A Gothic-Cosplayer Kind of Girl, Mel LaMon
Outright Geekery takes our reader on yet another up-close and exclusive cosplayer interview. Living her life in Bristol, Virginia, where the Smoky Mountains tower and where Jerry Lee Lewis will always want to go back home to Old Virginia she’s a spitfire of beauty, of talent and artistry of tattoos. Her name is Mel LaMon and unlike the name, she is as sweet as honey with a taste of gothic girl all rolled-up into one. She’s never one to shy from the public eye as her array of cosplay outfits and vintage photos keep Mel always in demand. It’s enough to say that her home has been compared to a movie wardrobe set filled with. various props, costumes, and things you’ve going to have to see for yourself. Please show your love and give an Outright Geekery welcome to Virginia’s best-kept secret, Mel LaMon cosplay.
OG: Hello Mel. Thank you for being available during these difficult times and offer everyone some distraction to their troubles.
Mel: Hello everyone! Thank you Outright Geekery for offering this great opportunity. I absolutely love to help my fellow man/woman out there. We all have to stick together. (It’s what Virginia Girls do)!
OG: Wonderful. We, at Outright Geekery, always give our interviewer a quote to remember if you should find yourself down in the dumps and just needs a little bit of inspiration. “Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson and not a life sentence”. Just charming!
OG: With that being said Mel, let’s start with the most obvious question, can you tell us about yourself?
Mel: I’m 50 percent Italian and 50 percent French. I was born and raised in a small town called Bristol, Virginia, I live in a border city so Tennessee is right down the street. I have hazel eyes and I’m a full-blown proud Leo. I took Russian in 3rd grade while I was in a private school however I rarely remember much. My hair color is forever changing, right now it’s blue and grey with some real accents although I have had every color under the rainbow and every combination. My natural color is black.
OG: Is there anything in this world that makes you happy?
Mel: Cats, coffee, makeup, and friends are all things that make me happy.
OG: I’m told you are into horror films, what is your favorite?
Mel: My all-time favorite horror film is the Silence of the Lambs,
Mel: As a vegetarian, I find cannibalism fascinating. I’m not huge into reading comics or any books for that matter. As lame as it sounds I’m an, “I’ll watch the movie” type of person.
OG: Wait a second. Cannibalism is fascinating to you? How Dark? I must invite you to the Donner party. It’s an all you can eat kind of place.B.Y.O.B. is mandatory, though.
OG: What does Mel LaMon do when she not cosplaying
Mel: When I’m not cosplaying I’m usually at home binge-watching tv shows. I’m a huge animal lover and animal rights activist. I’ve always just had more compassion towards the innocence of animals. My favorite time of year is Fall-time.
OG: Well, since I can share my steak dinner with you, what’s your favorite funny movie?
Mel: My favorite funniest movie would have to be Grandma’s boy or really any other stoner comedy.
OG: So Mel, what gets your groove on out there in Virginia?
Mel: If I’m dancing, it’s probably to electronica based music from the early 2000s. I love daft punk, crystal castles, and any party remixes.
OG: I think I can honestly say, eating snacks is the religious part of being a cosplayer. What’s your favorite?
Mel: Some of my favorite snacks are hummus, sun chips, and fruit. I’m not the biggest gamer but one game I’ve always enjoyed is Alice Madness Returns or kingdom hearts because I’m a huge Disney nerd. I’m definitely darker then I am geeky.
OG: It would be absolutely hard to believe you were that little shy girl growing up?
Mel: I was a shy kid growing up, I didn’t find my confidence until my later years. It took years of bullying for me to finally stand up for myself and find my true self. I just decided one day that I liked who I was as a person and that’s all that mattered.
OG: Not that there’s nothing wrong with it, but were you just a sassy/girly kind of girl growing up?
Mel: I was a super girly-girl as a child so I and my friends were always dressing as princesses however there weren’t as many villain costumes when I was younger and I always related more to them so it’s nice to see where my love of cosplay started. I practiced facial expressions in the mirror because even at age 7 I knew I wanted to be a model someday.
OG: Who was your all-time favorite costume you admired the most?
Mel: My favorite costume was Princess Jasmine.
OG: With your vivid imagination, did you incorporate your pets into your world?
Mel: I would pretend my cat was my pet tiger. I always had cats and dogs growing up. Cats are my favorite. I still have 3 cats now and they’re my literal children.
OG: Who was your all-time celebrity crush (Can I take a guess, and say he was a Pirate)?
Mel: My celebrity crush as a kid was Jeremy Sumpter who played Peter Pan in the live-action adaptation.
OG: Was I even close?
OG: How did all this Cosplay of yours start from its humble beginnings?
