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Reblogged from selchieproductions  11,379 notes

Thoughts on ‘Frozen’

selchieproductions:

I decided to ignore anything pertaining to the film ‘Frozen’ a long time ago - the misrepresentation of the Saami in it, or rather the combination of misinformation and problematic myth-making in it did not appeal to me at all, I had already explained why I disapproved of the bastardisation of our traditional clothes at length and with far more pressing issues at hand, such as the revival of my maternal language or the fight against fierce colonialism on our ancestral lands, I neither felt compelled to nor had the time to waste more time on a Disney film which contributes virtually nothing to the cultural wealth and knowledge of my people.

But then someone submitted a post to the blog “Unpopular Opinions” here on Tumblr, and ever since, my inbox has been filled with angry, anonymous messages about how I have no right to be dismissive of the film as this unnamed person presented themselves as Saami and claimed that the film was loved by most Saami, and any critique of it was hurting the Saami.

I heavily disagree, critical discussions about representations are always needed, especially when we’re talking about members of indigenous peoples and other minorities and everything I have said about the film with regards to its false claims to Saami-ness stands, but to perhaps stop my inbox from being filled with more trite from people I don’t know, I’ll spend the rest of this post talking about ‘Frozen’ one single, last time, rather than rolling my eyes at inane messages on a daily basis.

I do not pretend to be speaking for anyone but myself, nor do I hide my identity behind a veil of anonymity. I am for better and worse fairly well-known within my own community, so I’ll say this for the last time, when I state that I find the film problematic because of how it deals with the Saami, I am expressing my own opinions.

I do not speak for the entirety of my people, nor do I actually see a problem with some Saami liking the film or disliking it as I do. 

But as for the film.

In short there are three main things that particularly bug me; the first concerns the opening song, the second deals with the way our traditional clothes have been re-imagined by Disney and the last beef I have with Disney has to do with the director’s claim that Kristoff is Saami without showing any non-fictional proof whatsoever of this throughout the entire film.

But let’s start with the opening song, seeing as comments made by the President of the Norwegian Saami Parliament with regards to it has been interpreted as her loving the film. 

In her New Year’s Speech, the president stated that ‘

‘the yoik “Eatnamen Vuelie” and Fjellheim’s musical talent is now making a whole world listen - to yoik. We are seeing the same in other cultural expressions: the Saami culture is expanding to ever new audiences’

It may come as a surprise, but I do agree with Aili Keskitalo as far as her statement goes - it is a great thing that we’re seeing our culture gaining new grounds - but only insofar as it’s being read in connection with the following paragraphs of her speech which have conveniently been left out of the quote by the majority of people on Tumblr. 

In her speech, Aili Keskitalo goes on to say that “but often we experience that stories about us are being told by others than ourselves”. In other words, while not criticising the film per se, she’s not endorsing it either as some people have been claiming - she’s merely applauding the fact that Saami music is getting world-wide attention, followed by a paragraph where she high-lights the problematic aspects of having outsiders tell our stories without our involvement in them.

Now, ‘Vuelie’, has indeed been written by a South Saami composer, this is something I personally like, especially as I as a yoiker admire Frode Fjellheim’s work as far as the revitalisation of South Saami yoiking goes, but the choir performing it is not Saami, and as such I do not see Vuelie as an inclusion of a Saami voice in the film, but rather as a way to include something which is evocative and exotic, in the same way as the opening song of Pocahontas.

My opinions with regards to Vuelie would have been completely different, had Disney employed e.g. the Saami youth choir Vaajmoe to record the song, but seeing as they chose to employ a non-Saami choir, despite having asked Frode Fjellheim to rewrite his tune Eatnemen Vuelie to better suit the magical atmosphere of the film, my opinions remain unaltered.

Furthermore, in an interview which has been circulated widely on Tumblr in the last couple of weeks the composer Frode Fjellheim clearly states that the tune itself is only inspired by yoiking, calling it ‘en jojke-inspirert ting’, i.e. a tune inspired by yoiking, rather than being an actual yoik per se. This is hardly surprising, as the tune was originally written as a choral piece, but as it is called Vuelie, which is the South Saami word for a yoik, people have automatically coded it as a yoik, despite what Frode is actually calling it.

I maintain that a tokenist use of a cultural practice that was punishable by death until the late 18th century does not in fact count as inclusion, no matter how many times people tell me to be happy about the tune, and as much as I’m indeed happy for Frode to be earning a shit-load of money from his song, I do find the way in which it has been recorded to be deeply problematic nonetheless.

I mean, if they wanted something exotic without employing a Saami choir, they could have just gone full-on with the use of Scandinavian herding calls, which can be heard more or less whenever when some magic shit is going down in the film.

Now.

