Made rebloggable by request.
Rascism - noun - hatred or intolerance of another race or other races
“White” people get just as much hatred for cosplaying as, say, Korra. If they darker their skin, they’re wrong. If they use their pale skin, they’re wrong. Why? Because some people think they’re taking cosplaying Korra from people of ethnicity. I know several white people who stopped cosplaying as Korra, one who is just as pale as me and doesn’t darken her skin because people were bashing on her.
I got told the I’m taking cosplays away from people because I cosplay as Asami, who is seen as Asian, and I’m not Asian.
Are people genuinely taking ANYTHING from ANYONE else? No. If you want to cosplay a dark skinned character, you aren’t preventing anyone from doing it, even if you’re white, black, asian, latino, whatever. You aren’t hurting anyone by cosplaying characters YOU LIKE. I don’t care how pale my skin may be, if I feel a connection with a character, I’m going to cosplay them, regardless of their skin tone. Because guess what? RACE DOESN’T MATTER. I’m not going to look at a black person and say, “YOU CAN’T COSPLAY AS FAYE VALENTINE BECAUSE SHES WHITE” just as I’m not going to look at an white person and say, “YOU CAN’T COSPLAY AS YORUICHI BECAUSE SHES BLACK”
Guess what? Cosplay isn’t about looking exactly like a character. It’s about showing your love for a character that you feel you connect with or want to be like and having fun.
Also, as I stated last week, when I was called a “mediocre white cosplayer” (even though I’m not white) that is JUST as racist as saying, “She’s just a black cosplayer”.
In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, “Do not judge a man by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.” I’m sure Martin Luther King Junior did not mean, “But this only applies if you’re white and judging other people.” He meant ALL OF US should not look at one another by our skin color. White, Black, Latino, Asian, Indian, whatever. We are ALL HUMANS. And telling a white person who they can and cannot cosplay is just as bad as telling an ethnic person who they can and cannot cosplay.
As someone who is Native American but looks white, I see both sides of the coin. I’ve seen my father slandered and called names. The farm my Grandfather owned was stolen from the Government. But I walk around and don’t appear Native American because I have albinism. And I still feel that people judge me because I’m white. I worked with a bunch of Latino men several years ago that were incredibly racist and didn’t realize I knew enough Spanish to know what they were saying. Not many people get to see both sides of the coin. I do. I have. I’ve seen the injustices against my people. I’ve seen the poverty my tribe lives in due to the ramifications of the “White man”. Do I hate white people? No. Do I slander white people? No. I will not hold an entire race of people responsible for the actions of others within their race.
TL;DR Racism isn’t about power. It’s about prejudice. And ANYONE of ANY RACE should be allowed to show their love for a character, no matter their ethnicity. Because they aren’t trying to offend anyone; they’re showing their love for a character without focusing on race. Until EVERYONE of EVERY RACE can judge people by THEIR ACTIONS and NOT their skin colour, this will be an issue. And I don’t judge anyone, Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Inuit, Native American, Pacific Islander, WHATEVER by THEIR SKIN COLOUR. Which also means I won’t tell them what they can and cannot cosplay.
Water tribe out.
“If they darken their skin, they’re wrong”. And that’s because that’s blackface/yellowface, which is inherently wrong and seriously problematic. I sincerely hope you’re not trying to condone that either.
And while you make not make disparaging remarks to a POC for cosplaying outside of their race/ethnicity, other people will, and I was simply trying to highlight that fact since I know some people don’t like to talk about it. Or they’re simply tired of talking about it because people don’t listen.
And race does matter. I know that everyone wants to make the cosplaying community a safe, wholesome space, but the fact is, racism is pervasive. That’s just how it is.
At the end of the day, being called a “mediocre white cosplayer” is not equal to being called “just a black cosplayer”. There are centuries of oppression and hatred and power just in being called “a black cosplayer”. I cannot seriously think of a time when being called “white” was actually a form of insult. More often, I can think of it as an ideal that people should ascribe to, like the notion that purity is white and such.
I appreciate you responding to me, but the simple fact is there are plenty of “white”/white-passing characters for that person/anyone to cosplay as, and I feel that they should do that instead of cosplaying as a POC.
1.) She’s not condoning people darkening their skin for cosplay, and actually actively speaks out against it whenever the subject comes up. I do want to point out though, that blackfacing is a specific term referencing back to old-style minstrel shows, which were a purposeful mockery of african americans.
