Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brown Skin v.s. Cosplay

In every Sociology class I've taken (and I've taken a lot) it was always stressed that, your background, and your upbringing, play massive parts into how you view the world as an adult.

Being an African American Female, my eyes are super tinted from a gummy past, soaked in confusion.
From the jump no geek ever feels they belong anywhere. Add being a girl to that and things get weird. Add being black as the cherry on top, and you've got a vomit sundae filled with chunks of questions and crying. 

Fun, oh so much fun.

But today I’m not writing about my childhood, that’s another story for another post down the road. Today I’m going to do a quick write up on cosplay.

As I’ve stated several times before and will again, I’m a huge Doctor Who fan. I’ve settled into a nice place with comfy friends who are nice, and caring people. But there are dark areas of all fandoms; which I have waded into at times, and damn do their stabs hurt.

“I hate when people cosplay characters that aren’t their skin color-”

A bit of a tidbit I found browsing the web one night looking for cosplay tips. Like a dirty pizza cutter in the chest. I hadn’t done any cosplay since high school, and now in my early 20’s I was excited to give it another go. Seeing something like this took all the air out of my lungs. And pouring salt into my eyes hundreds of people were agreeing with this post.


Me as Martha Jones
The idea of dressing up as a character I like seemed like so much fun to me. But as I read what these ghost people of the internet had to say. I wasn’t sure I wanted to.


Well, being The Black Girl, Who Is a Doctor Who Fan, my options are strictly limited to one character, or monsters. I do love Martha Jones (Many people don’t but that’s another post.), and I have cosplayed her before. ->

But there where so many other costumes I wanted to try, so many characters I wanted to be. But because of my skin being the color it is, according to them I would ruin any cosplay I did!


I asked my fellow Doctor Who cosplayers their thoughts on this topic, and I was bowled over by the response. Most had no problem with the color of my skin; they preferred the way my costume was made.

 Amazingly those comments reversed my broken heart and wrapped it in tape. My comfort in cosplaying was restored. That was the last time I ever let my skin color be problem thought where cosplay is concerned. Whenever I’m at cons and I met another person of color who mentions they have an interest in cosplay; I tell them to do it! Just dive into it, whatever character you want! I’m sure it will be amazing!

There is a term floating around for the kind of cosplay I do, ‘racebending’. Not a big fan of that term. Why label me dressing up as a character I like just because of my skin color? Why can’t I do something like other people without it being labeled as different? The whole thing leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Negativity aside, I feel like another person when I put on a costume. The shy girl vanishes and the confident woman comes stomping out. After some thought I think I’ve come up with a name for my cosplay self.

Toffee Princess?

Quiana The Toffee Princess?

Not sure if I’ll stick with it. Well that’s one rant down...

Geek girl out.



  1. Don't care about skin colour. I just dislike Martha Jones. However that is a post for another blog. :)

  2. Amen sister! Who cares what color your skin is? It's what's inside that counts, and your insides are pretty awesome ;)

  3. Ridiculous. As if all the other cosplayers look identical to the part they're trying to play... just from looking at some of the photos on your blog, most people are too tall, too short, too curvaceous or too thin... the point is that they're having fun.

  4. You've inspired me to try cosplaying as non-brown characters! Thank you! ^-^ I find it unfair that people say we look weird and off when we cosplay as characters that are not our skin colour and I agree that everyone should be able to cosplay any character they want.

  5. Being of Indian descent myself, I totally feel the same way when I hear people say that. But then I realize those are the same types of people who think being Asian makes automatically makes someone a more authentic Cosplayer than say, a white person, just because of their race. They're idiots and clearly don't understand the spirit of Cosplay.