Over to the clothes; I have already explained why and how the clothes have been inspired by our traditional clothes in another post which can be found here, so I won’t spend too much time examining every part of Kristoff’s clothes, but I will mention a couple of things, the first thing being his shoes.

image

Kristoff is seen wearing a type of reindeer hide boots called goelke-gaamegh, or novhtegh in South Saami, but despite the fact that the shape is authentic, the lack of either shoelaces or woven shoebands and shoelaces mean that they would be highly impractical as snow would get into the shoes as they’re worn without a way to keep them tied closely to the leg.

Sure, shoes and odd clothes are hardly things that warrant any longer discussions, but the way in which all of Kristoff’s clothes seem to be almost Saami and then they’re not, well it really does not sit well with me at all. 

I was brought up in an area of Saepmie where donning a gapta (traditional dress) was seen as something bad by the majority, something which warranted fierce discrimination, and to this day there are a gazillion unspoken rules, generational traumas and basic tiny details surrounding the wearing of our traditional dresses that I find it annoying to see the dress being bastardised in the way it’s been by Disney. As much as I don’t think of Kristoff as a Saami, I’d much preferred that they had at least made his clothes authentic, or not bothered with the so-called Saami influence at all.

image

Because what we now get to deal with are cosplayers who do not understand the deep, cultural codes behind our traditional clothes donning a fake version of our clothes and being applauded for it, while Saami children especially in my part of Saepmie struggle with the very idea of daring to put on a gapta in public because it’ll earn them snide, racists comments from the majority for daring to be publicly Saami.

To mention just one story of what wearing a gapta can result in, here’s one example. Last week I was talking to a friend of mine who uses his gapta regularly, and he told me how he’d worn it at a council meeting a couple of years ago when a right-wing politician had walked up to him, casually telling him that they were discussing plans on putting up new signs in a village close to Liksjoe, only they weren’t sure if the hanged Saami they wanted to put on it should be North or South Saami and seeing as my friend was being Saami in public, maybe he could wage in.

But let’s all cosplay Kristoff, why don’t we.

Finally, I would like to address the extensive myth-making in the film. On one hand Disney has done a great job at creating something fairly vapid, light-hearted and full of singable musical numbers, with an annoying yet somehow endearing talking snowman, but on the other hand they’ve made the Saami seem even more exotic and fairy-tale like by making Kristoff an orphan raised by trolls.

I mean, nice touch on writing ‘trolls’ in runes on the map at the beginning of the film, but the fact that the only supposed Saami in the entire movie is orphaned, thus stripped of a community which is essential to a Saami identity as our indigeneity is primarily communal rather than individual, and then have him being raised by fucking trolls just contributes to the idea that we’re either mythical creatures or not even real in the first place.

image

But it’s a film aimed at children, the trolls were so cute.

Or something.

I actually enjoyed the song Let it Go, I liked that Kristoff was asking for consent before kissing Anna, I particularly liked the true-love twist at the end - but felt it would have been much better if the entire romantic subplot between Kristoff and Anna had been scrapped entirely, but there were so many parts of the film that I disliked that I couldn’t fully enjoy it and just sit back and “relax because it’s a children’s movie”.

The misrepresentation and myth-making surrounding Kristoff, i.e. the so-called Saami boy continues throughout the entire film and regardless of how minor it seems, it does feed into an ongoing discourse about us in Saepmie where we’re either seen as exotic or considered to be worth less than dirt depending on where you enter it. The fact that Kristoff is somehow Saami because he has a reindeer is another thing which grinds me the wrong way as this type of misinformation is already running wild over here and has been doing so for decades, i.e. that real Saami have reindeer, and it is making life complicated for actual reindeer and non-reindeer herding Saami alike in Saepmie.

Finally, for a company which claims to have done extensive research on the Saami, they’re clearly not knowing enough about us or even reindeer to know that 

  • Sven has the antlers of a female reindeer.

  • A full-grown man would not be able to ride a reindeer bull. Like ever. The belief that Saami used to ride their reindeer goes all the way back to 1540, when Olaus Magni, who had never actually seen a real-life Saami, claimed that we used reindeer as horses and published this picture in one of his books:

    image

    In other words, Disney is contributing to keeping yet another prejudice about my people alive and kicking.

  • Reindeer are wild animals, and even vuejeme-råantjoeh, i.e. bulls used to lead a herd of reindeer during reindeer migrations wouldn’t ever behave like a dog.

  • Kristoff’s sleigh is distinctly Norwegian, and it’s way too heavy to be pulled by a reindeer.
    image

    If Kristoff actually was Saami, his sleigh would probably look a lot more like this, and he’d have been using skis instead of walking.

    image

So.

In conclusion.

Ad finitem.

