Sheba Arifullah aka hashtag perpetually single is a Canadian cosplayer from Whitby Ontario. She's a teacher, but shares her love for cosplay and geek culture. She's also a photographer, loves to sing, act, dance, draw, read, write (especially for her blog), watch movies and TV shows, and occasionally act (when given the opportunity!) She also wants to help inspire others to follow their passions, whatever or however tough they may be to achieve!
Darla Dudley, Photo taken by Fabulous Mike Photography
J: So lets start off with an easy one, what got you into cosplay and how long have you been doing it?
HPS: I have always loved dressing up in costume. Halloween was (and still is) my favorite time of year mainly because I can dress up in a costume without any judgment. When I went to my first convention, Fan Expo, in 2013, I didn’t dress in costume, because I wasn’t sure how many people would be dressed up. When I saw how many people were dressed up, when I went to Fan Expo the next time, I dressed up, and have been doing it ever since. Though the last few years I have gotten into more in the last couple of years.
J: Wow, 6 years is a long time. what has kept you doing it for so long?
HPS: I cosplay because it really helps me be creative, and love meeting new people! I love how it has helped my confidence, because I get to try new things for certain characters. I’ve always secretly wanted to act, so cosplaying lets me do a little bit of that. What keeps me doing it, is the creative outlet, and the ability to challenge myself and do things outside of my comfort zone.
J: I can totally relate with all of that, So how many Costumes do you have, and what is your favorite cosplay and why?
HPS: I believe I have about 16 costumes that I’ve done over the years, with a lot more adding onto the list on a daily basis (I’ve become a tad obsessed!). My fave cosplay's so far are Spider Gwen, Prudence, and Jasmine. I love Spider Gwen because I love the poses I can do for the photos, and it’s so much fun to be part of the Spiderverse family! Prudence is fun because she’s so confident, a little evil, and I love wearing her outfit! I’m not a mean person, so I find playing more mean characters is a lot of fun! Jasmine is a lot of fun, because the kids absolutely love her! She’s not my favorite Disney princess, but seeing the kids get so excited to meet Jasmine always warms my heart!
Gamora, photo taken by shadow dragonfly photo
J: I am a huge fan of your Darla Dudley cosplay, heck who am i kidding i love them all. What is your dream cosplay or a cosplay on your bucket list?
HPS: My dream cosplay is Belle’s yellow ballgown from the animated movie. Belle is my favorite princess, so I’d love to be able to cosplay as her one day!
J: I secretly want to cosplay all of the Disney princesses so i can definitely relate, time for the hard questions. What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a female Cosplayer?
HPS: The biggest challenge for me, is finding a way to stay modest while I cosplay. There are so many female characters that have revealing clothing, and as someone who dresses modestly, sometimes I worry that people won’t understand (especially when doing group cosplays) or appreciate my outfits. I’ve been lucky so far, that I’ve been blessed with some great friends who have always been super supportive about all my cosplays.
Another challenge, I find for any female cosplayer, is dealing with creepy messages from men you don’t know. It doesn’t matter if the woman dresses modestly or not, there are always creepy men who will send creepy messages. It makes me super uncomfortable, and don’t like when it happens.
J: Its so unfortunate what women have to face in this community and just being out there on social media. What are some words of encouragement you would give to someone who is just starting out or thinking about cosplaying?
HPS: If you’re just starting out, don’t worry about your skill level. Cosplaying is for everyone, at every level! I started out buying pieces (and still do) and have only recently started building parts of my cosplay. As a result, I didn’t consider myself a cosplayer. The bottom line is that cosplay is fun, and is for everyone, so never take yourself too seriously!
Punk Darla Dudley, Photo taken by Everage Studios
J: Those are some great words of advice. Do you have any accomplishments or cosplay projects you’re particularly proud of?
HPS: As previously mentioned, I haven’t built a lot of my cosplays, but the first big thing I made were wings for a Queen Clarion cosplay. I was actually really proud of those wings and went around showing my parents! I am also really proud of my makeup skills, specifically my Gamora and zombie makeup!
J: Wings are definitely something i would love to make someday. If you had to choose what would you say is your favorite con and what con is your dream con that you hope to one day attend if you haven’t already?
HPS: I love all the cons I’ve been to for different reasons. Toronto Comic Con is where I focus more on cosplay, while Fan Expo it’s more about seeing celebrities as well as cosplayers. I loved San Diego Comic Con, because it had been on bucket list for years! I’ll be going again this year because it was the 50th show! My dream cons now would be D23 (Disney Expo), New York Comic Con, and Dragon Con.
J: We all have inspirations or people we look up to, who (cosplayers artists etc) if any are your inspirations and why?
HPS: Goodness, there are so many cosplayers I am inspired by on a daily basis! Some of the main ones, that helped get me more involved in the cosplay scene were Kelly (@Faceofboaz), Tess (@tessusb), Lea (@kappz), and Sarah (@sareycanary). Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of some of the most amazing cosplay groups,or have met so many brilliant cosplayers! As mentioned though, there are so many cosplayers that inspire me, or that I look up to, that it would honestly take hours to name them all!
J: Ok, and finally, are there any celebrities you are dying to meet and why?
HPS: This one is also a tough one, because I feel I admire so many celebrities! I’d love to meet Zendaya, because she’s such an amazing person, and does so much good! I’d also love to meet anyone in any of the Marvel movies, because they seem like they’d be so much fun, and I’d just love to pick their brain about their role in the movies; how they felt, and what some of their most memorable memories were!
There you have it!, you can catch more of Hashtag Perpetually Single on her Social Media platforms or at some local cons she may be attending. Thank you all for reading and if you're not following her already click on the links below and hit that follow button!
Photo Credits Left to Right
Storm Photo taken by Pigeon Pen
Gamora Photo taken by Modokiest
Darla Dudley Photo taken by Everage Studios
Fiona Photo taken by OOC Photography
Punk Storm photo taken by Very Frank Pics
Amazon Warrior Photo taken by Very Frank Pics
Darla Dudley Photo taken by Flaunty Mars