Cosplaying While Black

As black cosplayers, rather, as a black community in general, we need to have more pride and confidence in ourselves and stand against racism of any degree. I won’t babble on and say that we AS black cosplayers, get the worst of both words, because I would be lying. I have been cosplaying for a while and I never do so to impress. I just do so to say, “This is what I am, take it as fact, or leave it and go.” I care not for attention so long as I’m not disrespected and shunned.

I will cosplay any character I like and the majority of the characters are not black. I have yet to be criticized for my skin tone because I have not been actively cosplaying around the world. However, I have read article of black people being criticized for their skin tone in a costume. I’m aware that to actively engage yourself in such a visual hobby as cosplay, you have to have a thick skin — and I do. I’m cool or would be cool with people criticizing my choice in fabrics, choice in wigs, choice of pose because it is a learning experience. My skin color is something I cannot change, nor would I if I had the ability. I love the skin I was born in, and I won’t apologize, make excuses or work around it for anyone’s benefit beyond my own.

This year would be the second time going to the Anime Expo. I am becoming more active in going to conventions and cosplaying. This year, my focus is Steampunk and Marvel and Comics. I am going as Blackcat, Catwoman, and Storm. It should not pose as a problem if I ever run into a racist. Last year, I went as Chun Li, Lightening (with my natural Afro), and Mila from Dead of Alive 5. I have gotten a lot of compliments on my cosplay and my hair. I think that at the very heart of cosplay is the love for a character, and the desire to bring that character to life. That’s what it should be about.

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