Ajo is a regular at Taiwanese game events, decked in dangerously skimpy garb. She's one of Taiwan's most famous cosplayers. For Ajo, cosplay has been more than a hobby, but a way to strive to drop 18kg and look like the idealised characters she adores.
On her Facebook page (via Rocket News), Ajo recently posted a "before/after" photo and talked about how 10 years ago, she weighed 70-odd kilograms. She decided to try her hand at cosplay, and when she looked at her photos, she was shocked.
"In the pictures, my favourite characters had turned all fat," she wrote. "The look of the character collapsed completely."
Ajo decided that she wanted to start dieting. It wasn't an easy round, and there were times she rebounded. But, she was able to motivate herself using cosplay, trying to lose weight so she could wear the skimpy outfits her favourite characters donned. Over 10 years, she lost 20kg.
Often, video game and cartoon characters aren't exactly depictions of real people. They are either idealised or fantasy. Ajo dropped weight by skipping sugar, carbs and fat, drinking lots of water, and exercising so that she could be that idealised character in real life.
Video game characters don't just exist in digital playgrounds. Cosplay is a realm where fans can bring them to life. To do just that, this Taiwanese cosplayer was motivated to make lifestyle changes — changes that she says have made her happy.
At the end of her Facebook post, Ajo wrote in English, "Trust Me, You Can Make it！" Maybe. And for those dieting, Ajo's story might be inspiring. For those happy with their body image, it might not be. The caveat is whether or not the look of many characters were ever realistic in the first place.
Ajo's costumes and cosplay photos do cover a range of characters. For more, check here.