Kids putting on foundation too dark for their skin because they think its necessary for cosplay isn’t’ a purposeful mockery, its just ignorant and sad.
2.) Are you missing the point that she’s actually a first nations cosplayer with a genetic pigment abnormality that’s being called a ‘mediocre white cosplayer’ HOW IS THAT NOT HILARIOUSLY RACIST.
3.) Its not that no one doesn’t acknowledge racism when its actually an issue, but the thing is, the cosplay community as a whole is in general an accepting community made up mostly of young folk brought together by mutual love of All Things Geeky. For the most part, kids this young don’t even register racism as a thing. All you’re doing by screaming that white kids cosplaying characters with darker skin is racist is inserting an issue where THERE ISN’T ONE.
Show me a white cosplayer cosplaying a black character whilst carrying around a watermelon and throwing racial slurs all over the place, and I’ll show you a racist. Show me a white cosplayer cosplaying a darker character and geeking over how much they love the character, and I’ll look at you funny for seeing evil in that.
Trying to insert racism where there isn’t racism cheapens peoples reactions where RACISM IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.
1. Blackfacing still applies, whether it’s in the original term of minstrel shows, or white people darkening their skin to match a character that is a POC. (And before anyone says anything, I don’t mean colors like purple/orange/green)
2. I was taking that at face-value, even though I just read her mentioning she was First Nation. Mea culpa on my part. That actually ties into a lot about white-passing POC and a lot of other things I’m not too comfortable discussing because I’m not Native American.
3. Oh, but they do. Not consciously, but they do. There are many examples of this, the clearest one being that doll test. (The one where the kids pick the doll they like best/ think is pretty and everyone picks the white doll, even the black kids; ofc I can’t remember the name of the study orz.) Also, thanks for the hyperbole. I have now gained the title “Screaming Woman” : D
The “cosplayer with a watermelon and blackface” example is a bit extreme. While there are certainly people who would do that, society has at least made it known that such behavior is not acceptable, which then leads to microagressions and more subtle problems like people using bronzer to cosplay as Korra/Sailor Pluto/Sister Jackson, to use a few examples.
I’m not seeing racism where it doesn’t exist, I’m showing where it’s already been.
black·face[blak-feys] Show IPA
noun1.Theater .a.an entertainer, especially one in a minstrel show, made up in the role of a black.b.the makeup, as burnt cork, used in this role: They performed in blackface.Words have meanings.2.) well there’s that. That points done with :3.
3.) Straight up, and yeah yeah, people hate when personal experiences are brought into arguments like this, but I can distinctly remember the first time I ever thought of race as a distinct thing that even mattered- swear to god, it was like sixth grade and someone brought up the KKK and I didn’t even realize that people that hateful existed.
I guess I should be grateful my parents brought me up so that I actually judge people by the quality of their character and not the color of their skin, though.
Skin lightening and preference for pale skin isn’t really relevent to the argument of cosplaying based on skin color (unless we’re talking about changing skin tone with makeup, which I don’t think anyone in this discussion is agreeing with.) That whole thing seems to hinge heavily on societal pressures, its deplorable, but like… its not relevant to the discussion?Someone darkening their skin for cosplay though generally is just out of ignorance and disregard for the feelings of other people… I doubt there’s a cosplayer who has done it to be racist. I think they do it because they feel some pressure to be accurate over well, sensitive to the feelings of others.A better example of a microaggression would be oh… being at a group photoshoot and purposefully taking pictures without a black cosplayer in the shot because the photog doesn’t think they represent the character well enough. Shit like that.(And hey, I like hyperbole)
1. And the meaning of words can change. I’m not denying that’s one of the definitions. I’m just stating that blackface can also be applied to people darkening their skin to appear to be a POC.
2. (which was once point 3) And I can remember being forced to play the monster as a kid in elementary school, with the only reason being “you make a better monster”. In addition to schoolkids telling me I should play as King Kong, or that monkey from Jungle Book. I’ve had people call me a monkey, a gorilla, and my sister has had the n word said to her face. So while some people may not be aware of racism early on, I think most POC are. And it sucks.
3. They may not have not intended to be racist, but the fact is, they are. We can’t just sweep this kind of behavior under the rug just because they want to be accurate. Ignorance doesn’t go away on its own, which is why it needs to be pointed out, otherwise this will never end. :/
Well since this has entirely gotten away from the point of the original conversation and moved on to subjects which, while horrible, don’t really have anything to do with the original post.
