“For a black cosplayer (not to be racist) she did an amazing job!” the original Tumblr post read. It was later was edited to include “I love her skin tone” after all hell broke loose. Personally, I’ve always been stuck on those first few words: “for a black cosplayer.” As if the bar was set lower for us, as if we weren’t expected to perform on the same level as white cosplayers. I lost track of how many times the post was liked, reblogged, linked to other websites — even now, nearly three years after the picture was taken, complete strangers will come up and reference it to me at cons, and it’s even come up in job interviews. My Venus became the unintentional face of the cosplay race debate online, an unwitting example of “Black cosplayers doing it right,” as if 9 times out of 10, black cosplayers were doing it wrong by default. What kills me is that in person, nobody has the balls to say a word about whether or not they think darker-skinned people should cosplay lighter skinned characters — but online is a completely different animal. Online, I was “Nigger Venus,” and “Sailor Venus Williams” because I am black. My nose was too wide, lips were too big, I had a “face like a gorilla” and wasn’t suited for such a cute character, because I am black. My wig was too blonde, my wig wasn’t blonde enough, or, my wig was ghetto because I was making it ghetto, by being black and having it on my head. And furthermore, if I was going to insist on “ruining characters,” I could have at least picked one with black hair so it looked more “natural.” I should have worn blue contacts — but if I had, it would have looked ghetto. Because I am black.”—Chaka Cumberbatch, “I’m A Black Cosplayer, And Some People Hate It,” Clutch Magazine 2/4/13
Coloured Cosplay Appreciation Post
First of all, I do not have many coloured (specifically dark) friends who cosplay. These are friends I know who do though. For the record, I am making this post because it makes me SICK hearing and reading about people who say that only certain people should be allowed to do it. Namely ‘white people and Asians’
Pardon me, but cosplay is a hobby, is life for many, and is (should be!) for fun. Cosplay is something to enjoy for yourself and with your friends. Skin colour does NOT matter. So to those of you with racist and discriminating comments about it:
Shut the fuck up.
Black people are JUST as capable at cosplaying and JUST AS GOOD at it as any other white person or Asian. There are also just as many HORRID cosplay photos of white people and Asians, too, so skin colour does NOT make up for a bad cosplay.
No matter your race when you cosplay, remember that you are just as amazing as everyone else. Take pride in your skin and don’t let ignorant assholes make you think otherwise.
This is 2012 people.
Oh, and for a random fun fact, I am actually part Jamaican. I am not completely white even if it looks otherwise. So what have you to say now bitches?
I would rant more but I’ll just get angrier and more rude.
Now look at my beautiful BLACK cosplaying friends and reblog this if you agree with and support my views.