Mel: I got started in cosplay kind of by accident. I have been modeling since high school and one day I decided I wanted to do more shoots based on my favorite characters, I don’t think I even knew that I was cosplaying. The first cosplay I wore to a convention was a pinup version of Ursula from the little mermaid. I made the entire outfit from pieces
OG: Were you completely terrified, filled with anxieties, as you pushed through your cosplay experience?
Mel: I already had and I was completely terrified of whether people would even know who I was. I always consider myself my biggest critic. There’s always room for improvements and I still consider myself a total newb when it comes to cosplay.
OG: But look at you now, just a Tat lovely kind of gal. Who’s your favorite cosplay wear now?
Mel: My favorite cosplay so far is my Daenerys Targaryen and the Edward Scissorhands I’m still working on, mainly because they are two of my most favorite characters. I usually gravitate towards male characters and villains so there’s a lot of gender-bent cosplays in my portfolio. Also, clowns are my favorite cosplays to portray.
OG: Bristol, Virginia is not what one would call the Mecca of cosplay. Is it popular out there?
Mel: Cosplayers are not common at all where I’m living, so I’ve struggled to find a good group of cosplay friends so far. There are a few other models who cosplay and at times it can become very competitive since all my friends love the same characters. We’re all horror movie lovers so that’s what a lot of my friends cosplay.
OG: Has your influence as a cosplayer made you a positive force in your community and in others?
Mel: I do a group shoot every year that’s usually women empowered, body-positive, and cosplay related. So far we’ve done Monster High dolls, GLOW, Spice Girls, Horror classics, and our newest that I’m planning is all Johnny Depps most loved characters as women to show support for his recent situation.
OG: Should all-female cosplayers wear outfits only to their body size of the characters they portray?
Mel: I’m very body-positive so to me all sizes are beautiful. I’ve always been shaped outside the norm of what’s “popular” being a petite but curvy model has shown me that sometimes people will judge your cosplay based on looks alone but I usually don’t let it bother me. I think anyone can cosplay whoever they want and they shouldn’t be judged on race, size, or gender.
OG: Who does your photography when you are doing a photoshoot? What sort of locations have you done?
Mel: I have many many photographer friends who shoot my cosplays luckily however most of my photographers don’t shoot that sort of theme regularly. Some of my favorite photoshoot locations have been abandoned buildings, gorgeous mountains with wildlife, zoos, local businesses, and my basement which has housed many shoots that most people had no idea was shot there. Studios can be set up almost anywhere. My dream location would be a big cat sanctuary with some lions or other large cats.
OG: Just don’t mention to these large cats that you’re a vegetarian. They might not invite you for dinner.
OG: This seems to become very popular among female cosplayers, Lewd photography. Is there money to be made in it?
Mel: I make a lot of my money off on lewd photos so I’m definitely a huge supporter of sexier photos. I’m a nude art model as well as cosplay and there’s just something so freeing and empowering shooting nudes. I do a lot of pinup and vintage themed shoots as well, I’ve always been a huge lover of antiques and everything from 1920-1980s as far as fashion goes.
OG: That’s amazing! I am such a huge fan of Vintage model photography. It’s just so cool and sexy to photograph. Then what’s the difference between Lewds and Boudoir photos?
Mel: I think lewd is a bit different than Boudoir because Boudoir can be literally anything bedroom or lingerie based but lewd deals with more suggestive posing and fewer clothes. I definitely make money off of it but it’s also something
OG: So you truly enjoy it then ( I hope you bring a SpongeBob robe and a pair of Garfield slippers with you)?
Mel: I truly enjoy doing so it isn’t all about the profit for me personally.
OG: Should women really use their female powers of persuasion against the men, they are so weak?
Mel: Men have been making money off of women for lewd photos for years. I feel like it’s only fair we get something out of it as well. However, it’s not for everyone. I realize a lot of people have kids and partners and real jobs to where it might not be suitable for them.
OG: Is there anyone out there who you admire for their artistry?
OG: Is Body-Paint something that you dabble?
Mel: I’ve been playing with body paints for years, a lot of my cosplays are just strictly makeup based, I’ve been a freelance makeup artist for over 10 years so it’s fun to mix two passions.
OG: What’s been your favorite sort of photoshoot do you enjoy? What was the most challenging?
Mel: Cats are a big part of my life so I’ve done a lot of shoots and makeups based on cats. My most challenging character was Dany from GOT, I covered my entire body of tattoos for an exact cosplay look and it was insane. A lot of makeup works to look normal. I definitely spend at least 2 hours in shower removing paints and makeup after big characters like that.
OG: Now that’s LOVE!
OG: Do you see yourself as a multi-facet sort of model, you do various modeling.
