My Daughter is a Nerd, you know like from The Big Bang Theory
Lately there has be a lot of blog posts, YouTube videos and people asking for advice on how to explain cosplay to your parents. I am lucky in the sense that my mom has never has a problem with regards to my nerd/geek habits or tendencies. She might not completely understand them and you can often hear her yelling things at me along the lines of “Can you shut up about cosplay now” or “Did you really have to buy another Monster High doll, how many do you have now”
So I do not fully understand when people say that their parents forbid them from doing cosplay, watching anime and playing games. I think that the reason I am lucky is that I have always been a nerd since I was small so to my mother me coming out with a new nerdy activity it is no big deal. Even though I do get told sometimes that I will outgrow these things, yet as I get older and my mom notices that it’s not happening she rarely says this anymore.
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Yet I am here to try and help those who do have problems with their parents with regards to their nerdy/geeky hobbies, all the below tips and advice come from my mother and is often how she explains me to her new friends when they see me leaving the house for the first time in cosplay or me rushing into the house showing off my new Monster High doll.
The Big Bang Theory – many people today love this show and many more watch it even if they are not in the nerd/geek communities. This is often the starting point my mom uses to explain me to people. She first will ask if people know about the show, if they say yes she goes my daughter is like that. The response is normally laughter, and they say I make sense now. If they haven’t seen it my mom often tells them to go watch an episode and then they will fully understand what she means.
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Anime – this is the more complicate to explain as my mom still calls all anime I watch Naruto and often teases me about watching my little baby cartoons, a saying I have embraced now when I go watch anime I tell her I am off to watch my cartoons. How I got my mom to understand anime and how she shows people now is making use of the Kill Bill Vol. 1 movie and showing her that this is what anime is, that it can often be violent and it is not for children. By the scenes being in English as well as being in an adult movie, she finally got the idea to what it is even though she still calls it my cartoons.
Games – this was probably the simplest aspect to get across to my mom, mainly because I got her involved in the games with me. Instead of playing games by myself, we went out and got Broken Sword and every evening we played through it together after we finished it we got Myst. Allowing us to turn it into a bonding experience. Yet I still respected my mom’s concerns, I always played games that were for my age group, so I never tried to play GTA when I was twelve and did not fight her on it and if she did not like a theme of a game I would not play it. This allowed me to play games as much as I wanted without any problems and lead to the point now where my mom will often yell at any children who go near my games or try touch my collector’s editions.
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Cosplay – this is the area where most parents have problems understanding and often fight their children on partly due to the lack of understanding and partly from the amount of money that goes into the hobby. First off showing pictures is often not the best way to go, due to how sexualised cosplay can be, rather show them a documentary such as Cosplay: Crafting a Secret Identity, this shows older people who have made a business out of cosplay and costume design and shows cosplay in a very positive light as a whole and take them to an event or invite them to a competition you are part of. I did this over GeekFest with my mom who then invited all her friends as well and a fun day was had by all.
My biggest advice I can give is don’t fight your parents, rather show them aspects of the nerd/geek community. If you are like me and have always been part of it then it is easier as my mom just expects it now and tells people I am a nerd. If you have just joined then rather start off slowly then deciding one day that I want to cosplay and walk out of your room before a con dress as Erza from Fairy Tail. First show your parents what you want to do, do research and show them how positive it can be. Maybe say that you want to take up sewing as a hobby make some basic tops etc.. before you suddenly go off and make a SnK jacket that way it won’t be as much of a shock for them. Hopefully then you can get to the point where my mom will joke with her friends as I run past in a pink wig that at least I am not doing drugs.