Cosplay isn't something we normally talk about on Stuck in the '80s, but when someone sends you an outfit photo of Lisa from Weird Science, it's worth a look. In this photos, "Lisa" is actually Gina B., a 22-year-old from Long Island, N.Y. Here's a short Q&A I had with Lisa on her costume. And look here on her Facebook page for more photos.
SIT80s: Why Lisa from Weird Science? Are you an '80s fan in general? That'd be unusual for someone your age.
GINA: I am a major 80s movie fan. I feel that I was always born in the wrong decade. I have the hair, and the love of the outfits and fashion. I think I may have watched Weird Science more than a handful of times before I got the idea to make the outfit. I was determined to make a costume that involved '80s workout clothes (I've always wanted to go to the gym actually wearing them to see what people would say). Lisa just happened to be the perfect fit of what I was looking to make, and it hit me like a ton of bricks over this past summer.
Do you recall seeing the movie for the first time? What was your reaction?
Hilarity was my first reaction. It's such a lighthearted comedy, that I can't help but watch it a gazillion times. Lisa is also that kind of character that every woman can envy; sort of like how guys have that idea that suave translates as James Bond... Lisa was supposed to be the ideal chick. Confident, sexy, smart, fun, outgoing... The list just keeps going. I am more of a shy, to myself kind of person, so watching her in the movie always made me want to be like that.
Where did you find the Shermer High shirt?
I bought the tshirt from eBay actually. I wasn't expecting to be able to find one, and it was a lucky surprise. They have many sizes available, so I got an appropriate one to cut up the way she wears it!
What reaction did you get the first time you wore this outfit?
My first time wearing Lisa was at Dragoncon in Atlanta. That convention in particular is known for bring a comic, and general pop culture con, and having an "older" crowd to attend. As such, I wore a series of things to that con, including Bellatrix Lestrange, and Hawkgirl. Lisa, however blew all my other outfits away in terms of popularity with con attendees. Unfortunately, I was also mistaken for Alex Owens from Flashdance, and many started to sing Maniac to me. I had movie quotes said to me, as well as inquiries after anyone wearing bras on their heads. I even had a few people actually "Drop and give me twenty" when I said it. Overall, it seemed to be a smashing success and it was beyond fun to wear!
Tell me about the attraction of cosplay.
I've been cosplaying since I was 14. I grew up in a house that sort of bred me as a perfect candidate for it: my father is a contractor, so I grew up helping him on the job using power tools and making things. He also influenced me greatly since he collects golden and silver age DC comics, as well as he is a major Trekkie. I was constantly exposed to anime such as Gigantor and Speed racer.
My mother is an art teacher, and I would help her by the time I was 5, in teaching adults how to custom paint shirts and murals, etc. I merely combined all the skills my parents facilitated in me to be able to make costumes.
Cosplay itself is short for COStume rolePLAY. So individuals such as myself who claim to be cosplayers, are those who like to wear outfits to resemble a character they particularly love. Some people buy the outfits, or commission them. Some hand make every detail. I am fortunate enough to have the ability to make everything myself, so it really becomes quite the process!
Through cosplay, and the conventions I attend, I have been able I forge friendships with individuals such as myself: creative, easygoing, nerdy and fun. It's become such a rewarding hobby of mine, and I wouldn't give it up for anything!