Is it considered racist when a person who cosplays a black or brown character colors their skin?
Cosplay is when a person dresses up to look like a character in a TV show, video game, or movie.
I've seen pictures online of Caucasian people who dress up as a brown character "Korra" from the Legend of Korra cartoon. They make their skin tan to fit the image of the character. It never entered my mind to be offended, but I've seen comments of people who consider these cosplayers to be racist.I'm a person of color myself, but I don't really understand it. I'd like to read your points of view, and maybe you can enlighten me.
Racism is whenever you pre-judice something/someone based entirely off of the race of an individual
"I don't like this car because asians made it"
"I don't like blacks... for no reason at all"
Always remember that prejudice is actually pre-judice; that is, when you have PREVIOUSLY JUDGED something before taking it into account.
Unfortunately, racism can take on simple forms: "That man must be African because he has black skin", or "People with long straight black hair and tan skin are asians".
Racism doesn't NECESSARILY mean "bad", it just means "previously judged based on race"
If I were to Cosplay a non-white character, I'd probably just try to get a tan before I went to the convention!!!
I don't think anyone would get mad at you for trying to look more like a character. Remember in Tropic Thunder that Robert Downey Jr. played a black man for the whole movie. Was that racism?
Well according to your definition I guess that makes everybody a little bit racist. I personally don't have a problem if a person wants to tan for a cosplay event. It just surprised me that there are people who take offense and cry out racist.
Indeed, Pinkhub, Everyone is racist. Any TRUTHFUL educator will inform you that almost all modern education theories imply that humans learn through broad generalizations that slowly get hammered down to more and more accuracy.
Racism is inevitable.
Sadly it has been my experience that when we imitate others outside of our race we rarely if ever imitate the positive aspects of that race. Most often it is the negative things about that race that we focus on.
During the days of Jackie Gleason there was a performer name Frank Fontaine who also was a comedian that performed with Mr. Gleason as well as Mr. Jack Benny but my point here Mr. Fontaine had become a well-known comedian and he played his character very well but it was only towards the end of his life that anyone knew (as far as I knew) he could effectively imitate a Black person and during that time people performed unflattering characterizations of Black People Mr. Fontaine refrained from imitating Black people and for that he gained a great deal of respect from me.
I feel like cosplaying a fictional character and portraying stereotypical black person for laughs is different. There is a fine line though. My friends that cosplay they take it very seriously and they want to accurately portray their character.
As I've pointed out previously that portrayals always has to do with the negative aspects of another's race. How does this play out in the minds of children of that race? Years Blacks were thought of as simpletons, buffoons through portrayals.
Race can be such a tricky thing, I think it is probably safer not trying to match the race of a character. The costumes of characters are usually so identifiable that the race isn't really an issue. Also, for the sake of being inclusive I like the idea of simply saying, come with the face and color that you are. One of the reasons these characters are often so popular is because they appeal to people of all types. Might as well celebrate that.
Personally, it isn't something that would bother me. I suspect that the people who really have issues with it are probably Fandom types who might also go ballistic for using the wrong color of blue in her dress.
Im not an expert on this, but i always thought that the black/brownfacing issue has a historical dimension to it, because in north america ( other places too) there was a tradition of "comedians" performing essentially as racial caricatures in minstrel shows (see wikipedia article 'blackface'), and by doing brown/blackfacing you sort off asssociate yourself with that
But I can't see cosplay being in the same context as blackface. Theres a distinction.Many cosplayers dress up because they look up to that character.Are cosplayers not allowed to wear blonde wigs because their own hair isn't naturally colored blonde?
I think you have to be aware of the associations you invoke... a blonde wig does not invoke images of oppression
I think it's nitpicky to generalize a Caucasian coloring their skin as automatically associated with blackface under ANY circumstance. It's just a way to control people.
all I wanted to say is that I think that this is part of why people consider this racist, and that one should be aware of that, in the end wether an act of any kind is racist is defined by wether racism plays into the decision to commit it, right ?
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