Maggie McGehee – also known as OMGcosplay – is an American cosplayer and Social Media star. Starting as a hobby, cosplaying is Maggie’s full time job now, which helps her to earn and save money for law school. As internet personality, she is known for her honest and open relationship with her followers.
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Early life, education
Maggie McGehee was born on 24 June 1997, in Dallas, Texas USA, and grew-up with her older sister called Rachel. Maggie continued her education after high school at the University of North Texas, in real estate studies.
She also attended a legal studies program at Colorado Christian University. In 2017 she received an award for Top speaker at Rocky Mountain Invitational Tournament. On a few occasions McGehee has explained that cosplaying is helping her to earn money so that she can go to law school.
Cosplay comes from the words “costume” and “play”, and is a performing art. The cosplayers actually dress themselves in costumes and put on accessories so that they can look like some precise character.
Those characters can be from cartoons, video games, TV series, movies, comic books, as well as manga and anime, comics and computer animation, that come from Japan. Cosplay started in the 1990s as a hobby, but today it has a lot of followers from Asia and western countries. The fans even organize cosplay events such as conventions and competitions, local and international. Cosplayers buy the costume that should be as authentic as can be, but others make the costumes themselves. They often use wigs, make up, and spray for hair coloring, tattoos and others methods for body modification, so that they can be close to the original character.
Most of them also learn techniques such as sewing, face paint and woodworking.
Cosplay is based on sex appeal, so most of the fans choose characters that are attractive. Cosplayers are very often victims of sexual harassment, when visitors at conventions touch them, photograph without permission or indulge in verbal abuse. That is why a movement “Cosplay is Not Consent” started in 2013 to protect and raise the awareness of these issues regarding cosplaying. Most of the events are organized contests such as the popular World Cosplay Summit. Crossplay is another word in this field, that means interpret a character from the opposite sex.
Many cosplayers turned the hobby into profession, so nowadays they have profitable careers.
Maggie started cosplaying thanks to her sister, who took her to an anime convention at the age of 12. At the beginning she was insecure about how her friends in school would accept this hobby, and wasn’t very opened about it. She had a private Facebook account as a teenager, so she can follow and do cosplay, and fit in school at the same time. She pointed to Jessica Nigri as her inspiration – Jessica is from Nevada and she has few millions followers on Social Media accounts. She is the first online cosplayer who Maggie followed.
OMGcosplay account was opened on Instagram in May 2015, and has more than 700,000 followers. She posts regularly, but actually she uses the account to direct her followers to Patreon, where they can subscribe on a monthly basis and get access to her account and private Snapchat; for a year and a half, Maggie was in the top 10 earners. She now has a Twitter account with over 150,000 followers. However, Maggie posts photos and sensitive content for adults, but has made it very clear that her fans will never see her nude photos. She has also 70,000 followers on Facebook, and keeps the interests of her fans by posting photos and videos.
During her first convention she experienced inappropriate behavior that was a turning point as to whether she should continue cosplaying or not, The person, who asked to photograph Maggie and her friends, was changing the locations, leading them into the service elevator trying to take inappropriate photos. However, she remained a dedicated cosplayer. In the offers on her official webpage, OMGcosplay notifies that all of her work is strictly professional, not sexual.
Most of her costumes Maggie creates herself, usually two to five every two months.
She portrayed Black Widow and Captain Marvel from Marvel Comics, Wonder Woman from DC Comics, Daenarys from “Game of Thrones” and others – Wonder Woman is one of her favorite characters. Cosplay helps her to improve crafting skills; although it started as a hobby, Maggie does cosplay as a full time job now. She attends many conventions, and each costume requires dedication and time.
“No one is more surprised than I am that this is happening. I never dreamed it would be like this. I started this hobby as a sad, anxious 12-year-old that just wanted to not be themselves for a while and now it’s more than artistic expression.
It’s more than me trying to escape something — less escapism than it used to be”, said McGehee in 2018 for North Texas Daily.
Maggie McGehee has a very honest and open relationship with her fans, and shares personal details of her life. On Snapchat where only her subscribers can see the content, she wants to show the audience that Maggie is just a real person who has good and bad days. She doesn’t hesitate to say that she suffers from depression and anxiety. On Twitter last year she shared that she recovered from and eating disorder, as well that she was close to death in a suicide attempt.
On Instagram she explained that her eating disorder happened in 2017 for the first time, when on a diet for gained weight. She lost a lot of weight in a short time, and very quickly it turned into anorexia and bulimia. The recovery clinic helped, and saved her life, but in the whole process she turned to another kind of Eating Desorder called orthorexia, a condition of obsessive behavior, seeking for a healthy diet.
McGehee’s net worth is estimated at over $150,000 as of early 2020, all the income she has comes from cosplaying, as she now works on it as a full-time job.