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Unread 05-31-2012, 06:24 AM   #31
Shinasan
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Thank you everyone for all your testimony.In fact I've never care about what character I cosplay I've always cosplay charachters that I like,but even many people specially in french cosplay community says it doesn't matter, in reality it's not true only hypocrisis.
You have to understand that in french cosplay contest there is some an irrecductible group of old cosplayer beginning cosplay in 1997 who control the entire cosplay community people who says something in front and do the opposite in back. In my time I won some cosplays but now you can see that there is no black people who do cosplay contest and at least in international contest like ECG or the world cosplay summit we never see a black cosplayer isn't it?
I understand that black people who are interested in cosplay live in other country and don't come from africa,but why they never create a special black represent,I'm not sure but once ther is a brasilian black at the WCS (world cosplay summit) even in usa a half black cosplayer . But in france you will never ever see a black people chose for those kind of contest. This is the reality. So yes it's a kind of racism people says things but doesn't meant it.

That 's why i want to know if it's the same in other country.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 03:34 AM   #32
Sexygeekboy
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Deyon's Cosplay blog

Deyon's anime cosplay blog.

I'm black I love anime, love comics, love anime cons my favorite aspect of the cons would be cosplay if I could enjoy it fully. Don't get me wrong I've been to many cons and never been hated on for trying I love my otaku peeps and they love me and there is no funner or safer or freeer place to express my love for the art than at a con. I'm writing this because of the many forum post I have seen online about darker skinned people and cosplay and I've seen some very intelligent arguments and debates about this subject from there are a lot of cool black anime characters to cosplay to who cares what everyone else thinks just do what makes you happy. I have also seen some pretty ignorant and backward comments like it is impossible for dark skinned people to cosplay "enough said" and I've personally seen many exquisite black seishomarus, narutos, and the best sora, riku, and kairi ever played by some of my wonderful sistas and brothas. I myself have played trunks, dante, and many more. The issue isn't that black people can't cosplay, or that we aren't allowed we are, but we are restricted by who we can cosplay, and maintain a level of believability. which can limit the enjoyment of cosplaying for many dark skin players. lets face it, cosplay is a very time consuming and can be very expensive, and if you are going to make that kind of commitment you at least want people to "get it" or apprieciate what you are trying to do. but let me break it down for you using many of the arguements I've seen online. The first one is "there are plenty of dark skin anime and comic characters to cosplay". Absolutley right there are plent of awesome black anime characters and more and more coming out all the time. we've come along way since mister popo or many other sambo styled characters. but how many black or afrocentric anime main characters or protagonist heck even arch villains are there? not many yea there is blade or tousen kaname, even bob from tenjo tenge. which supports my argument of restriction sure enough. but even if naruto, or goku, or sephiroth were dark skinned the meat and gravy of this topic who does cosplay do dress up as someone who has the same features and attributes as you? kinda defeats the pupose of it don't you think. I love my black characters just the same as my asian or furry, or white or alien characters. I personally don't find it fun nor do I want to feel forced or compelled nor am I inspired to cosplay a character simply because we share we share the dark skin feature. that's like me going up to a friend who is skinny, pasty, white and nerdy looking with glasses, and saying "you know who you should cosplay? Uryuu Ishida from bleach". not only does that sound ignorant most would find that comment or suggestion offensive some would even go as far as racist. but in my circle or friends and the cosplay lifestyle I have to deal with comments like "play him he's black" all the time. I know they don't mean anything by it most are just trying to help me maximize my cosplay experience. but I do find it frustrating. Facts are facts. The fact is I could have square-enix themselves tailor make me a a licenced and copywrited, full scale, hollywood quality "you get the picture" Sephiroth costume with all the bells and whistles sword wig even the glowing green mako contact lenses. walk up to any con in the world, and most people still wouldn't get what I'm trying to do, I would still get the who are you dressed as??? and if they did it would be just that I would still be "TRYING TO" cosplay Sephiroth. To explain how far being black gets you in the cosplay comunnity even the most hardcore final fantasy 7 fan would would dismiss your entire attempt just by saying something simple like " look it's black sephiroth" or "sephiroth isn't is black" and thats the best case scenario. What I'm saying is after all that time and money that you put in as a cosplayer and trying to be as authentic as possible that attitude can really wreck your cosplay experience. If this affects you there are many ways around this obsticle and a couple of alternatives you can try such as creating original anime/manga character designs and cosplaying them its still alot of explaining but you do get your propers if you work is sound, another thing is creating generic anime character roles such as leaf ninja (naruto) or random shinigami (bleach) or someone in possesion of a death note, with a good enough bio or explanation you too may can inspire new characters for future installments of your favorite anime/manga. I hope I have shed a little bit of light on the experience and anxieties of a black or dark skinned current or would be cosplayers. This is how I've fed my need to play. I still think the best advice is dress how you want and do what ultimatley amuses you or makes you happy no matter what. If you want to be a blue namek, or a girl goku, or a mechanized pikachu I appriciate and celbrate the originality and creativity of others and would love to see many other cosplayer come out of the dark and into the light no matter how dark you are. have fun.

