Cosplay Friday: Bella Sparkles

 Hello boys and girls!  Today we launch a new weekly segment, something I am calling Cosplay Fridays.  Because it features an interview with a cosplayer/someone in the cosplay community.  On Fridays.  Clever, right?  That's why they pay me the big bucks.  Anyway, today we talk about one of my personal favorites, Bella Sparkles.  Let's see what she has to say!

Me: So this is Bella Sparkles, a fantastic cosplayer in the Chattanooga area. She has done Belle, Jigglypuff, Silk Spectre II, and Suicide-squad vintage Harley Quinn. Thanks for joining me, Bella. How are you?

Bella: Doing good thank you.

Me: Awesome. So, recently you gave a talk at a Chattanooga writers' group, The Write Scene. How was that?

Bella: Yes, I was invited to speak about trolling/bullying in social media. It was a lot of fun!

Me: Do you get invited to a lot of speaking engagements?

Bella: Actually no, this is only the second time I've been invited to anything.

Me: Really? What was the first?

Bella: FarleyCon earlier this year. Hoping to get more invites to things!
Me: I'm sure you will get lots more. So how long have you been cosplaying?

Bella: Since at least 2005 or 2006. I just love bringing characters to life.

Me: So it was the characters themselves that drew you in?

Bella: Either the characters or their look. I started with just liking outfits but then started becoming attached to characters and then wanting to mimic their looks.

Me: Does that mean you have a favorite? I mean, Harley has certainly gotten you the most attention.

Bella: That's very true. I love her for sure. I really don't know that I could pick a favorite. I do think my USO girl looks the best as it was custom measured for me. But Belle is also very special to me, so it's very difficult to choose lol.

Me: Don't you take Belle to parties?

Bella: I have! The kids love Disney and it's always so much fun.

Me: That's so cool! I bet you get all sorts of neat reactions. What was the cutest one?

Bella: Yes I do! The cutest was the first party I did the birthday girl kept bringing each present over to show "Belle" what she got.

Me: That is enchanting. It sounds like cosplay has been pretty rewarding to you. On a more serious note, but related... What lessons has cosplay taught you? As a person , I mean.

Bella: Aww thanks. And yeah it really is.

Bella: Oh wow.

Bella: Well. It's taught me that I had more self confidence than I thought. I've really branched out costume wise. And it's also taught me about people. You encounter so many different people, especially on social media. There is good and bad but it's so worth it. When I see my costume or look finished I'm always very excited and happy. It's my favorite thing ever second to music.

Me: I know it hasn't been all cherries jubilee. How do you deal with the negative side? Both shamers and... Creepy people?

Bella: Well thankfully since last year there hasn't been much of either. But generally you really have to just report it and move on. You can't let it slow you down. I usually just use the ban/block features.

Me: Smart. Okay. Last serious question. Like it or not, you have been inspiring a lot of younger cosplayers to get their feet wet. Is there anything you would like to say to them? Anything you wish you had known?

Bella: I wish it hadn't taken me so long to gain my confidence and that I had started sooner. I also just want to remind them that this is supposed to be fun and should stay that way. Don't let anyone interfere with that and respect others as well.

Seamus: Beautiful. Last sprint! 1) favorite drink. 2) least favorite color . 3) two superheroes to road trip with.

Bella: (Last Sprint lol) Favorite drink is Sex on the beach and least favorite color is probablyyyyy ummmm orange??? And uhhhh Wonder Woman and Iron Man!

Me: Fantastic! Thank you so much!
Bella: Thank you for asking me things! And you're welcome!

Bella Sparkle's Fan Page can be found here.  The USO costume was hand made by Theresa Ivey.


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