She says Captain America was an inspiration to him within the last year because he lost 45 pounds and went off insulin. So he designed this Renaissance version of the character. The Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy Cosplay Costume, he says, “gave me the strength. I feel as if I’ve grown into it and be it. He and Turner were one of the attendees at AwesomeCon in June.

“My name is Becki,” says a young woman standing in a convention center turned comic book bazaar. Then she flips a mane of orange hair and launches into Scottish accent. “Now, I am just Merida from Brave.”

Turner, a 28-year-old is at AwesomeCon in Washington, D.C., along with a large number of other attendees dressed up in elaborate costumes. When she’s not just a fictional Scottish princess from the Disney movie, Turner says she’s far more withdrawn. “I’m much less shy when I’m in cosplay. I don’t have as much hangups when i do when I’m me, [like] some social anxiety.”

She flares her green dress and brandishes a recurved bow using a grin on the face. “[Merida’s] a powerful, fierce, independent woman,” Turner says. And now, so is she.

Costuming as sci-fi or fantasy characters began at science fiction conventions in america in the 60s and 70s. The first cosplayers wore outfits from Star Trek and Star Wars. Nevertheless the practice has really grown. People wear costumes from comic books, anime, video games, movies and TV series. Imagine a character from a modestly popular science fiction or fantasy universe, and there’s probably been someone who’s masqueraded as that character. And there large subgroups of specialty cosplay such as the “bronies:” guys who dress as ponies from My Little Pony.

Now cosplayers, a portmanteau of costume role players, regularly pack conventions in Japan, Europe as well as the U.S. For geeks, the convention delivers a sanctuary where they could nerd out and meet their science fiction and fantasy brethren. For that cosplayers, which means sharing the experience of transforming themselves into someone, or something that is, else.

But for many, it’s not really a mere bet on dress-up. The Superhero Costumes they choose bring out something in them that’s not usually visible. Ni’esha Wongus from Glen Burnie, Md., comes with a 6-foot foam gun and wears a strict leather bodysuit. “I am just Fortune from Metal Gear Solid 2,” she says. “I still consider myself an introvert. But when I got each of the buckles and straps on and the gun and stood while watching mirror for the first time? I fell in love with it. I feel as if there’s some strength, some confidence in me now for this reason.”

And then for Leland Coleman of Nashville, Tenn., his costume symbolizes an actual transformation. Captain America was an inspiration to him within the last year while he lost 45 pounds and went off insulin. So he designed a Renaissance version from the Marvel Comics character. The costume, he says, “provided me with the strength. I feel like I’ve grown with it and be it.”

These cosplayers are invoking clothing’s subtle sway over us. Folks have used clothing to subdue, seduce and entertain for millennia. In a few outfits, people not just look different, however they feel different. Psychologists are trying to puzzle out how clothes can change our cognition and also by exactly how much. Adam Galinsky, a psychologist at Columbia Business School, spoke with NPR’s Hanna Rosin for your podcast and show Invisibilia. Galinksy did a report where he asked participants to wear a white coat. He told some of the participants these people were wearing a painter’s smock, yet others that they were in a doctor’s coat.

He then tested their attention while focusing. The people who thought they were within the doctor’s coat were far more attentive and focused than the ones wearing the painter’s smock. Over a detail-oriented test, the doctor’s coat-wearing participants made 50 % fewer errors. Galinksy thinks this really is happening because when people put on the doctor’s coat, they start feeling jqbzdg doctor-like. “They see doctors to be very careful, very detailed,” Galinksy says. “The mechanism is approximately symbolic association. By putting on the clothing, it might be what you are about.”

Just about any attire carrying some type of significance appears to have this effect, tailored towards the article being a symbol. In one study, people wearing counterfeit sunglasses were much more likely lie and cheat as opposed to those wearing authentic brands, just as if the fakes gave the wearers a plus to cunning. “If the object has been imbued with a few meaning, we pick it up, we activate it. We wear it, so we get it on us,” says Abraham Rutchick, a psychologist at California State University Northridge.

In Rutchick’s studies, he has learned that people wearing more Anna Marie Rogue Cosplay Costume like they might wear to the interview thought more abstractly and were more big-picture oriented than folks casual wear. For instance, those who work in formal clothing would say that locking the doorway was more like securing a home, an abstract concept, than turning a vital, a mechanical detail. The effect from clothing is probably twofold, Rutchick says. “Once I gear up in those ideas, I am going to feel a particular way,” Rutchick says. Then, he says, “I [also] feel how people are perceiving me, and that’s going to change the way i act and exactly how I think about myself.”