Cosplayer Meiji will be the first one to say she used to look very different. It isn't something she wants to hide.
"If you make a [side-by-side] comparison like this, I became a totally different person," Meiji wrote on Twitter. According to her, she worked hard to eliminate complexes she had about her looks and to pay for her plastic surgery. Meiji wants people to know she worked hard to create her appearance.
こうして並べると本当に別人になってしまったなぁ笑 常人が味わうことが無いDTの苦しみを乗り越えて120%努力と金の力で作られた自分の顔面が愛しい！自分のコンプレックス殺すために人生で1番頑張ったことが整形だから隠したく無いし、堂々と整形だよって言いたい pic.twitter.com/F6jpy8XIwd
— 明治 (@meme_metan) May 12, 2018
The above tweet was so widely circulated in Japan that Asahi Shimbun's Area.com interviewed her.
— 明治 (@meme_metan) May 10, 2018
"When I entered university, I started a job at a maid cafe," Meiji told Area. But she says that she saw firsthand how "cute girls" at the maid cafe had a lot of customers. "I always had no customers," she said. Online there were apparently comments calling her "ugly" or telling her to quit. That's terrible to hear.
"All the girls around me were a level of cute I'd never seen before," she said, adding that their faces were small and their eyes were big.
Meiji added that when she started cosplaying, she said so felt so ugly when she saw the photos, which is a sad thing to hear.
When she was 24, she starting have major plastic surgery. "In Japan, it [plastic surgery] is so expensive, so [I had it done] in South Korea," she said. "In total, it cost ¥7 million [$85,279]."
"This is the hardest I've worked for anything in my life," she said. On Twitter, people have commended her for being so brave to make this public.
According to Meiji, she's finally pleased with her appearance.
遊戯王あわせぽよ⭐️ ブラマジ〜⭐️ pic.twitter.com/rttK1XtnpZ
— 明治 (@meme_metan) May 27, 2018
She is frank about body and self-imagine issues with which she was dealing. Those issues sound deep and painful.
"I thought it was alright if I died [during surgery]," she said. "That, if it's going to be as an ugly person, so be it." The procedures, apparently, went off without a hitch, but it's still concerning to hear that she was willing to risk her life.
"I used to feel ashamed," she said. "Walking in town was embarrassing. I'd like, 'I'm sorry for being ugly and wearing these clothes.' But now, I'm able to walk around in clothes I like, and it's become fun."
Everyone has issues they confront. Perhaps those are exacerbated in worlds where so much is placed on one's appearance, such as in cosplay, maid cafes or society at large. Is this the way to deal with those issues? Is it a way? Or are there better ones?
I just hope all her procedures didn't have any complications and that she's finally happy.
And, more importantly, that she stays that way.