When I first saw the words "Ladybeard" on the Internet, I thought it was going to be a collection of images featuring older ladies with fuzzy chin appendages. But, boy, was I dead wrong.
Instead of learning about grandmothers that can teach their grandchildren a thing or two about successfully fading their beards, I was graced with what is, possibly, one of the best Chun-Li cosplays I've ever seen. This is Ladybeard.
Wait, Who Is Ladybeard?
Ladybeard, otherwise known as Richard Magarey, is a veritable Australian renaissance man. Apart from pulling off hilariously great cosplay, he also moonlights as a pro-wrestler, a metal singer, pin-up star and occasional film critic.
When he was 23, LB moved to China in 2006 to kickstart a career as a martial arts stuntman after training with one of Jackie Chan's stuntmen. But he first came to prominence in 2009, when he stalked the rings of Hong Kong's wrestling scene as its premier cross-dressing badass:
"When I started cross dressing in HK the reaction from locals was overwhelmingly positive. They seemed to think I was the craziest and funniest thing they’d ever seen."
A few years after becoming a huge hit on HK's pro-wrestling scene, LB decided to expand his skill set and try his luck at Japan's J-Pop scene, because that's the natural next step, right?
Upon reaching Japan, LB got a gig covering J-Pop classics and turning them into epic death metal covers - otherwise known as "Kawaiicore" - which took off and eventually led to him starting 'Ladybaby,' your typically cutesy and sugary sweet J-Pop band, but with a bearded and muscular pro-wrestler growling his way through tracks.
Their first music video has unsurprisingly gone viral, and is a sight to behold:
Ladybeard x Cosplay
This year at Tokyo's Comiket - expo where indie creators sell their wares directly to fans - Ladybeard was on hand to show off why he is fast becoming one of Japan's biggest stars. Cosplaying as Street Fighter's very own Chun-Li, he is absolutely smashing it!
The man is an absolute legend and has the most honest and heartwarming reason for slipping into his eye-wateringly colorful dresses and pigtails:
"This whole project is all about creating moments of joy for people. That feeling, that there’s no words for, when something really amazes and excites you on a deep level, is an incredibly special feeling in my opinion and is what I aim to bring people through my shows and other work.
I think those moments of pure joy are one of the best things about being alive."
Can't argue with that.