Touchy subject: racism and cosplay

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  • Okay, I know the topic of racism is a very touchy subject and normally I wouldn't bother bringing it up, but I just got finished being very appalled and angry about something I saw on a livejournal community (which I instantly reported).

    It was in a lolita community and basically a few very racist comments were said. In the original post the dreaded "n" word was use and in the comment section an insinuation of being in a field doing a certain antiquated action was said. Oh just thinking about is making me all upset again and this has really shaken not only my faith in fans of EGL, but in cosplay as a whole.

    Now, only once I've had someone "insinuate" that I should only stick to race appropriate cosplays. But my cosplay partner and I shut this guy down really quickly. Apart from that isolated incident, I've never had a problem with people not liking my cosplays or whatever, but I have heard stories of people who've had some pretty nasty comments made about their ethnicity and cosplay.

    I know the majority of cosplayers aren't like that. I know that cosplay is for everyone (its stated on the front page of my website), but this whole thing on this EGL community just has me thinking, maybe people really do feel like that, they're just not coming out and saying it. After all it is easier to hide behind the internet then it is to say something mean in a face-to-face meeting. And not that I expect anyone who responds to this to come out and say it either, but you know, in the interest of open dialogue.

    I guess at this point I should state that none of this has made me want to stop cosplaying or wearing EGL. It has just make me more determined to shut the elitist down! But it has made me wonder (and I could be opening up a really scary Pandora's Box) is there really racism in cosplay? And if so, how can it be stopped? And whatever happend to cosplay being something that brought us all together?

  • I think it's funny that sometimes people that are not Japanese try and be elitist about Japanese fashion and cosplaying. I'm really surprised to hear that lolitas would be talking this way especially. I was under the impression that lolitas were all about proper social etiquette and such. Basically this is one of the ways I look at it: if we were all going for super die hard accuracy about this no one but those with Asian heritage would cosplay at least half of the anime/game/etc. characters out there. And this is a hobby and shouldn't be taken so seriously. Saying someone is not the right ethnicity to wear something is ridiculously nit-picky and silly.

  • Usually it isn't so much an issue of race as it is that some people have this mindset that your cosplay isn't good unless you look exactly like the character. It's the same as some people think only skinny people should cosplay, etc. Some genuinely may be racist. Don't let it get you down. It's their problem not yours. Those people are the good minority and if they say something they will be shut up quickly.

  • Ha, if race mattered in cosplay I wouldn't be wearing a hoari and hakama... nor would I in everyday life... Don't let jerks like that get you down.

  • I'm cosplaying a delicate, small and somewhat formal Japanese girl. And I'm a blonde haired, greeny eyed, medium build, loud Aussie. Heck, I want to cosplay Anthy Himemiya and I'm not even a tiny bit Indian. Cosplay is about fun and how you the individual decide to carry the outfit you're wearing. From the look of your avatar, you're perfectly poised and beautiful anyway so people who say things like that are just blind and dense.

  • There's racist idiots everywhere.

    What I've noticed about cosplay racists, though, is that they aren't from communities of actual cosplayers. They all tend to be either n00bs starting out who can't tell the difference between good costumes and highly photoshopped Asian cosplayers, or losers online with an Asian fetish. Neither of these groups truly understand cosplay. I've been yelled at that I'm the wrong race to be cosplaying characters who are canonly white because I'm not Asian, and I've seen the same with canonly black characters and black cosplayers. Um, what?! And to top it off, I can easily go and dig up lots of cosplay from Japan by Japanese cosplayers of Star Wars and Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean and similar things. OMG, they fail for not being white!!1!one!~!1 *headdesk*

    I don't think it matters one bit what race a drawing is supposed to be. It's you bringing it to life, and doing the best job you can. What really matters is that you do the best job you possibly can on your costumes and everything. The only "appearance" that really should matter is the appearance of your work. It's not about being a carbon copy clone of someone's crazy drawing idea, it's about bringing drawings to life and expressing your fandom.

    Bottom line? If you're having fun, and your friends are having fun, it's not worth listening to losers on the internet with nonconstructive criticism.

  • Although racism is obviously a very bad thing and we obviously don't condone it on However, this topic really isn't related to cosplay and we also don't want to bring the drama of another forum (in this case LJ) to where the argument may continue.

    Sorry, but I'm going to preemptively close this thread before it gets out of hand.