Hello there, this is Becky. Say hi Becky!
Becky has decided to enter into the hellish world of cosplaying, GOOD FOR YOU BECKY!
Now, Becky had decided to make the controversial decision to cosplay as a POC who just happens to be brown skinned. And I know what you are thinking, it’s just a costume, it shouldn’t matter who wears it right? Hahahahahah… no. Dark Skinned POC are treated like freaks at many conventions when they Cosplay as a light skinned person, getting called disgusting racist names or their costume is all wrong because of their skin when they probably have the best made costume out there. It wouldn’t hurt Becky to think about that before she dons the costume of a brown skinned POC and understand her privilege allows her to wear the costume without a problem and instead chose one of the thousands of light skinned people instead of the hand full of brown and dark out of respect. But that’s not the issue here!
Now Becky believes her costume is not accurate enough. Now anyone with two brain cells can see she is missing arm bands and a few other minor things. But wait! Becky isn’t even thinking about those things and is concerned with her skin tone and decided to change her skin to better match the character.
Becky. Is. Wrong.
People of Color are not costume, contrary to popular belief. Becky has no right to wear the skin of a POC for a day without the actual oppression and racism that goes along with being a POC. This is brown facing, a recent hate child of black facing, red facing and yellow facing. And regardless of intent. It’s racist. It will always be racist.
So here are some rules for Becky and maybe some of you should do that same
Wear body paint to mimic skin tone
Go out tanning to mimic skin tone
Get a fake tan to mimic skin tone
Use darker makeup to mimic skin tone
Follow these rules and don’t end up like Becky!
Jesus tits its a fucking costume its just about accuracy, not “wearing the skin” of another race. I grew up in south L.A., racism goes both ways.
Even as a brown person, I am not that offended as much. But can’t we take in mind that there are brown people who are as offended of brownface as black people offended by blackface? Just saying.
“This is brown facing, a recent hate child of black facing, red facing and yellow facing.”
Except, you know, it’s not a hate child since it isn’t done out of hate but rather love for this person. Blackface was performed in order to de-humanize the people and mock them, that’s not what I see happening if someone decides to tan their skin for cosplay.
//opinion, bring on the hate; I know it’s coming.
You don’t have to consciously hate someone to perform an act that invalidates racial identities and/or experiential realities. Ignorance towards inflicting harm can be just as dehumanizing as conscious infliction of harm.
You add the note “bring on the hate, I know it’s coming”… to your post—as if you are bracing yourself, expecting to be called out. By your logic, that is “hate,” but brownfacing is not?
Why fight so hard to continue doing something that is obviously offending people?
What you’re (people who are defending brownface/blackface with no malice) saying is that pretending/costuming is more important than people and THAT’S where the “hate” comes in. Disregarding people for a make-believe realm. That’s some shit right there and I’m not here for it.
“WHY FIGHT SO HARD TO CONTINUE DOING SOMETHING THAT IS OBVIOUSLY OFFENDING PEOPLE?”
This is what I don’t understand. If you scoff at PoC who tell you “Please stop, this is racist and disrespectful to my feelings and the feelings of my fellow PoC” and you respond with “I’m not being racist or disrespectful, and I’m not going to stop because it’s just for fun and I love the character” you are putting your “fun” and the love of a character over the thoughts and feelings of people whose thoughts and feelings get trampled on all the fucking time. You ARE being disrespectful. YOU. ARE. DOING. EXACTLY. WHAT. THEY. SAY. YOU. ARE. DOING. AND ALL BECAUSE YOU WANT TO “HAVE FUN”. I’m sorry, but that’s just as bad as being racist with the intent to be racist.
I reblogged something yesterday that I think is extremely relevant to this and I’m going to paste the image here so you can see it right here without having to click away from this post:
I used to think this way. I will admit this: I used a tanning lotion and dark foundation when I cosplayed Kya (Sokka and Katara’s mother) at NYCC in 2009. I thought “Hey, this will make my cosplay slightly more accurate because I am pale as fuck!” But you know what…it didn’t. My face looked terrible, and my hands and neck weren’t even the same shade as my face. I looked EXACTLY like what I was: a white woman trying to pass as a brown woman. What most people don’t understand is that people with darker skin tones have distinct facial features that no amount of dark makeup can replicate without the aid of prosthetics. And even with prosthetics, it still looks off (see: Cloud Atlas and every other film that uses black/yellow/brown/red face). Ethnicity is not a costume and should not be treated as such. And yes, the races in ATLA/LoK are based on REAL ethnicities…even Roger Ebert pointed this out:
After the miscalculation of making the movie as live action, there remained the challenge of casting it. Shyamalan has failed. His first inexplicable mistake was to change the races of the leading characters; on television Aang was clearly Asian, and so were Katara and Sokka, with perhaps Mongolian and Inuit genes. Here they’re all whites. This casting makes no sense because (1) It’s a distraction for fans of the hugely popular TV series, and (2) all three actors are pretty bad. I don’t say they’re untalented, I say they’ve been poorly served by Shyamalan and the script. They are bland, stiff, awkward and unconvincing. Little Aang reminds me of Wallace Shawn as a child. This is not a bad thing (he should only grow into Shawn’s shoes), but doesn’t the role require little Andre, not little Wally?
So don’t start that “Oh, it’s just fantasy” bullshit. M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter was so excited when she saw Katara because she finally had a character she loved that looked like her, a brown girl, and she dressed as her for Halloween. I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around why he forgot how important the race of the WT people was to his daughter (and many others) when he cast The Last Airbender.
I am extremely ashamed of what I did, and I apologize to everyone now, out here in the open. I was wrong to treat a WoC’s skin as a costume piece. And HEY LOOK AT THAT, admitting this did not kill me, and I feel so much better for acknowledging that what I did was wrong and I never did it again. For NYCC 2010, I did not alter my skin color when I cosplayed Katara. And you know what, 99 times out of 100, people appreciated the craftsmanship that I put into the costume and said nothing about the fact that my skin was “the wrong color”. Yes, there was ONE person who coughed “KATARAISN’TWHITE” as I passed by her, but you know something, that was only one time. Cosplayers of color get that type of shit said to them ALL THE TIME should they dare cosplay a white character. I have never once seen a PoC wear “whiteface” to cosplay a white character, and I’m willing to bet that they sure as hell don’t want to even try. They would most likely get comments like “It’s funny how you’re trying so hard to be white” “Oh, wow, are you not proud of your skin color?” or even things that I am not comfortable typing out, but you can probably imagine. Far worse, I think, than a white cosplayer in brownface being told that “Hey, the way you are wearing my skin color is offensive to me. Please stop.”
Racism goes both ways my ass….
Skin color is VERY closely tied to racial identity, excluding skin tones that obviously do not exist in real life like leaf green or apple red or sunshine yellow. Eye color and hair color are not. THEREFORE, black/brown/red/yellow face should not be compared to wearing contacts or dying your hair or wearing a wig. Any natural eye color and any natural hair color are traits that can appear in any ethnicity, they are not race exclusive.
I’ve ranted for quite a while on this, but the bottom line is, will it KILL you to put your “100% accurate cosplay funtiems” feelings aside and simply NOT DO what you are doing because it is causing emotional pain to real people? No. No it won’t. And I’m pretty sure a lot of people will be extremely grateful for that.