An Interview with Jahara Jayde - Cosplayer
January 22, 2022
Jahara Jayde - The Fierce Trailblazer
I have the pleasure of talking to Jahara Jayde, getting detailed insights into her aspirations as a Cosplayer, how her muses constantly push her to achieve greater Cosplays and tips on how creative types can achieve confidence and professionalism.
Hi Jahara, for those who don’t know you could you please give a brief description about yourself!
Hi! My name is Jahara and I'm a content creator on Twitch, TikTok, IG, Twitter and youtube! My content primarily stems around cosplay, as well as live streaming JRPG's on Twitch. I also happen to tutor Japanese, am a mom, and a vegan!
How long have you been Cosplaying for now and what first inspired you to don your first outfit. Were you inspired by another Cosplayer or by Media?
I started cosplay in October of 2020. I had recently started Twitch and made a deal with my viewers that if we hit 300 followers, I would cosplay princess Zelda from Breath of the Wild, which was the game I was streaming at the time. I wouldn't say I was inspired to start by other cosplayers, but soon after beginning I learned about cosplayers like Cutiepiesensei and Shellanin, and I look up to them both!
"the amount of people who have reached out to tell me that they feel empowered by what they see me do. It's my step daughter telling me that her friend randomly texted her a picture of me saying I was their favorite streamer, and she was so excited and proud to tell them that I'm actually their step mom."
Does Cosplaying get harder or more pressured the more influential / famous you get, is there constantly an expectation or a high standard to hit?
Yes and no. Yes because when my Sailor Moon series started gaining traction I felt a lot of pressure with each scout to do better than the next. While that feeling still pops up once and a while, I'm mostly just excited to work on each cosplay and put as much detail as I can into it. This is largely thanks to the Sailor Moon fan base, who is majority positive in response. I've received a lot of messages from young poc fans stating that my cosplay inspires them, and that is super motivating.
What was your first experience of makeup?
Hmm. Middle school? I used to put on eyeliner on the bus on the way to school, and then try to take it off on the way home. Because I wasn't allowed to wear makeup yet lol.
In your video “Why I'm Starting a YouTube Channel in 2021” you mentioned that starting a YouTube channel is scary and makes you nervous, a lot of creatives suffer from this and whether it’s delving into a different medium or Imposter Syndrome, what tips do you have for combating nerves or having the confidence to just DO IT!
I think having someone in your corner, whether a family member, friend, or partner, to support you unconditionally helps a lot. You can just think that you're creating for yourself and for them. When I do that, it's easier to just be proud of what I manage to make :)
Is it hard to Cosplay or gain inspiration from older media (such as Sailor Moon) compared to modern media due to the advancement of graphics? I.e. the details are more precise and this has to be reflected in your outfits?
I think cosplaying older mediums does give more natural room for interpretation. Because, like you said, the detail in the outfits is less there, and people rely on the big tells of the outfit, hair color, or style to recognize characters. Now, I do believe that in cosplay you can include/change as much or as little detail of a character as YOU want. It's your body, your hobby, and realistically, your budget that is being used here. However from an audience point of view, there are a decent number of people who like to nitpick cosplayers for not keeping details exact. And for these people who demand/prefer 100% accuracy, older less detailed characters come less under fire for this.
What was your favourite Cosplay and why?
My favorite cosplay is my original Princess Zelda cosplay from Breath of the Wild. Her outfit fits well both physically and mentally for me, it's comfy, my favorite game, and I personally kin her character a lot. Princess Zelda has often been portrayed in games as the regal, perfect half of Hyrule's prophecy (in comparison to Link, who is often an unknowing boy who is called away from his home and trained into the warrior the prophecy needs). She accepts her role, and often serves as an example for Link. BOTW Zelda showed a lot of vulnerability, bitterness, distaste, and struggle when it came to her role in the prophecy, and at first outright used Link (who is this incarnation was already perfect at his own role) as a scapegoat for her frustrations. She is intellectual, passionate, and occasionally petulant. She does, however, after a great failure, grow to fulfill it. I just thought this was much more relatable to me. So I feel at home in her cosplay. lol that's the long answer.
How much of your own outfits and accessories do you create and if you aren’t skilled in crafts or sewing what tips would you give people to be able to start?
I style my own wigs in 100% of the cosplays I do, but I most often buy the costumes and accessories! That's not to say I haven't made some, like Fairy Queen Asuna, Kida, or Android 18. Start slow. Also throw away any misconceptions that not making your cosplays makes you not a real cosplayer. Even pre-bought costumes aren't just thrown on. A lot of work goes into the wigs, makeup, photography, videoography of any cosplay you do. Also the fun! I tend to weigh the cost to availability ratio. 1. Is the costume I want available to buy? 2. If so, is it good enough quality? 3. If it is, how much does it cost and how soon do I need it? 4. If I made it myself, would it be cheaper? 5. If not, if I made it myself, would the quality be a lot better? 6. Do I have time? 7. Do I have the skills to make this?