Mel: As far as being recognized as one specific kind of model I find that I don’t fit into just one label. I do a little of everything and I couldn’t imagine giving anything up as far as choosing goes. I have 3 rooms in my house full of my wardrobe, my cosplay stuff gets its own room and I’m a hoarder so parting with any of it just probably isn’t going to happen. I do let people rent them from time to time for Halloween though.
OG: How interesting.
OG: Now comes the Tats question. How many tattoos do you own and does that include piercings?
Mel: I’ve lost track of all the tattoos I have, I’ve heavily tattooed but I think it’s around 28 pieces. I only have my ears gauged though. Piercings just aren’t my thing. A lot of my tattoos are paintings from my favorite artists like Alex Pardee, Camilla DeErrico, and Lora Zombie. New school and pop surrealism are my favorite styled tattoos, but I have a sleeve of portraits of my cats as well and they hold the most meaning. Everything else is skulls, unicorns, aliens, cats, and weird stuff that I’m into.
OG: Would you consider to be a Gothic kind of gal with props?
Mel: I definitely think I’m a goth girl with a 50s aesthetic who’s also into cosplay. I do use a lot of props in my cosplay shoots, wigs, weapons, corsets, contacts, and handmade props are a big part of everything. I own 14 wig babies and collect weapon replicas.
OG: Wow. No wonder your rooms are filled with stuff. It must be convenient for photoshoots.
Mel: Having them for shoots is a lot easier than carrying them around at cons. I love anything fantasy or sci-fi, elves, vampires, witches, dragons and mermaids are just a few favorites. I actually do a lot of Disney and darker characters so that’s not out of the norm for me. People can definitely expect to see more of both.
OG: Is modeling offers a bigger payout than selling your cosplay pics?
Mel: I do profit from my modeling, not as much for cosplay work but I’m working on selling prints at conventions a lot more this year. It’s hard to make money as an artist but not impossible. All 3 of my jobs are an artist based so I make it work.
OG: Being you’re always in the eyes of the public, do you have to keep yourself in good shape?
Mel: I do mostly abs and booty workouts alongside yoga to stay in shape. I’m definitely not a gym rat though. Everything I do is from home.
OG: Has the global pandemic situation has hurt your cosplay performance?
Mel: The coronavirus has hit a lot of cons already this year but for me, most of my cosplay work is shoot related so it hasn’t slowed me down yet at least. I have multiple autoimmune disorders so I have been extra careful and staying clean lately to avoid the sickness spreading around. I’m extremely over all the crazy and ready for everything to chill out again, as someone with anxiety already, my nerves have been a mess but I’m remaining positive and supportive to my community.
OG: Are you noticed by the public when doing an outdoor photoshoot? Do they stop you?
Mel: I am constantly getting stopped when I go out for the way I look. I come from the Deep South and there’s just not that many people with big blue hair and throat tattoos. Most people are super cool about it though and I get more compliments than dirty looks which are nice.
OG: When you are not doing a convention or away from the hot-lights of a photoshoot, what does Mel LaMon do to relax?
Mel: I’m home the majority of the time so I’m almost always in my boyfriend’s sweat pants and an oversized T-shirt. I love taking hot baths and watching Netflix with my cats to wind down.
OG: What has been your greatest accomplishment in life so far?
Mel: I think my greatest accomplishments so far have been just how much I’ve inspired local girls in my area to dare to be different and put themselves out there and not care what people think.
Mel: I love making people feel beautiful and included so I dedicate a lot of my time reaching out to others whether it be giving modeling advice, doing makeup for special events or just simply being nice to people online. We live in a mean world so anything I can do to brighten someone’s day I try to be that beacon of light and positivity.
OG: How’s the treatment of your fans? Is it more men or women fans of yours?
Mel: My fans are amazing and always so supportive. Even though I shoot a lot of sexier content my biggest fan base is most definitely women based. I always try to respond to fans unless they cross lines or are too pushy.
OG: Without getting too graphic, what’s been the most unusual photo request from a fan you were asked for?
Mel:I get some strange requests sometimes or characters that I’m not familiar with but I’m also someone who won’t cosplay a character that I don’t relate to or that I’m not that into. I don’t want to be perceived as a poser.
OG: Is having a serious relationship with someone difficult to have as a cosplayer?
Mel: My significant other is very supportive of my modeling however my family hasn’t been there for me as much as I would like. I’m the black sheep so it’s understandable though. I don’t feel like I lack support though as a whole. I’ve never had an issue with relationships as far as cosplay goes. I’ve known my partner since we were kids and we’ve been together for 8 years now. He supports everything I do in life and I’m very lucky
OG: What can fans see you do in the coming months? Will there be any new cosplay outfits?
