“I’m a male and recently just cosplayed as Elsa at a convention and I hated it. Every 5 minutes I was getting someone laughing at me, making a rude comment and I even got physically abused at one point. I ran home crying and ripped the dress, which I had personally made, into pieces. I still love Elsa but that experience has made me never want to cosplay ever again.”
Okay so I love Moana. She has officially made the list of one of my all time favorite Disney heroines. I probably watched the movie 20 times already since the DVD came out. I’d love to cosplay her at my next con. Unfortunately, I’m incredibly white. Like, white as paper or vanilla ice cream without the beans scattered inside of it. Now I know whitewashing is a very large problem in movies especially Disney as they tend to use stories based in European countries where white is a majority. The last POC in a Disney movie was in 2009 with Tiana in Princess and the Frog. I’d hate to cosplay her and start offending everyone I pass by. Offending people would be the very last thing I’d ever want to do. The question is: if I truly love a character so much, does it matter if I’m not the same race as said character? Or should I stay away from cosplaying anyone who’s a different race from me altogether? I understand that there’s a plethora of people who are white that I can cosplay but I just wanna hear some thoughts???
The Trouble with Pocahontas/Connor Kenway Cosplays
Halloween isn’t the only time that I see people dressing up as Native Americans. No, I’m not talking about various sports team events, or Coachella. I’m talking about Conventions.
It irks me and I silently judge when I see a Pocahontas or Sexy Fem. Connors (Assassin’s Creed 3) . Yes, you look beautiful, Yes you may have put tons of hours into your beautiful cosplay, that is amazing and I commend you for it, but that’s the thing. To you, it’s a cosplay, a costume, one you wear for a couple hours until YOU decide to take it off. To me, that’s my culture, and I just CAN’T take my “costume” off.
Do you really understand how problematic Disney’s Pocahontas is? Yes, they did get Native actress, Irene Bedard , to voice her, they did some research, they did visit the Pamunkey Reservation. Yes! The animation was beautiful and it did break some boundaries for it’s time, but despite all this….she still remains a stereotype (POCAHONTAS WASN’T EVEN HER REAL NAME! It was
Matoaka ). Look at her clothes, take away the name “Pocahontas” and tell me, what do you see? I see, just another generic Native costume that we see year after year in Halloween stores.
Now Fem.Connors, I don’t really have a problem with, the ones I DO is the ones who feel they need to…sex it up. I’m all for sexy cosplay, do you boo, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. In this case, sexy Connors irks me, because it just reinforces the sexualization of Native Women. Which statistics have shown, that Native Women are at the highest rate of any ethnicity to be sexually assaulted, raped, or murdered. You can still be a gorgeous, bomb ass Fem.Connor, without showing the boobs (which I’m sure are lovely) and a bare midriff (Lovely as well),and without reinforcing a harmful stereotype. (Seriously, you can! I’ve seen some amazing Fem.Connors!!)
Yes, you look beautiful, you look gorgeous, hot, sexy whatever it maybe, at the end of the day, you’re still portraying a character that is Native American, and by applying rule 63 to Connor, and making it sexy, using obvious Native motifs, your “costume” is no different than the Pocahottie costume on the rack in the Spirit Halloween store, except for the fact it’s made better.
p.s. to the Connor cosplayer I saw a few years ago at Otakon, who wore a stereotypical Headdress with it. Fuck you.