Just a couple of nights before I left for GenCon I got sort of a wild hare of an idea. What if I were to dress up as Rainbow Dash from MLP? I’m not even sure what started the idea. I had gone through and watched three seasons a couple of years prior, greatly enjoying the playful, cheerful, overall good nature of the show. I also was feeling rather lost and had sort of forgotten how to make friends. Watching a childrens show about how “Friendship is Magic” seemed to fit the needs that I had at the time.
So what drew me to wanting to Cosplay a MLP character? Let’s first take a look at Rainbow Dash.
A pony highly driven by competition and wanting to be a part of the “Thunder Bolts” this cloud chasing Pony is constantly trying to prove her speed, strength and agility. Something that I can seriously relate to. If you’re coming up behind me and I catch you out of the corner of my eye, there is a part of my brain that always considers it a race. Blame my years as a member of the Alaskan Speed Skating Club for that.
Rainbow Dash is also very much a “tomboy” in the classic sense of the term. She’s not quite gender nuetral nor is she necessarily bisexual *as much as a child can be* or pansexual in any way. Though it sort of hints at the connection and favorite Fan “Ship” of her and her friend and fellow pony AppleJack. Rainbow Dash has a base color of blue and vibrant rainbowed mane and tail. This is something else that immediately attracted me to the character. I LOVE the color blue and as an artist see the beauty in all the colors of the rainbow and how they mix.
In short, it was easy to become attached to the sporty/tomboy/competitive/colorful Pony of the crew. Sometimes playing hard into stereotypes of personality can make a thing VERY easy to connect to. Which I think has been one of the MLP series strengths. It’s easy. Easy to watch and easy to understand.
With that bit of fun and connection in mind I threw together my Cosplay Idea. I wanted to be the “STRONG Rainbow Dash.” I hadn’t really seen it done before. Lots of people had done her Great Galloping Gala outfit. Tons more had just played on her more rough and tumble Tomboy self, but none had really gone and done the more sporty agility side of hers other than to throw on a pair of ankle or knee high Converse shoes and call it a day.
The only part of the costume that I had started off owning was my Reebok Crossfit Shoes. A lovely light blue/gray sued with blue laces. That was easy enough for my “hoof” covers. My order on Amazon that night consisted of:
a cosplay wig and tail in the appropriate rainbow colors.
A blue sports bra and a blue set of capri length Yoga Pants
thigh high rainbow socks and rainbow colored arm warmers.
With my Smith brand white Snowboarding Goggles already packed, I was ready to go!
My Cosplay costume was shipped in seperate boxes *thanks Amazon, maybe one day you’ll learn how to box some things together* and “overnighted” to my hotel. The wig, tail, leg and arm warmers all made it at once, as well as the capri’s. The sports bra took an extra day making it there on Friday. I was less than pleased in the delay but made due on Thursday with a light blue tank top. I was ready to become Rainbow Dash.
The first morning of the convention I had some time to wander around and visit all the different booths and drop by artist ally. So naturally I dressed up as well, packing my BFRGames.com shirt to throw over the top of my outfit if need be when I showed up to work the booth.
I spent more time than I expected figuring out how to do my hair, which falls to the middle of my back, in order to get it tucked snuggly under the wig. I was thankful that the wig had a sinch type attachment in the back and that the additional pressure from the Goggles held it securely to my head. Putting on the rest of the garb was easy enough. Donned in Rainbows it was off to the convention hall!
The Princess Effect
I’ve known for a while the draw that this reboot of MLP has had on the general population forming such sub cultures as “Brony’s” and even its own convention, fan based bands, TONS of art that exploded all over the internet like colorful confetti, and all sorts of garb, school supplies, etc, etc, etc, etc the list goes on forever it seems. What I hadn’t expected was to experience that wide draw. Most of the Cosplay I’d done up until that point was more subtle. I did Deanerys from GoT and since I didn’t have a dragon on my shoulder no one knew who I was. I also did Queen Gorgo from 300, but the movie came out a while ago, so unless I was standing next to the WIDELY popular King Leonidas *a friend of mine who also does a KILLER version of Wolverine* I wasn’t readily identified.
To have people call out “Rainbow Dash!” and dart over to snag a picture *for themselves, their girlfriends, wives, daughters* was a whole new experience. What was even better was the young girls tugging at their parents arms going, “Look Momma! Rainbow Dash!” and having shy and boistrous 4-10 yr olds asking if they could have their picture taken with me. Though I’ll admit, my favorite was seeing young boys go nuts over “that super strong looking Rainbow Dash!” or one that turned around to go, “Wow! You’re the most awesome rainbow dash EVER!”
Being a character that “appealed” to many was new, exciting, and I’ll admit… sort of addicting.
Other Things I learned about myself dressed as Rainbow Dash:
-I Love wearing my atheletic self on the “outside.” Suns out Guns out. Abs shown and arms flexed in pictures. I’ve put a lot of work into my body to become stronger every day, and to finally achieve the look I’ve wanted for years.
-I HIGHLY Enjoy being BUBBLY AS FUCK. Pony’s are friendly, they help one another out, and Dash is 20% cooler too. Just so you know. So being able to have an overly confident and bubbly attitude and wear it proudly was like reconnecting to a part of myself I feel I’ve sort of hidden away for a few years. Being Rainbow Dash meant I could be cocky, confident, and bubbly and no one would question it.
-I enjoy posing for the camera. Call me shallow if you want, but I like having my picture taken. I like being in the light and being SEEN.
-I enjoyed having children run up and call out to me. I enjoyed being called “Rainbow Dash.”
-I’m so doing this again. Additionally, Rainbow Dash is going to have “Dash Cam,” time on my Twitch TV Stream. This is one “hat” I’m very much not ready to let go of. For Copyright reasons I may have to come up with a slightly different name and develop my own “cutiemark….” **suggestions, comments, concerns?**