Mel: Like I mentioned before I have my group Johnny Depp cosplay coming up next month that I’m super excited for along with some new cosplayers like Jessica Rabbit, Ariel, and hopefully some more horror characters.
OG: With so many looks that you have, will we ever see a 2021 Calendar (medical mask, optional)?
Mel: I would love to do a calendar for next year so hopefully, I can get that started soon! I have OnlyFans account right now strictly for my nude and sexier content under MissMelModel that people can also find my uncensored model work as well as selfies and BTS videos. I do monthly sexy cosplay based sets.
OG: Are there any words of encouragement you can lay on those new and inspiring cosplayers out there?
Mel: I encourage every new girl who wants to try cosplay to just go all out and never apologize for being weird or different.
Time we ask Mel LaMon our, “So-Far OutRight Just-Geeky questions!”
OG: Is Virginia really for lovers?
Mel: It was for me personally!
OG: Have you ever cosplayed a character for a job interview?
Mel: Some of my jobs were character-based so yes I have!
OG: Right now, while you still have time, what sort of myth would you like to dispel about the women from Virginia?
Mel: Well we’re definitely not all redneck hillbillies in Va, I will say for me there’s not a single country or southern bone in my goth body, I was just born here lol
OG: What superhero/villain would you best associate your personality with?
OG: Are you comfortable with people (strangers) taking photos of your Tats?
Mel: I’m just used to it at this point so I don’t mind
OG: If you woke up the next morning and found yourself being a man, what would be the first thing you do as a man?
Mel: Probably pick out some masculine cosplays to do
OG: Does the cold ever bother you?
Mel: Yes, I hate the cold!
OG: If you could make any Disney princess into a Gothic Girl princess, who would it be?
Mel: Goth Ariel or goth Jasmine for sure
OG: At Christmas time, what sort of gifts would Virginia women really want in their Christmas stocking?
Mel: Socks, lotion, and candles
OG: If your cat, Vivian, could talk to you, what celebrity voice would you want her to talk in?
Mel: She’s always reminded me of Cerci from GOT so I think she would have Lena Hadley’s voice for sure
OG: Which is more of a myth? Does the existence of BigFoot real or all men are sincere and loving?
Mel: Bigfoot is definitely real. I’m a firm believer in all things weird and I just know he’s out there creeping.
OG: Would you ever fight at a Walmart or Supermarket, with everyone’s cell phones out, fight for Toilet Paper or Water Bottles?
Mel: Every time I go to Walmart I’d like to fight but I think that’s just because people can be so rude sometimes and I’m short so I get walked over easily.
OG: Do you believe LOVE can be found through the internet?
OG: What sort of Nerdy thing Mel LaMon does on a regular basis?
Mel: I talk in Gollum’s voice from Lord of the Rings at some point almost every day of my life
OG: What movie or show does Mel LaMon absolutely cry every time?
Mel: A movie would be any Disney Classic and Naruto for some reason always makes me cry
OG: Do you own a John Denver Tee-shirt?
Mel: Negative on John D., dear.
OG: What deep dark secret does Mel LaMon keep until now?
Mel: Keep it secret, keep it safe. Just kidding. I’m an open book so I don’t have any secrets
OG: Speaking of secrets, what special talent or ability can Mel LaMon can only do?
Mel: I don’t have many talents but I am one of the only people I know who can style a Victory roll in seconds
OG: What special Superpower would you want to make this world a better place to live in?
Mel: I’d love for people to be able to understand animals somehow
OG: How many cats do you own?
Mel: I have 3 at my house and one at my moms still
OG: What is Mel LaMon’s Biggest Pet Peeve?
Mel: People licking their fingers clean
OG: Are there any clues to know if Mel LaMon is angry about something?
Mel: If I’m extra annoyed my left eye twitches
OG: What can Mel LaMon do to avoid getting a speeding ticket?
Mel: I’ve never had a ticket before for anything so I must be doing something right
OG: What is your favorite dessert you always want to have?
Mel: love coffee so Tiramisu for me
OG: What’s Love have to do with it?
Mel: Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken.
OG: This question often gets mixed reviews. Can I get a Hug?
Mel: I’m a huge hugger so as long as you don’t have the corona I’m down for it
OG: Thank you so much, Mel LaMon, your interview is in “Tha Books”! If I could ask you one more question, where can our readers find more about you on the internet?
Mel: Thank you so much for the opportunity. I really appreciate it. Here are some of my websites people can become a Mel LaMon fan.
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Penny Wise / LOTR female elf and female warrior photographed by White Creek Photography
Tinker Bell & Art the clown photographed by Blade Work Images.
Willy Wonka photographed by AtomicCity Photography
Caroline photographed by Dreadful Darlings.