Author’s Note: All photos used are courtesy of Hijab Cosplay Gallery. Do visit their page for more info or photos on hijab cosplay.
No doubt cosplay has taken the world by storm. For the uninitiated, cosplay is a way of expressing your love for a particular fandom. A portmanteau of two words consisting of costume and play, cosplay is where people wear costumes and fashion accessories representing a specific character.
You might have seen these cosplayers walking around, especially outside comic and anime conventions. Naruto with his spikey, blond hair, blue eyes and his cheeky smile. Supergirl with her billowing cape and the crest of El on her chest. Squall Leonhart, the broody teenager with the hybrid gun-sword. All of these personas portrayed so passionately and lovingly by fans of the characters.
However, let’s just say that you’re a Muslim. You love Japanese anime and video games, and you really want to cosplay as some of these characters you admire. Yet, if you see most of the anime characters, there’s a lot of skin exposure and you do not want to expose awrah, such as the hair. What can you do?
You cosplay with a hijab. While cosplay and hijab aren’t exactly two words you would normally associate with each other, it still works.
Hijabi cosplayers have started making their mark recently. As the subculture of cosplay began to seep into the youths of Malaysia and Indonesia, it was quite rare to find hijabi Muslim women cosplaying in conventions. Fortunately, creativity knows no bounds and this was perfectly illustrated in the creative-charged community of Muslim cosplayers.
My first encounter with a hijabi cosplayer was back in 2012, with the amazing creativity of two females. The two of them were dressed as Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper from Star Wars. What was so good about it was the fact that they were gender-bent, gothic lolita, hijabi Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper! It’s a bizarre concept, but it works astoundingly well and they pulled it off so well. Since then, it has made an impact on the subculture of cosplay, especially in the predominantly Muslim nations such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
To me, it’s beautiful and tremendously inspiring that these creatively ingenious Muslim millennials are able to push the boundaries, and materialize the concept of creative passion infused (and not hindering) religious beliefs.
Perhaps this is the burst of inspiration you need to release your own creativity as well!