. So making them means I can get all those details, as well as the perfect fit.
What do you love about cosplay?
There’s so many things. The versatility, the creativity, the originality, the experience. Cosplay is such a huge part of my life at the moment. Because of it, I was able to feel more comfortable with my self and confidence. It allows for people to become their favourite characters, or for onlookers to see their favourite characters come to life before them, and to pose with them and interact with them. It allows for creativity to flow out in a positive, non-destructive, and incredibly fun way. It helps people be the versions of themselves they relate to most, without actually being themselves. Does that make sense?
What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay?
I hate to be so blunt, but definitely the community. There’s so much (unhealthy) competition in this hobby, and oftentimes it leads to broken hearts and cosplayers who quit. I understand no hobby is perfect but I’d have hoped that a community of people who, “play dress-up for grown-ups” would at least be a bit more supportive of itself, especially since to the previous backlash of people who label cosplayers as thing such as “nerds”, “geeks”, or, “freaks”. It’s very disheartening that the very people we cosplay alongside are the same ones who are able to start malicious rumours, especially in my local community. Also, I think it’s a lot harder for men to become well-known in the hobby because, to an extent, cosplay was first made to appeal to a mostly-male audience, with cute girls cosplaying “fan-servicey” characters for the benefit of the men who watched anime, or played games. It’s getting better, but even today I think males still struggle more in this community.
If you could live in or visit any fantasy world, where would you go?
Fantasy world? Definitely Hogwarts, or Skyrim. Skyrim is more terrifying, with a much more treacherous terrain and a difficult social system, but I think it would be fascinating to get a view of it, first-hand.
What are your “fandoms”?
I have so, so many, but to list a few: Skyrim, Fallout, Life is Strange, Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, Love Live, Death Note, Dramatical Murder, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, Yuru Yuri, Kakegurui, TsureZure Chidren, The Last Airbender, Stranger Things, Misfits, Miraculous Ladyug, and Steven Universe, to list, “a few”.
What is something you wish beginning cosplayers knew?
Its one-hundred percent okay to suck. You don’t have to be amazing. No one is immediately as great as Kinpatsu Cosplay at crafting, or as pretty as Jessica Nigiri, or as handsome as Moderately Okay Cosplay. I know it’s hard to stay motivated sometimes (I’ve just come out of a cosplay-related downer myself), but that’s no reason to give up. Also, even if you’re really shy, make your name out there. Don’t hang back and expect the community to share your stuff, because they won’t. Do it yourself. Make your voice heard and your outfits seen. I know it can be embarrassing or cringey even, but hashtag the heck out of your posts. They’ll reach more people, and your name will spread. Cosplay is a deeply personal experience, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to enjoy recognition and support for your hard work.
What tips do you have for other cosplayers?
If you can sew something, do it. The Hot-glue method has failed me all too often…
What is something you wish non-cosplayers knew?
We do NOT dress up as some sort of kinky fetish nonsense! Nor do we dress up to be touched or harassed by, “normies” who like to think that a costume is grounds to be inappropriate. Also, just because we like cosplaying doesn’t make us immature or childish or any other such infantalising term. We do it because we love characters so deeply that we would even go to the lengths of representing them in real life.
What cosplays do you want to do if money or time were no object?
I would do so many Love Live idol cosplays! Not to mention Steven Universe’s Peridot and Pink Diamond, Jack Skellington, Beatrice from Over The Garden Wall, and Magica Madoka. Money and time would also help location and photographer services. It would be amazing to cosplay, for example, Lapis Lazuli (Steven Universe) at a beach with lovely water effects and edits, or Teen Titan’s Raven levitating in a large library.
Where can people find your cosplays?
Facebook: PeachyFox Cosplay
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.