I’m just going to point out - I’m an Italian-American, working on a cosplay of a Hispanic girl, helping my black boyfriend cosplay an Aztec dude, my Latina friend is cosplaying a half-japanese girl, her Arabic husband is cosplaying a dude who may or may not be half-black, and none of us give two fucks, because its all for the love of the characters :3
I want to say that I understand both sides here, believe it or not. :P
“Accuracy” is the biggest pile of bullshit ever when it comes to cosplay, and THAT is where this mess begins. If people would stop throwing a fucking temper tantrum because they/other people don’t look as close as possible to a GODDAMNED DRAWING, there would not be these problems. I understand that POC don’t have as many characters to chose from that the hissy-fitters-which is a stupidly large portion of fandom-will condone them as “accurate” for. And even then, especially in anime, there are like, three natural skin tones -white, tan, and super caricatured African, whereas in real life people’s skin is every shade from white to ebony.
Basically, POC are constantly shat on for not being “ACCURATE!!!” no matter what they do. Pale people, Caucasians & some Asians, have it a lot easier when it comes to pleasing the “ACCURACY!” crowd. Not only do they have a wider variety of characters to chose from that are “ACCURATE!!!” but they even are able to use makeup to change their skin color and get the “ACCURATE!!!” crowd’s dick even harder (and we won’t start on my feelings on that beyond no. don’t). And it is true that white/Asian beauty is more celebrated in the cosplay circles than any other ethnicities and that they automatically get more attention and accolades based on just this. Which is so flipping stupid!!!
Frankly, there’s pretty much no pleasing the “ACCURATE!!!” crowd if you’re a poc-and worse, as a cosplayer, you might be part of that crowd when it comes to judging yourself, and feel you HAVE to limit your choices to characters you look like, rather than those you actually LIKE. And there is so much more about racism in cosplay that affects their confidence and outlook on the hobby and it literally breaks my heart because why the FUCK do people have to be such assholes over what someone looks like? who their parents were? It’s fucking STUPID. Racism is STUPID. If you are a racist, you are a fucking moron. Period.
So I DO understand how it could hurt to have a poc to see a non-poc cosplaying a poc (god I hate this abbreviation and that sentence gramatically hurts.) It would feel like all the advantages that person has, their points with the “ACCURATE!!!” crowd, being rubbed in, when they have so many to chose from but instead pick one of the few that gains a poc “ACCURATE!” points. And honestly they just don’t get even a fraction of the shit POC do for cosplaying outside their race-and when they’re done, they can just switch back to another of the thousands of pale characters.
But let’s stop a minute here. Why do we let it matter so much what other people think? Your BODY is not a costume, that’s what you put on it. It does not in any way figure into your “ACCURACY!!!” Anyone who writes off your costume because you don’t look exactly like a cartoon is a blithering moron. And if YOU are judging yourself by those standards, go look in the mirror, slap yourself, and wake up! You are not a cartoon, you are a person, a creative person, and you do NOT need to give yourself shit for not reaching impossible standards-there’s no reason to set them like that!
We, as a community, need to stop shitting ourselves over “ACCURACY!” when it comes to body types. These are human beings in costumes we are looking at, and they deserve respect and praise for what they create, not hate for what they don’t look like! NBC is right-this is about fun, showing your love of a character, showing your art and creativity. It isn’t about becoming that character’s body. Race, skin tone, those aren’t costumes.
With that said, I honestly don’t know if I would ever cosplay a non-white appearing character, no matter how much I loved them, because I personally do consider those feelings to be valid even if I don’t agree that it actually matters, and I think the attitude of “ACCURACY!” needs to be fought. But on the other hand, I would tell anyone else considering it to be aware that some may find it hurtful, and to just be aware and respectful of those feelings even if you disagree with them.
I cosplayed Mio Amakura from Fatal Frame & got my first neg comment about it-I hadn’t even considered race as an issue-she was just a character I loved! But I feel weird about wearing that costume again, or any of the Fatal Frame human characters, because of it. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings with my cosplay choice. Maybe I should not care, but I just have mixed feelings now on what I personally want to wear.
We have a long way to go as a society, and cosplay is not immune to needing social change. We need to stop staring at race and see the person beyond it, the one that shares our stupid, dramatic, and still fun and beautiful little hobby.