Name and Social Info?
Stardust Megu is my cosplay name. My IG & Twitter are @stardust_megu, my TikTok is stardustmegu & Facebook is Stardust Megu
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A voice actress! I wanted to since I was a child and attempted, but things got in the way. I would love to get back to it one day.
What made you start creating/cosplaying?
I have known about cosplay since 2004ish. I used to search photos of my favorite characters from anime on Google to print photos and paste them on my notebooks! That was when I discovered cosplay, but I didn't actually do it until 2010! I've always been the creative one in my family and was so amazed seeing photos of people dressed up as their favorite characters. My very first cosplay was Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I bought the cosplay and used my real hair instead of my wig. I debuted this at NYCC 2010, which was also my 1st con! Though my cosplay wasn't perfect, I had so much fun and made new friends! It's 13 years later and not only am I still cosplaying, but I make my cosplays, speak at panels, compete at cosplay contests, win awards and even judged some cosplay contests!
What is your favorite tool you use daily?
Besides my sewing machine, I love using my Cricut! I got it last year and I'm obsessed with it!
What is your favorite Arda Wig? Why?
I really love the Venus & Jeannie Classic! They're both thick and wonderful to work with!
What advice do you have for creators just starting out?
Cosplay isn't about accuracy! The purpose of cosplay is to have fun being your favorite character! Everyone, including the master level cosplayers, started out not knowing everything. Skills take time to learn. You have plenty of time to improve. Don't let social media intimidate you. You're gonna look amazing!
What do you love most about cosplay/creating? What issues in the community do you wish you could change or bring awareness?
There's so many things that I love about cosplay! I love goofing off with friends while in our cosplays and making fun memories! I also love meeting new people who share the same interests and also meeting fellow crafters! I'm always practicing and learning new techniques for cosplay crafting! Cosplay really helped to build my confidence! Unfortunately there is discrimination towards black cosplayers in general and even more towards black cosplayers who are also plus sized, darker skinned, LGBTQ, disabled, etc. As a black cosplayer who's also dark skinned, plus sized, a part of the LGBTQ community and disabled, my accomplishments and skills as a cosplay crafter tend to be overlooked and scrutinized compared to my white/non-black poc, thin, straight, etc. peers. We have to work 10x harder. I've been cosplaying for over 13 years and just now was blessed to get judging opportunities, where it took others a shorter amount of time. It seems now people are listening, but the fight isn't over yet. I would like to see more of us and especially super marginalized black cosplayers be represented and have opportunities just like everyone else!
What does Juneteenth mean to you?
Juneteenth is a very important and glorious day for Black Americans and history. It was when the last remaining enslaved people were informed that they were free. Unfortunately, many of us didn't learn about Juneteenth in schools. It took until about a few years ago for it to be a federal holiday. I'm glad that it's now being recognized all over the US and everyone is learning of its significance. Our history shouldn't be erased anymore!
If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
This is a hard one! I would bring my manga to read to help pass time and scrapbooks of my fictional husbands for that serotonin boost haha!
Cosplay: Kyoko Sakura cosplay using a Jeannie Classic in Crimson. Photographer: @allisonthephotographer (IG)