Why I love Jessica Nigri.
One humble geek's opinion on one of the world's most famous cosplayers.
Jessica Nigri and a fellow cosplayer.
In a recent conversation with a few friends, we discussed our excitement for the upcoming Phoenix Comic Con. It is the biggest local comic book convention in Arizona and my friends and I plan on doing everything! From attending panels to getting photo ops with our favorite celebrities as well as shop for well known comics and indie ones alike.
Among these activities is cosplaying. If you are unfamiliar with cosplay, it is "Literally 'Costume Play.' Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character)." (Source).
Personally, I love cosplay with a huge passion. I like to think of it as a form of geek modeling and the most wonderful thing about it is that anyone can participate! As long as you have a character in mind that you'd like to portray and work towards making their costume you are cosplaying. Some very creative cosplayers have created their own rendition of characters from Gender bending all the way to steam punk.
Nowadays cosplay is a very common term and is widely known. However it was not always so, cosplay was done by the dedicated few geeks who didn't care what others thought of them. No one really cared for it until this image made it's way to the interwebs:
This is the one and only Jessica Nigri. In 2009 she debuted her "Sexy Pikachu" which quickly went viral around the internet. It led Ms. Nigri to get hired to do a Gears of War 3 promotion by then cosplaying as Anya Stroud, a character from the game.
She then went on to create costumes for a number of other popular geek icons and in 2012, Nigri won IGN's contest for a model to portray Juliet Starling, protagonist of Suda51's video game Lollipop Chainsaw, and was hired as a spokesmodel. this then led to a series of events that boosted her fame to that of an international level.
With it, cosplay also grew and aspiring costumers raided their local craft stores for supplies and began rushing to whip up their own costumes to display at conventions. However, as the fandom grew, there also came a sense of elitism. Soon costumers began judging one another based off of whether or not too much skin was showing or if they believed that the quality of the cosplay was not up to their standards.
That hate has recently targeted Jessica Nigri for her revealing costumes. granted she did get her fame by wearing a push up bra, mini skirt, pikachu ears and tail. However, what made it special was her cleverness. And throughout the many years of cosplaying she has never lost that creativeness. Sure she may show leg, and chest but that is her M.O.
What I love about Jessica Nigri is that you can look at an overwhelming majority of her costumes and see the quality and originality in them. There are a lot of cosplayers out there but not many of them are able to reach the talent of Nigri.
You'd think that someone with such talent and fame would think themselves better than others and have a sense of elitism about them. However you would be wrong. Another admirable quality about Jessica Nigri is her incredible kindness. I personally have met and interacted with miss Nigri and was greeted with a warm smile, a hug and her full attention for the moments we chatted. If that does not convince you, she also has Mail Mondays where she reads her fan mail and takes a moment to appreciate her fans and all they do for her.
Another charming quality of hers is that she is a pretty smart cookie and knows why a majority of her fans follow her. She makes no effort to pretend otherwise, yet works hard to ensure her costumes are of the highest quality. Best of both worlds.
To sum everything up, I love Jessica Nigri because she is a genuine human being who knows what she wants, is actively working towards it as hard as she can and being spectacular to every single person that she encounters along the way.
You may love her.
You may hate her.
Either way, she deserves your respect for making Cosplay as well known as it is today. :)
All photos were used from https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJessicaNigri