Cosplayer SaLA from Saga didn’t let a hateful comment from a thoughtless classmate force her to hide in the shadows.

Cosplay is, by nature, a process of transformation. Cosplayers wake up in the morning as everyday citizens of reality, then change themselves into heroes and heroines hailing from the worlds of anime and video games.

So of course Japanese cosplayer SaLA (@SaLA_cos on Twitter) doesn’t roll out of bed already looking like Fate/Grand Order’s Shuten Doji

… or Darkstalkers Morrigan.

Heck, even when she’s posing for photos while sitting on a bed, it’s clear that SaLA has put a lot of time and effort into her hair and makeup.

But even though cosplay enthusiasts take it as a given that their favorite cosplayers weren’t born looking exactly as they do in their photos, SaLA’s fanbase was amazed to see just how different she looks in photos from just a few years ago. In a recent reflective mood, SaLA shared a few photos from her high school days in rural Kyushu, far from cosmopolitan Tokyo, which can be seen in the top row of the tweet below.

Along with the photos, SaLA tweeted:

“I was born into an agricultural family in Saga Prefecture, and was happy, but I was teased about my facial appearance, and at my high school graduation ceremony, someone made fun of me, saying ‘I’m amazed than you can live with a face like that.’

I cried a lot, but worked really hard at learning about makeup and dieting, and now, living in Tokyo, I’m able to enjoy this hobby, and what makes me happiest of all is that I can smile in front of people.”

SaLA’s growing cosplay photo portfolio definitely suggests that she’s no longer in any way shy or self-conscious about having eyes on her. However, some online commenters weren’t convinced that she had any need to feel bad about herself in the first place, reacting with:

“You’ve always had a good figure…The people around you just didn’t notice that you were always beautiful, and you’ve just become more so.”

“Even in your old photos, as long as you were a good person, there was nothing wrong with the kind of girl you were.”

“The most important thing is to have a kind heart and healthy mind.”

But perhaps most poignant of all was the commenter who said “In the photos from your past, there’s a sadness to your expressions, but in the last one [where you’re wearing a summer kimono], things have completely changed, and you have a peaceful, relaxed look. There really is nothing more beautiful than confidence.”

And confidence is something that SaLA looks to have in abundance now.

Source: Twitter/@SaLA_cos via Jin
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