Since becoming a Wonder Woman cosplayer, I’ve realized that her character represents a universal truth: humankind is at its strongest when humans are kind to each other.
In my video essay, “Wonder Woman is a state of mind”, I explore the true power Wonder Woman sees in all of us. Watch below:
When I first became a Wonder Woman cosplayer in 2017, I was excited to put on the costume as a way to meet new people who are as passionate about the character as I am.
This year, I’ve updated my Wonder Woman costume for my mission: using cosplay to share the heroine’s message that only love can truly save the world. Let’s open our hearts and minds to more kindness, diversity, and equality.
WHAT’S WONDER WOMAN REALLY ABOUT?
First, let’s backtrack to Wonder Woman’s origins.
In 1942, Wonder Woman creator Dr. William Moulton Marston wrote a very important letter to his editor, describing what the superhero’s message should be about:
On a grand scale, Marston believed in fighting fascism with feminism. But on a more personal level, he created Wonder Woman to teach comic book readers (at the time, predominantly young boys) to submit to a loving authority — in other words, to allow themselves to be vulnerable.
Marston believed that such sweet surrender was essential to a person’s growth and development, instead of fighting and resisting those who appear in opposition to us. Furthermore, Marston’s intention behind Wonder Woman was to teach these mindsets early to young boys so they would grow up respecting powerful women. At the same time, Marston wanted Wonder Woman’s powers to represent “love and truth and beauty” to “show girls that they could do anything.”
THERE’S A WONDER WOMAN IN ALL OF US
Wonder Woman shows us that love and truth and beauty starts from within. Once in a while, we must let our guard down and allow ourselves to be wrong, so that we can be shown what’s right. When we discard our egos and false narratives, we shed our insecurities and allow our self love to blossom. When we’re kinder to ourselves, our kindness floods the world. That inner power becomes our drive to connect deeply with others and help them achieve their goals.
This is Wonder Woman’s true character. She harmonizes strength and justice with gentleness and compassion. She’s dominant yet submissive. She’s wise yet flawed. She’s steadfast yet complex. She’s constantly striving to be the best version of herself, just like we are.
That is why anyone can be their own Wonder Woman. That is why Wonder Woman is a state of mind.
MY MISSION AS A WONDER WOMAN COSPLAYER
Sharing the Wonder Woman mindset is my mission as a cosplayer. When I put on this costume, I also take on the responsibility of promoting her message of achieving unity through empathy — especially with young children.
In a recent cosplay appearance I made at a local book fair, I met two young girls who were entranced by Wonder Woman’s armour. As the girls were focused on my golden lasso, one of their mothers asked, “What’s the most important message Wonder Woman can teach?” I was honoured for the opportunity to impart Wonder Woman’s wisdom and values. I said, “To be kind to others and to teach others how to be kind.” The girls stared up at me with wonder, as I smiled at them with gratitude for opening their hearts and minds to me.
That moment reminded me that this Wonder Woman costume is more than its striking colours and iconic imagery. It represents who we are when we truly believe in our inner power.
MY WONDER WOMAN EVOLUTION
I’ll be debuting the newest version of my Wonder Woman cosplay this summer at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto. Before we get into what’s new, let’s look at how my costume has evolved over the years:
As you can see above, just a few updates between 2017 and 2018 gave my costume a dramatic overhaul for a more polished, movie-accurate look. Check out my costume from 2017 »
Updated: The breastplate
This breastplate is a beautiful, professional-grade, custom-measured piece designed and crafted by the talented Etsy sellers, Laura and Erika Kyonlee (read disclaimer below). They created a stunning, authentic-looking breastplate that elevated my cosplay to a whole new level. It’s made of foam with a hardened outer finish, so it looks as heavy duty as Wonder Woman’s breastplate, but fits comfortably for posing and for action.
And since Wonder Women come in all shapes and sizes, the Kyonlee team enhanced their adaptation of the breastplate with a corset so that it laces up in the back to adjust to your torso. That section is then covered up with a removable, velcro-adhesive piece that completes the back exterior of the breastplate. It’s the most innovative, impressive design out there. Plus both the front and back are complete with realistic shading, texturizing, shiny coating, and battle scratches!
Updated: The gauntlets
What I love about Kyonlee’s version of the Wonder Woman movie gauntlets is the attention to detail in the grooves. Diana’s gauntlets in the movie are more textured and life-like instead of just clean sheets of metal. I find those details are accurately translated in these gauntlets. They also come with leather-like hand wraps that look just like Diana’s. These gauntlets are highly adjustable with innovative velcro straps on the inside that allow for fits of all forearm sizes.
Updated: The harness
After receiving so many generous compliments and positive feedback on the 2017 version of my cosplay, I decided to make it even better. The first step was ordering a more movie-accurate harness because I was so attracted to its small embellishments and how they looked on Diana’s costume overall. Kyonlee did an expert job in recreating all those details I love: the pointed gold adornment on the right shoulder, the gold fastener on the connection point at the bust, and the minimalist lasso loop at the right hip. The harness also has two slots along the back that perfectly fit to hold my replica sword for easy drawing.
Updated: The sword
I purchased this sword at Fan Expo 2017 during my second of three days at the convention. For $25, it’s a pretty impressive plastic replica of the Amazons’ God Killer sword. I love using it as a prop to give fans when they take photos with me so they can feel like a superhero, too!
Thanks for checking out the latest chapter in my Wonder Woman story! See more photos of my updated Wonder Woman costume below:
We shot these photos on the hottest day of the year; it was about 35 degrees Celsius. And it took, like, 350 tries to get the most realistic walking shot, lol. Bless my friends who agreed to be a part of this shoot!
My recreation of the Wonder Woman “POWER” poster.
Here are the links to every piece of my costume so you can get your hands on them, too!
- Wonder Woman breastplate corset (proper link coming soon when KyonleeStore‘s Etsy shop re-opens)
- Wonder Woman skirt
- Wonder Woman boots
- Wonder Woman gauntlets (proper link coming soon when KyonleeStore‘s Etsy shop re-opens)
- Wonder Woman tiara
- Wonder Woman lasso
- Wonder Woman harness
- Wonder Woman armband (currently unavailable but I originally purchased it from ArmoryRasa‘s Etsy shop)
- Wonder Woman sword