I dated a dancer once who worked in various different fields of dance. She was also involved in theater and would always be wearing different outfits or using various props depending on the theme of whatever performance she had planned. It is not uncommon for people within the performing arts to wear stage props such as masks, costume contact lenses, odd clothing, accessories, etc. However, I wasn’t aware until recently that teenagers were using similar minded props and dressing up like this for public gatherings as a sort of sub-culture event.
My nephew who is in high school is a fan of the Japanese anime known as Naruto. It is an apparently very popular animated tv series originating from Japan that has also become a big hit to North American teenagers and adults alike. Seemingly based in an older time period where ninjas exist and wars between rivaling nations occur, the show is based around the adventures of the main character Naruto, a ninja from the village of the Hidden Leaf.
The other day when I saw him, he asked me if I knew where he could find a pair of Naruto contact lenses or sharingan contacts to be more specific. I admittedly told him that I had never heard of these before. To which he told me that his friends from school would dress up as characters from the show and attend these events with other like minded fans. Since I have surrounded most of the later years of my life around the various forms of the creative and performing arts he assumed I would have heard of this.
He then explained how these events would work and how they typically called the dressing up part cosplay. He was to be imitating the character known as “Itachi” , funnily enough translating to weasel in English. Itachi apparently possesses a specific uchiha bloodline ocular power known as the sharingan. We spent the better half of the afternoon looking through online stores to find the Itachi mangekyou sharingan and ended up buying http://narutocontactlenses.com/mangekyou-sharingan-contacts/. They were reasonably priced in comparison to other stores and he was happy that he had found his costume contact lenses for his event.
He then went on to show me pictures of people participating in the events and I was surprised at the amount of detail and work some people were putting into their costumes. A lot of people are even sewing and making their own costumes from scratch rather than buying them from a store. While I am personally not a fan of this show and probably never will be, it is a nice sight to see. It just goes to show you that creativity is everywhere and I am pleasantly surprised and happy that he is involved in hobbies as creative as this.