Cosplayer SaLA from Saga didn’t let a hateful comment from a thoughtless classmate force her to hide in the shadows.
Cosplay is, by nature, a process of transformation. Cosplayers wake up in the morning as everyday citizens of reality, then change themselves into heroes and heroines hailing from the worlds of anime and video games.
【 Fate/Grand Order】
SaLA🍠 (@SaLA_cos) February 17, 2018
… or Darkstalkers Morrigan.
SaLA🍠 (@SaLA_cos) January 04, 2019
Heck, even when she’s posing for photos while sitting on a bed, it’s clear that SaLA has put a lot of time and effort into her hair and makeup.
SaLA🍠 (@SaLA_cos) February 21, 2019
彼女と花火大会なう に使えそうなやつ https://t.co/49LBUxSjSD
SaLA🍠 (@SaLA_cos) August 04, 2019
But even though cosplay enthusiasts take it as a given that their favorite cosplayers weren’t born looking exactly as they do in their photos, SaLA’s fanbase was amazed to see just how different she looks in photos from just a few years ago. In a recent reflective mood, SaLA shared a few photos from her high school days in rural Kyushu, far from cosmopolitan Tokyo, which can be seen in the top row of the tweet below.
SaLA🍠 (@SaLA_cos) August 05, 2019
Along with the photos, SaLA tweeted:
“I was born into an agricultural family in Saga Prefecture, and was happy, but I was teased about my facial appearance, and at my high school graduation ceremony, someone made fun of me, saying ‘I’m amazed than you can live with a face like that.’
I cried a lot, but worked really hard at learning about makeup and dieting, and now, living in Tokyo, I’m able to enjoy this hobby, and what makes me happiest of all is that I can smile in front of people.”
SaLA🍠 (@SaLA_cos) April 20, 2019
SaLA🍠 (@SaLA_cos) December 13, 2018
SaLA’s growing cosplay photo portfolio definitely suggests that she’s no longer in any way shy or self-conscious about having eyes on her. However, some online commenters weren’t convinced that she had any need to feel bad about herself in the first place, reacting with:
“You’ve always had a good figure…The people around you just didn’t notice that you were always beautiful, and you’ve just become more so.”
“Even in your old photos, as long as you were a good person, there was nothing wrong with the kind of girl you were.”
“The most important thing is to have a kind heart and healthy mind.”
特務大尉@夏コミ10.11.12参戦!! (@SP_captain) September 24, 2018
But perhaps most poignant of all was the commenter who said “In the photos from your past, there’s a sadness to your expressions, but in the last one [where you’re wearing a summer kimono], things have completely changed, and you have a peaceful, relaxed look. There really is nothing more beautiful than confidence.”
And confidence is something that SaLA looks to have in abundance now.