Recently I had the insane pleasure of interviewing Candy of Sweets4aSweet Cosplay. Candy is an amazing ladynerd Cosplayer out of Michigan. I first met Candy earlier this year at the Motor City Comic Con. I was thrilled when she accepted my request for an interview. Let me be transparent about the situation; Candy goes all the way- and before you twist that around you pervs, I mean every Cosplay she does is done to the hilt. At Motor City, she was a dead ringer for Fiona from Shrek. Not only is she a top tier Cosplayer who attracts droves of fans to her spot on reproductions, but she’s a super down to earth gal. She promotes women of all sizes getting out there and Cosplaying anything that makes them happy, and she does it with a sassy and empowering spirit. Needless to say, she’s a badass ladynerd.
My intention was to ask her (without seemingly like a total fangirl) about her experiences as a ladynerd.
Nerdlocker (NL): So you’re amazing, where did your creative-ness come from?
Candy (C): My mom, she always made my costumes for Halloween, she is very creative. I also am inspired by things I see on the web and people I see out at events.
Girl is hella ingenious. Additionally, she garners other inspiration from web surfing and seeing other cosplayers out in their natural habitat (Cons). Just looking at some of her costumes, I can’t even begin to grasp the limits of her creative vision. Seriously, her full body paint for Fiona was THE PERFECT shade, and according to a certain celebrity source, smelled delicious.
NL: What was your first Cosplay?
C: My first official Cosplay was Ursula at Youmacon three years ago. The first Con I ever attended was Anime Central in Chicago with my friends.
NL: Aside from tedious makeup routines, what are some of the pitfalls of Cosplay?
C: Finances; This is a very expensive hobby.
I tuned into her podcast the Monday before the interview and she spoke about the application process for the Shrek makeup which took four hours in total to complete. So when I asked her what some of the pitfalls of cosplay were, she identified the financial aspect as the largest. I imagine in most of the cosplay world this is pretty standard. Not only does Candy have the expenses of the makeup, costume, and accessories, she also has to get to the Cons, park, stay and eat. As you can tell, this is not a cheap hobby. She attends between eight and ten conventions a year. Due to budget restrictions, she plans only one new, big costume every year.
NL: If money were no concern, who would you cosplay, and why?
C: I try not to let my mind wander on that topic. Because of the cost, I only do one new cosplay every year, but if I had to choose something, it would be a full suit of armor.
NL: Do you ever find with some of your costumes that you receive any unwanted attention?
C: No not really, I don’t take shenanigans.
In addition to full body green painted Fiona, she also does a stunningly gorgeous Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Captain Hook, Miss Piggy and get ready to sweat a little boys, Peg Bundy from Married with Children. If you can’t tell from her pictures, she’s gorgeous. So naturally, I asked if she found herself at the receiving end of any inappropriate attention when she is at conventions.
She doesn’t go out for the uber sexy costumes. Sure, her rendition of Peg Bundy got her quite a bit of attention from the gentleman, but she’s not out there to walk the street, so she doesn’t represent that in her costumes. She prides herself on having a pretty straight 50/50 split between male and female followers, which seriously speaks to her morals when it comes to cosplay.
NL: You take no crap when it comes to being a confident Cosplay ladynerd. Do you think people, young women in particular, look to you for inspiration?
C: [I promote] confidence and anti-bullying in cosplay. I feel very lucky that people are inspired to do cosplay because they see someone my size getting out there and doing it.
NL: Do you pick your characters based on that?>
C: It’s kinda hard not to be confident like a total badass wearing those costumes. I like villans! Fiona was the first hero I did. I feel anyone can cosplay whomever but I find [I am} most comfortable [when I] cosplay in my size.
Candy picks characters that she knows she can nail- although she truly believes that anyone should cosplay any character regardless of their size or gender she admits that she does feel most comfortable playing characters in her body type. However, she added that Peg Bundy was a bit out of her comfort zone. I was shocked by this because the pictures are stunning, and she said she defiantly got tons of attention from the fans on that one, more than she thought she would.
Candy promotes confidence in women who cosplay and has been asked to give her story by many people on her strict anti-bullying in cosplay stance.
A big question I had (as a non-cosplayer), who is a better ally, a non-cosplayer like myself or someone who is active in the scene. She said it was honestly a split answer. For emotional support, because of their curiosity, she finds non-cosplayers to be very enthusiastic. Similarly, her fellow Cosplayers serve as a soundboard and fellow veterans who can be totally magnanimous and know the ins and outs of the system.
It was such a honor to talk with Candy. Not only is she a bad-ass Cosplayer and fellow nerd, but her views on women in cosplay and nerdom are fantastic. Be sure to like her Facebook page, and connect with her on her weekly podcast at Velvet Sledgehammer.
Check out more of her cosplaying below!
Photo Credits: (Per Candy)
Hook and Fiona = JustGeraldMedia
Miss Piggy = Eddie B Photos
Ursula = Neitling Photography
The Penguin = Elemental Photography
Pam Poovey and Peggy Bundy were taken by friends
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