Despite that fact that society has finally come to terms with accepting cosplay in a more positive and artistic light, there’s still the lingering sentiment that cosplaying is just a temporary phase some fans go through before they come and join the rest of us adults in the real world.
Fortunately there are people like Shirley Chua, a living example of what it means to embody the mantra “you’re only as old as you feel”. Aunty Shirley, as she’s affectionately known on Facebook and in the Singaporean cosplay community, is an active 68-year-old cosplayer, and she’s not about to stop any time soon. Her dedication to her craft is inspiring, and can teach us all a thing or two about how to get out there and live our lives to the fullest.
Shirley’s love of cosplay started when her son wanted to start dressing up and attending conventions. Wanting to support his interests, she began helping him bring his favorite characters to life and accompanying him to conventions.
But after sitting back and watching him have all the fun, she eventually decided she wanted in on the action herself, and since then hasn’t looked back. At first Shirley said her son and husband were embarrassed, but now her husband stays out of her way and her son says he’s proud of her. We definitely think he has a lot to be proud of; take a look at some of her costumes below.
The cosplay veteran doesn’t just stick to “older-looking” characters, either. Look at her pull off iconic femme fatale like Chun-Li, Storm, and Supergirl with both sass and class.
Aunty Shirley says one of the best things about cosplay is the community. It allows her to meet all kinds of different people and connect with them in ways she normally wouldn’t be able. Judging by how often she’s asked to be a guest speaker at cosplay events, it looks like the community loves her just as much in return. When her fellow cosplay friends decided to celebrate her 67th birthday with an unforgettable costume ball, the turnout from the community was incredible.
No doubt her cheerful personality and outlook on life has won her just as many fans as her costumes have. Shirley’s story serves as a touching reminder that it’s important to never apologize for being yourself, and that once you find what you love, keep looking for people to share that love with and never look back.