Cosplay Aunty, 67, attracts fans from Malaysia and Philippines
You can never be too old to get hooked on cosplay.
Just ask Madam Shirley Chua.
Still sprightly at the age of 67, the retiree was seen strutting her stuff over the weekend at the Singapore Cosplay Club Grand Walk at Marina Square.
Dressed as Magent Magent from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, she drew attention away from cosplayers less than half her age as photographers took turns to snap her picture.
Madam Chua said she got into cosplay 10 years ago when making costumes for her son, Mr Sia Kong Yew, better known as Skyy to cosplayers.
"When I told my son that I wanted to cosplay, he said no," she said.
"He later explained to me that he was worried there might not be any character for me to cosplay for someone my age."
But Madam Chua did not give up, and she got her big break in 2011 at a cosplay event.
She said: "I can't remember what character I was cosplaying, but it was a special moment for me and I'll keep doing this for as long as I can."
Skyy, 27, who works as a junior financial controller, said: "I really enjoy cosplaying with my mum because she is young at heart.
"She can communicate with my friends on the same wavelength as me, which is great. It also lets me spend more time with her."
Madam Chua was initially discouraged by friends because cosplay "would not earn her any money", but she refused to listen to them.
The most memorable character she has cosplayed was Superwoman and it took time for her to get fit enough to wear the costume.
Madam Chua's son advised her to start by carrying weights at least three times a week.
She took his advice and the results surprised her. She lost at least 5kg after two months of working out.
"My son said it was good for health and since I was very weak back then, I decided to do it," she said.
Working out has also improved her health, she said, and her legs are not as weak as before.
In her three years as a cosplayer, she has cosplayed seven characters from different anime shows.
"I've always loved to appear in public, in front of an audience, and to meet new people. I like doing the catwalk, too," she chuckled.
With her son's help, Madam Chua set up a Facebook page called Aunty Shirley, which has 2,055 likes.
She said: "I have fans in Malaysia and the Philippines as well, besides those in Singapore, of course."
Many budding young cosplayers attended the event as well and the children, aged from two to fourteen, seemed quite at home in the crowd.
Chanel Lee, two, happily posed for the cameras.
Her mother, Madam Cassandra Ang, 21, said: "Chanel will usually pose for people when they want to take a photo of her. She's very used to it and she really enjoys posing for people."
"I've always loved to appear in public, in front of an audience, and to meet new people. I like doing the catwalk, too."
- Madam Shirley Chua, who has cosplayed seven characters from different anime shows in her three years as a cosplayer