Now, if you are anything like me, I am assuming you know who this character is, right? If not, well first this is me, and I am cosplaying as Agent Peggy Carter from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Yes, I am one of those insane people that sell their soul, blood, sweat, and tears to the costume gods. This journey began in 2015 when my best friend invited me to my very first convention. I had always loved costumes and dressing up, so the idea that masses of people came dressed as characters and interacted nearly blew my mind. After sorting through many ideas, my friend and I settled on going as the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler from the popular BBC show Doctor Who. This event was an incredibly positive experience and I loved how positive everyone was towards each other. Thus began my journey down the rabbit trail of being a cosplayer. Since then, I have crafted many, many cosplays ranging from Star Wars to Marvel to Disney (although those are all now kinda the same thing aren't they...). Anywho, from that convention, I have been hooked on the incredible feeling that bubbled up when I donned my costume. Suddenly, I wasn't myself, but a strong brave heroine or a semi-immortal alien. My introverted tendencies and social anxiety are banished and I am free to interact. Free is a perfect word, especially in cosplays with a helmet, helm, or intense makeup; nobody knows who I am! Nobody knows or cares about my faults or illness, they just care about my craftsmanship and general geekiness. With every character and costume I embody, the more I find my confidence raising. I feel as though a little piece of each character follows me when I reenter my own life. Okay, before y'all freakout, this isn't some new-age thing, and no I am not insane, I just mean that I find myself assimilating the character's most positive traits and their strengths. For instance, when dressed as Agent Carter (like the picture above), I find that I am valuing myself better and channeling her strength and boldness. When back in my life the next day, I know my value and feel strong.