Now Reading: The Black Cosplay Community Is Here To Uplift Each Other In The Most Wholesome Way


The Black Cosplay Community Is Here To Uplift Each Other In The Most Wholesome Way

November 30, 20194 min read

Cosplay, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the activity or practice of dressing up as a character from a work of fiction (such as a comic book, video game, or television show).” For many people who enjoy participating in cosplay, it allows them to express themselves, combining fashion, makeup, and acting to   their chosen character. Cosplay is seen as exciting because everyone has the freedom to dress up as their favorite character and live the life of a character as if it were a  reality, and for some, that can be a source of happiness for them. Cosplay at its core, is supposed to be a unifier, an activity that people from all over the world can enjoy together as they fangirl/fanboy over their favorite fictional characters, but when certain people are excluded from participating simply because of their skin, it easily turns cosplay into this exclusive activity that only certain people can participate in, despite its definition implying inclusivity and positivity.


Black people who are apart of the cosplay community have often felt excluded for not being the same skin color as the characters they portray. This leads to Black people who are interested in cosplay not sharing their pictures online in fear of being judged. The lack of representation for Black cosplayers led to the hashtag #BlackCosplayersHere being created on Twitter in order to uplift Black cosplayers and create a community that supports each other.

Despite the positivity the hashtag garnered and the obvious message, it seems that some non-Black cosplayers continued to see cosplay as an activity that needed division, targetting user @Vaelniel_ after she posted one of her cosplay looks.

After posting her looks onto her Twitter account, she received some negative feedback from people who thought she should stick to certain characters who share her skin tone, or that she did not fit the image of the character she choose to portray.

This prompted the previous hashtag, #BlackCosplayersHere, to come back full force in support of @Vaelniel_ and also in support of other Black cosplayers who often felt too nervous to share their own cosplay pictures because of comments like the ones above that can be posted under posts or sent privately. Black cosplayers came together to share their experiences of racism in the community and post their beautiful pictures where they are shown posing proudly in their costumes.

Skin color should not matter in costume. A person does not need to be told their physical appearance is not good enough to match their favorite fictional character, and those who feel Black people should stick to characters with darker or similar skin tones are creating barriers for Black people who wish to be apart of the cosplay community. There is simply no room for colorism and racism in the cosplay community, a community built off of differences and unity. The uplifting displays of positivity shown by the Black cosplay community and those who support Black cosplayers have proven once again that freedom of expression should be available to everyone, and that Black cosplayers are here to change the community for the better by normalizing the idea that Black cosplayers are awesome too.

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Shermarie Hyppolite

Shermarie is a student journalist who enjoys writing about a variety of topics including race, pop culture, music, feminism, and fashion. When she is not writing she enjoys listening to all types of music, reading fashion articles, watching Netflix, and reading books by women of color!

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