Munchy-Chan Desu is a local cosplayer, well-known for her hijab cosplays, where she makes characters come to life with a small twist – instead of wigs, their hair is represented with a hijab instead. Hijab, for those unfamiliar, is a veil worn by Muslim women to cover the head and chest. This is mainly worn to conform to the Islamic standard of modesty.
We had the opportunity to interview Munchy-Chan Desu and got to know more about her experience as a hijab cosplayer and how she achieved her unique style.
Disclaimer: The following interview has been edited for reading clarity.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hey! My name is Marsha Erika Diana a.k.a Munchy-chan desu! I’m 20 years old, a hijab cosplayer based in Selangor ~
How did the name Munchy-Chan Desu come to be?
It was actually because I love desserts soo much, and you “munch” on things. So yeah, tadaaa!
How long have you been actively involved in the cosplay community?
I think I’ve been involved with the cosplay community for around 4 years, I started cosplaying during Comic Fiesta 2014.
Which aspect of cosplaying (makeup, crafting, wig styling, etc.) do you feel you improved the most along your cosplay journey?
I would say I’ve really improved on the ways to pose for the camera and make myself look pretty in front of camera.
Hijab Cosplay is currently in trend among female Muslim cosplayers. What encouraged you to begin doing Hijab cosplay in the first place?
I actually didn’t know hijab cosplay exist in the first place because there weren’t many people doing it back then. So because I love the character, I would like to try to ‘become’ them without taking my hijab off so that’s how I started doing it in the first place.
What is the thought process that goes on when you want to cosplay a certain character in Hijab-style? What are some of the challenges of adapting the character to your needs?
First of all, finding the right material for the hijab is extremely important and not to mention the right style for it as well. This is because I need to be creative to recreate the hijab in a way that it represents the hair, even though it doesn’t have to be exactly the same as the character’s hair. It just have to look close enough to the actual hair and doesn’t necessarily need to be like the hair’s shape.
What are your thoughts on Muslim cosplayers who use a wig versus a Hijab?
Well, it’s up to them though. We can’t really push people and condemn them. We should all live in harmony, but if you have the power to encourage them to join hijab cosplay, why not?
Did you ever expect that Hijab cosplay would garner so much attention from the ACG community and the public?
To be honest, I have some mixed feelings about it. Since it’s something new and rare, I think it WILL get some attention, but I believe that it’s not something that big in my opinion.
Have you ever been faced with any discrimination or stereotypes as a result of doing Hijab Cosplay?
Sure, I mean, everyone faces some discrimination one way or the other. But we should just take the positive elements to heart, and the negative aspects should just be used for self reflection in order to become a better person.
What was it like cosplaying on TV3 for Borak Kopitiam?
Even though I’m not the main highlight, it’s still an honour to be called as a model (even though they did not credit me in the show //coughs).
You were also one of the guest conductors for Cosplay Commuter 2018, may I know what the experience was like for you, and what were your thoughts on it?
Yes, I loved it! I’ve never been treated so special in an event before, and the volunteers were nice and all. I even had the opportunity to be interviewed and I had fun playing games with my team. Not to mention, I had the chance to be featured in a few media, I am so thankful for that!
Lastly, do you have any Hijab cosplay tips you would like to share with our readers?
First of all, you should try it by yourself first. Try to find the best style that matches your face and the best material for the hijab since it differs for everyone. Besides hijab styling, makeup also plays an important role. You don’t have to apply a thick layer of makeup, just some simple makeup is enough to bring out the ‘anime-ness’. There’s no shortcut, all you need is practice to become better at it. So for those trying out hijab cosplay, GOOD LUCK!
Thank you to Munchy-Chan Desu for the wonderful opportunity to interview her. Show your support by helping us share this interview out!