D.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 02:51 PM   #33
p0p0p0psico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sexygeekboy View Post
Deyon's anime cosplay blog.

but even if naruto, or goku, or sephiroth were dark skinned the meat and gravy of this topic who does cosplay do dress up as someone who has the same features and attributes as you? kinda defeats the pupose of it don't you think.
Uh... I didn't realize this was an older topic, but since there's a new post and it's showing up on the main page, I wanna comment too!

Sexygeekboy, I agree with some of the things you're saying. When I first got interested in cosplay, I wanted to do ALL THE CHARACTERS!!1! Then, as I got further and further into it, I started seeing things about "trying to look like the character" and "black cosplayer groups". That's when I got to thinking that, hey... should cosplaying be trying to look as much like the character as possible? If so, Anastasiya Shpagina's got us all beat you guys. She won the internet. We can all go home now.

But, see, in my opinion, that's not what cosplay really is. Trying to look similar to the character is a mindset and a preference--and there's nothing at all wrong with that. Just as there's nothing at all wrong with not giving two flying frisbees.

My point here is that everyone's definition of cosplay (and what does and does not make it so) is a personal decision. If you choose to only cosplay darker skinned characters cuz that is what you prefer, then do you! I support you! If you choose to cosplay any tone of character cuz that is what you prefer, then do you! I support you! My problem lies with trying to force your own personal beliefs of what makes cosplay, cosplay on other people. No, no... This isn't okay in any other arena, so why is it okay in this hobby?

If anything, I know that many of the suggestions to "cosplay so-and-so, they're black!" are meant with the best intentions possible. If anything, I'd think the commenter was trying to live vicariously through me, lol.

But let me ask you this: How about the person who wants to cosplay a darker-skinned character but is hesitant to do so because they'd feel self-concious? They might avoid it all together thinking, "oh... that character's darker than me, I don't want anyone to call me out on it." You see, this works on both sides. Personally, I think it'd be harder to play a character that is darker than your skin-tone because the community might not automatically make that connection. Like sexygeekboy up there said, every cosplayer wants to be recognized. But does that mean you should give up? No. Does that mean you have to spend a weekend in a tanning bed? Heavens, no. Your health be at stake! (Did someone say spray tan?)

You only live once, and the way you choose to live your life (and your hobbies) is all up to you so long as it isn't harming anyone. No one else, just you. So when someone comes at you trying to tell you how to live your life, politely tell them to mind their own. Or get one. Whichever is relevant to the conversation.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #34
Ilafatyu
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Here's some honesty from me. If a character's costume isn't instantly recognizable, I would not recognize someone of another skin tone cosplaying them. I would not recognize a white Barret. I would not recognize a black Izaya. If someone points out the cosplay to me, I'll recognize it. Skin tone doesn't make a difference after I realize what the cosplay is.

It's not that I don't like people cosplaying outside their race. It's that I have problems recognizing a character without a push in the right direction. Call me racist, whatever. It's not like I go out of my way to miss the obvious.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:08 PM   #35
Ishihara_Seth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilafatyu View Post
Here's some honesty from me. If a character's costume isn't instantly recognizable, I would not recognize someone of another skin tone cosplaying them. I would not recognize a white Barret. I would not recognize a black Izaya. If someone points out the cosplay to me, I'll recognize it. Skin tone doesn't make a difference after I realize what the cosplay is.

