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This article contains spoilers for the film, so be warned…

This weekend, the highly anticipated biopic, Straight Outta Compton, opened in theatres to audiences everywhere and made almost $25M on opening night, alone. The film tells the story of rap group N.W.A., members Easy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella, and their rise to fame in the 1980s. While their first album, “Straight Outta Compton” (1988) was a bit before my time, I made up for it by bumping it during high school in the 90s. Although I grew up in Los Angeles, I’m a prep school brat and was born and raised in the suburbs, only passing Compton on the freeway on my way to the beach or the airport. In my youth, the music of N.W.A. represented a culture I didn’t feel I necessarily belonged to, but wanted to understand. As a young person intrigued by the musical revolution of the 1960s, gangsta rap represented an unexpected cultural commentary that coincided with my teen angst perfectly. For my generation,  N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police” is as controversial as John Lennon’s “Imagine” was to my mother’s and just as meaningful.

I started out as a reluctant cosplayer. The truth is, I always felt embarrassed by my size and worried that I wouldn’t find anything that looked good or fit me properly. The nerd community can be cruel to female cosplayers and even worse to fat chicks who cosplay. Finding a character I love enough to cosplay, creating a costume that resembles her/him enough so that strangers recognize the outfit EVEN THOUGH I am not the same size/color as the character, well it always seemed like an overwhelming task that I wasn’t ready to commit to. I am all too familiar with instances of public body shaming, and the idea of placing myself in the spotlight at a con terrified more than thrilled me.

Then I met the Collectress. My cosplaying, co-blogging, blogmate who promised to FOREVER help make my cosplay dreams come true, if I would only give the medium a chance.