Is It Everyday?
It’s so sad that as black people, we have to constantly fight for a space in literally everything, but I’m never disappointed in how we persevere even through the bullshit brah. Black Cosplayers go through it, and still they just bounce back like its nothing. Truly, a superpower.
Young Lady Cosplays As Nezuko
Not too long ago, a very beautiful black woman, posted a picture of her cosplaying Nezuko from Demon Slayer. She received various comments. Some were compliments and most, were nasty insults from people, who decided it was not okay for her cosplay such a character, due to the fact….that well, she’s black. Let’s just call a spade a spade. I mean, she ended up deactivating her twitter account, due to the amount of negativity and it actually breaks my heart. And the fact, that it was her first time even cosplaying, to receive such racist and negative remarks actually pisses me off.
I do not cosplay [yet], but I really cannot begin to explain the joy I see, in looking at pictures of my fellow black people, cosplaying some of my favorite characters. Telling a black person, they cant cosplay a Japanese character specifically, is actually anti black as fuck. And if its coming from a white person then baybeeee…..
Anyone can cosplay. I don’t care who you are, its not exclusive to one race, or group of people. It’s very ugly, to try and gatekeep that particular community. My heart really hurts when I see comments on black cosplayer’s pictures, saying how it would have looked better on a white person or lighter skin. Thats racist and colorist as fuck. And in the end, what exactly does one gain from being an asshole over the internet, over a fictional character? Come on now.
What is Cosplay?
The definition of cosplay, is to literally wear a costume and accessories meant to represent a specific character. The term was coined in 1984 by a Japanese guy. People can cosplay characters from a show or game, anywhere really, or cosplay an original character. It’s a type of art, that ALL people, no matter age, race, gender, and orientation can participate in. The key word is “represent.” People dress up and represent their favorite characters.
For a long time now, black people have been getting harassed, about dressing up as specific characters, in anime, because they are not representing the character “accurately.” Which prompts the question: how does one “accurately” represent a Japanese character from anime? Why is it considered more accurate representation when a non poc cosplays a Japanese character than a black or non black poc? Its really hypocritical and again, racist/colorist as fuck. You can accurately represent a character just as well, without being the actual race of that character. White people don’t understand that concept unfortunately. However, thats kinda how costume play works is it not? And you know what, black people do it very well.
I wish people would understand that even if it’s being said through a screen, words can hurt. With your anime avi and no pictures in your media tab having self. Words. Fucking. hurt. No one has agency over anyone else’s body. No one has the power or ability to say who’s representing something correctly and who isn’t. And I’m so happy, that with even racists fucks trolling the internet, it doesn’t stop black people from cosplaying. At the end of the day, not nare one of them twitter trolls can fight anyways. We all know this.
The Black Cosplaying Community
I am loving these hashtags #blackcosplayersexist, #blackcosplayer, 28DaysOfBlackCosplay, and #CosplayingWhileBlack on twitter, as it highlights beautiful black people in cosplay. And it really shows, just how big the black cosplaying community is. I’m glad this has opened the discourse, to even discuss racism/colorism within the cosplaying community. And while I dont cosplay [yet], it was an issue, that certainly kept me from even wanting to try.
I’m a brown skinned girl. I was afraid of the comments I’d get from others, if they saw me cosplaying a Japanese character. So it makes me immensely happy when I see girls my shade and darker, doing it, and doing it with confidence. If anything it encourages me to just go ahead and start myself! Plus I mean real talk, can’t nobody beat my ass, for wanting to dress up like a character from anime, so you know what 2020 New Years resolution here we go!
We Need Y’all!
To all the black cosplayers out there, I’m glad y’all are defending yourselves, as well as uplifting others, who are attacked online. Y’all keep posting your pics, and don’t ever quit, because you never know what black kid you’ll inspire to start cosplaying (like me!).
As to the young lady who deactivated her account (VaelNiel), I hope she continues to cosplay, and knows that there’s a great community of black people behind her. And for the people who love to hide behind screens, it’s always interesting, because it’s always those who don’t even cosplay, who have the issues. Seek help. Haters gonna hate, and in the words of an age old black proverb, we aint gotta do shit but stay black and die, so let them talk.
In honor of all black cosplayers I thought I’d mention my favorite ones below:
- @theestallion (y’all crazy y’all thought I wasn’t putting my wife on here lol)
In addition, here’s some recent black cosplayers that I discovered via the hashtags I mentioned above through twitter:
And many many more! Check them out!