It's not that I don't like people cosplaying outside their race. It's that I have problems recognizing a character without a push in the right direction. Call me racist, whatever. It's not like I go out of my way to miss the obvious.
I don't think that makes you racist at all - even if race were not a factor, if the cosplay was not well-constructed, sometimes characters are indeed unrecognizable.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #36
Ishihara_Seth
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My old schoolmate (who now works for XOJane as well as Funimation) wrote a fantastic article about cosplaying while black that I think hits the nail on the head in a lot of ways. It's a good read.

Link to the article.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 11:34 PM   #37
p0p0p0psico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilafatyu View Post
Here's some honesty from me. If a character's costume isn't instantly recognizable, I would not recognize someone of another skin tone cosplaying them. I would not recognize a white Barret. I would not recognize a black Izaya. If someone points out the cosplay to me, I'll recognize it. Skin tone doesn't make a difference after I realize what the cosplay is.

It's not that I don't like people cosplaying outside their race. It's that I have problems recognizing a character without a push in the right direction. Call me racist, whatever. It's not like I go out of my way to miss the obvious.
No, I completely agree with that. It has a lot to do with a character's costume. For instance, I'd easily recognize an Aisha ClanClan cosplayer regardless of who wears it simply because it's just that distinctive and I'm familiar with the anime. Now, if you cosplay as someone in an Akatsuki coat, I might have a more difficult time pinpointing who you are--given there's no other special identifying features. I wouldn't say that's racist. It's just associations, connections of thought, what have you. I don't know the proper term for it. But it's that thing like when you see someone with a large sword and then you start making connections about which anime have similarly shaped swords, then you start connecting to the characters... that kind of thing. Does that make sense? lol And if the person appears differently than the image you have in your head, it will throw you. That's normal. I mean, that happens with anything in life, not just cosplay.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 03:17 PM   #38
Sexygeekboy
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thanks for the intelligent feedback guys

First I want to say thanks to all the people who replied to my post gave me much to consider and process and I respect anyone who would tackle this old and in some cases very touchy subject. Second I would like to say your right cosplay should be about fun first and foremost, its a hobby, and some do go too far and take it too seriously. The truth is fact are facts I'm black!!!! (and very proud) and when dress up as a character who isn't or moreover isnt suppose to be and someone calls me on it. This is not racist this is an intelligent observation. Its not racist to call a spade a spade. (pardon the pun). and to Popopopsico I would not have a problem with you or anyone tanning or even wearing going as far as whering black face for that matter. and on a side note as far as alternatives for dark skinned cosplayers there is make up that we can use as well to give our costumes more of a authentic feel. As for me I'm not asking people to be blind and ignore the obvious. The issue I have and the thing I would like to educate others about is with an attitude and mentality that alot of people seem have towards black people especially. the attitude that says "because you are black you can't, or you have to and can only be one way or another" an attitude that is more a people issue than a cosplay issue. However the cosplay or anime community to me and others is the like a sanctuary of self expression a place where nothing is out of bounds where you are only limited by time, money, and your Immagination. We cosplay people with hair and eyes of every color in the spectrum, and even even fangs and horns. Though I understand what everyone is saying and lets get off skin color for instance if you are cosplaying a character as a defining feature like horns or purple hair, and you cosplay that character without these features you are failing to cosplay that character truth and fact plain and simple, and to ask anyone to recognize a half assed attempt like that is just plain ignorance. I have no issue with that I would do the same. but that is not this. As a person of color, it feels like I can't take a step without being reminded that I'm black, and not just from just from caucassion people either. Even my own people as well. I'm just trying to shed a little light in the life of a black cosplayer and encourage a little bit of sensitivity and support. Its hard enough to live an alternative lifestyle on its own to do what we do regardless of race or creed is beautiful and brave, you can't be fragile and be a cosplayer, or like anime. Even in japan where all of this comes from we are called "otaku" which is viewed as a durogatory term in there japanese society and we wear it proud. all I'm saying is that there are some beautiful people who are afraid or worse believe that it is impossible for them to do this thing we all love simply because people feel they were born the wrong shade to enjoy this lifestyle I'm not blaming anyone in particular but I believe theres just something wrong with that.