Feel free to ask yourself these questions. And know that you can make some pieces and buy others, or buy components to modify rather than make everything from total scratch. In the meantime, learn what parts interest YOU. Whether that be things like sewing, foam armor, resin, wig making/styling, makeup etc. And work from there. Don't feel pressured to do parts you have no interest in.
So Game Beauty gifted you our four palettes, Adventure, Fantasy, Victory and Harbinger, tell me your honest opinion on them and even constructive feedback if you have any. (Won't be mad we promise!)
Victory: This is my fav!! It has all my favorite colors for a warm natural look with a bit of pop! Goes great with my skin tone.
Harbinger: 2nd fav! This is perfect for a smokey look for me, it'll be great for my winter looks. It's also a great accompaniment to the Victory palette. I think you need both.
Fantasy: This palette is gorgeous! I love all the colors and it's actually the aesthetic of my office/stream room! That said, none are colors I'd lean towards on the daily. It'll be good for cosplay though.
Adventure: To me, this is an excellent accent palette. I don't do bold colors often, but they're all bright and luxurious. Perfect for cosplay.
As far as the design, 10/10 all of them are so cool to look at I'm tempted to display them! Also the color payoff is very good on my dark skin.
Who or what is your biggest muse?
My fiance. He believes in me more than I do. And is always pushing me, encouraging me, congratulating me and hyping me up. I like to try to be as amazing as he already sees me to be.
This is a two part question, but what is the hardest and the best thing about being on social media and what improvements would you make to these online platforms if you had the power?
The best thing is the sheer number of people I can reach, and the amount of people who have reached out to tell me that they feel empowered by what they see me do. It's my step daughter telling me that her friend randomly texted her a picture of me saying I was their favorite streamer, and she was so excited and proud to tell them that I'm actually their step mom. That people come into my stream and say they had a bad day so they came to talk to me because I can always cheer them up. Stuff like that is the best. It keeps me going. I never heard stuff like that in my old jobs. I feel like I make a bit of a difference now.
The hardest part is that I've been exposed to more direct racism in the last year than I had over 29 previous years of life. It is staggering how many strangers go out of their way to call me racial slurs, tell me I disgust them, threaten me with bodily harm, and discredit my work just because I'm black. I've literally had people say that everything about my cosplay, photo, video, editing, quality, execution is perfect, except my skin color ruined it. It seriously blows my whole mind. every time. Over time, I've come to spend less and less time in my comment sections because maybe 1/30 comments is a racial comment. That might not seem like a lot, and you might say the positivity outweighs that. But if you can, think to yourself how many times a day, everyday, you could healthily read a threat or slur and be unaffected. Lately, I'd say I see anywhere from 1-2 on a normal day, and 10s on a bad one. For someone's day to day, in 2021, that is definitely not normal. Since logically it doesn't make sense to me that someone would hate me/wish me ill for such a silly reason, and I'm a very logic driven person, I often spend too much time ruminating over it. And that just isn't healthy. It drives you crazy and is heavily demoralizing.
If I had the power, I'd tighten up the TOS of a lot of social platforms. I often don't report these things anymore, and just delete. Because unless things are spelled CORRECTLY and in Full (with no slang versions, or use of symbols or emojis) most social platforms just say no TOS were broken. You can imagine how easy it is for someone to get around that. And it kind of feels like the platform is brushing me off and supporting the racist everytime that happens.
What for you is the hardest part of Cosplay and what techniques do you use to overcome these obstacles?
I'm personally still quite poor at armor! Which is a shame because a lot of my favorite characters from video games wear it. So I tend to just not cosplay them.
I absolutely loved your Android 18 Cosplay, the DBZ Android and Cell Saga is probably my top all time favourite Animes. Why Android 18 out of all the cast of DBZ Characters?
Android 18 was my first attempt at making a budget cosplay! All the pieces were bought from a local thrift shop and I cut/sewed, modified them to make her character. She was my favorite back when I watched the show, honestly. And I wanted to give her a try! I also felt that her outfit was easily recognizable and not overly demanding. I'm also a huge fan of strong female characters and that is who I tend to cosplay. You'd have to agree that 18 is one of the classic examples of strong women in anime.
You recently Cosplayed your own Warrior of Light (Main Avatar) from FFXIV and you’re obviously a massive fan of the series. Have you played any of the older FF titles or even the FF7 Remake? If so, do you have any Cosplay ideas for those? If not, can we look forward to seeing another FFXIV Cosplay!?
I haven't! Well recently I started FF15 and have really been enjoying hanging out with Noctis as the boys lol. I want to cosplay the mechanic! Her outfit is so exaggerated and fun. As for FF cosplays in general, YES! I want to do a viera, and more au'ra characters as well. I also plan to do G'raha tia and Gaia!
What would your number 1 makeup tip be?
I think having a good base helps any makeup look pop, so make sure your foundation highlight/contour routine is good!
What is the future for Jahara Jayde, where can we find you and what do you have in store for us to look forward to!
You can find at me at the same handle on all platforms except facebook! I'm considering doing a calendar for my scouts when they are done too, so please look forward to that! If you're interested in prints and HD shots, you can find that on my Patreon soon. I also have Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok accounts, I'd appreciate the support!