D.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #39
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i'm new and i really want to cosplay as any character i want. i mean most of the characters in anime are based on the Japanese race. i don't mean all of them but most of them. so just because a dark skinned person cosplays as a lighter character how is that bad. i know people want to be as close to the character as possible, but you can still be as accurate as the character with your own skin. i have seen awesome African American/Hispanic versions of naruto. don't worry things will change as more people of color get into it.i was scared to cosplay as lighter characters now I.D.G.A.F because who knows i could cosplay better as the person with lighter skin. or the person with darker skin as me could look better, you never know. once again this is just unnecessary racism over something that was mostly intended for the Japanese
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Unread 09-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #40
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just cosplay whoever you want, bluntly spoken from a fellow black cosplayer.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 12:14 AM   #41
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Has anyone seen the galleries here? I've noticed a few African-Americans (or otherwise) in costumes where white people fit in like Sailor Mercury. Because of that, I don't see the color of the skin, I see the cosplayer instead.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 12:28 AM   #42
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Oh?

I never cosplayed before because of the problem I KNOW is associated with my race and cosplay, but my friend invited me to Matsuri for this upcoming year and I'm excited to finally take a chance.
At first I was going to stick with poc, after all, that's ALL my friend would suggest to me. In fact, she made it a point to say that I was going as someone with darker skin. (I had assumed that this was everyone elses mentality.)
So, I began searching the webbernet for some great poc cosplay ideas.
But.
Besides a select few characters, it wasn't very interesting for me.
And by no means should finding characters that you'd want to cosplay be THAT difficult.
It's been a couple of months.
So, I decided to "forget it" and do whomever I wanted to do.
Because I sincerely do believe that whether your dark, light, tanned, thin, large, tall, male, female, etc. should NOT matter.
We're playing dress-up.
And going to a public places where other people are playing dress-up.
If we're to formulate opinions on ANYTHING, it should be the quality or the creativity of the costume.
Not the pigment of our skin.
Anyway, the whole idea of cosplay is to have FUN-- enjoy yourself.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 10:30 AM   #43
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A much older costumer I know said a few months ago that he believes people should stick only with characters who share their body types and skin colors. It really made me angry because he's sort of a mentor figure to a lot of younger costumers and cosplayers, being over 50 and all. Apparently, to him, it's not dressing up. It's performance art, and if you don't look like the character, you aren't doing it right. I seriously went on a rant over it because that's what makes people NOT want to get into this hobby.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 02:07 PM   #44
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I am half black and on the very light side, but I can honestly say that I am veeery self conscious about cosplaying out side of my color.
Cosplaying people that are super pale and intentionally pale scare me.. I know it shouldn't and you guys helped my realize that. I also avoided any white costumes as that makes my lightly tanned skin pop.
I have had arguments with people about how they should be able to cosplay who they want. They firmly believe that a "white killer bee" is wrong and wouldn't look right.. (which is really offensive since my boyfriend wants to be killer bee, it is his favorite character) And he went on to say how Asians should be Asians and whites should be whites, or at least try to look it with makeup. He then based my friend for being a little chubby/Asian and wanting to be C.C. (who is not Asian) .. And then he went to bash my friends brother, who is now convinced he must cosplay the character he wants with a mask because he is Asian and his character is not.
I just felt like throwing in the towel at that point.
If people want to be a replica, let them be.. If not, just let them have fun.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 05:50 PM   #45
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Something funny I noticed while watching 70s Wonder Woman was that her "tan" made her darker than the actors of colour, even though she was a "white" actor.

Skin colour does not matter. I'm quite light-skinned and freckled, but I will cosplay any character I want to. Colour, size, shape, height, sex etc doesn't matter in cosplay. Just have a good time and enjoy showing your love for the character.
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