Is Frozen the worst thing that has ever happened to us as a people? Well no, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t problematic anyway. 

    thetwerkingthomas asked
    I've heard some people say that a white person cosplaying a character that happens to be non-white is culture appropriation, what do you say?

    Answer:

    Uhhh I say that there are hundreds of posts in the tags for this, as well as on a ton of other blogs and that this is not a question that PoC should have to constantly be answering.

    Not just because a ton has already been said on the subject and is easily accessible to anyone with the internet resources and literacy level to learn about it, but because whether or not a white person decides to cosplay a character of color should not be based on the opinion of some person of color you know of from the internet.   It should be based on an informed decision you have made using the context of the character you are cosplaying, your own knowledge of racism, and your own ethical judgement.


The bottom line is that Costume Racism is a thing, people. A nasty, stupid thing. But not all acts of Costume Racism are the same, and, with a little bit of self-reflection, they’re all totally avoidable. That’s why Tao Jones offers this handy tool to assess the potential offensiveness of your Hallows Eve ensemble — the Simple Costume Racism Evaluation and Assessment Meter, or SCREAM for short. Follow the flowchart below and see where your chosen attire is on the Costume Racism Threat Level scale, modeled after the Homeland Security Advisory System. If your outfit registers at Yellow or above, you should consider an alternative idea. Given how last-minute this is, you have permission to print out and use this emergency alternative mask instead. Happy Halloween!

Check out the full article at Jeff Yang’s WSJ column, Tao Jones.

The bottom line is that Costume Racism is a thing, people. A nasty, stupid thing. But not all acts of Costume Racism are the same, and, with a little bit of self-reflection, they’re all totally avoidable. That’s why Tao Jones offers this handy tool to assess the potential offensiveness of your Hallows Eve ensemble — the Simple Costume Racism Evaluation and Assessment Meter, or SCREAM for short. Follow the flowchart below and see where your chosen attire is on the Costume Racism Threat Level scale, modeled after the Homeland Security Advisory System. If your outfit registers at Yellow or above, you should consider an alternative idea. Given how last-minute this is, you have permission to print out and use this emergency alternative mask instead. Happy Halloween!

Check out the full article at Jeff Yang’s WSJ column, Tao Jones.

    pweadaportfolio asked
    I have a question: Remember the picture where the indian guy with the turban dressed up as captain america? And remember that post scolding disney for selling native american lone ranger constumes? Well, I belive that you can cosplay any character regardless of race (So its totally ok for like a black person to cosplay as Jimmy Neutron) but IS IT WRONG if, say, a white girl wanted to dress in native american clothes to cosplay pocahontas?

    Answer:

    I can’t tell you if it’s “okay” or not or “wrong” or not to cosplay as Pocahontas or any other character because this tumblr blog is not intended to be anybody’s personal permission-granting “____ friend”   (As in, “but my friend is ___ and she gave me the okay!”)

    There’s some more information on this under the cosplay tag, but to be brief:   There is no objective answer as to whether or not it’s wrong for a white person to cosplay a person of color—it always depends on context and who you are asking.    

    That being said, many people find white people dressing up in (what is purportedly) “Native American clothes” to be offensive and a form of cultural appropriation, and many people think Pocahontas is a deeply racist and problematic movie.   You can of course continue to believe your beliefs, but please don’t act surprised if anyone challenges them.

    -M

Reblogged from christopherjonesart  4,567 notes
christopherjonesart:


"I was striking a few poses in my superhero costume when a young boy perched higher on a rock chimed in.'Captain America does not have a turban and beard,’ he said. He had a child’s curious tone. No malevolence.'Why not?' I asked him. 'I was born here. We could have a new Captain America who is Sikh or black or Hispanic.'He thought about this. Finally, he conceded that yes, maybe a black or Hispanic Captain America would be OK.”Source: http://www.salon.com/2013/09/10/captain_america_in_a_turban/

Cosplay is for everybody. I hope I see Captain America in a Turban at New York Comic Con this year! So cool!

christopherjonesart:

"I was striking a few poses in my superhero costume when a young boy perched higher on a rock chimed in.

'Captain America does not have a turban and beard,’ he said. He had a child’s curious tone. No malevolence.

'Why not?' I asked him. 'I was born here. We could have a new Captain America who is Sikh or black or Hispanic.'

He thought about this. Finally, he conceded that yes, maybe a black or Hispanic Captain America would be OK.”

Source: http://www.salon.com/2013/09/10/captain_america_in_a_turban/

Cosplay is for everybody. I hope I see Captain America in a Turban at New York Comic Con this year! So cool!

    zexionlikesmuffins asked
    Hey, I'm sorry if this has been asked a million times before. I wasn't aware whitewashing was an issue until recently. Anyway, my friend and I are going to an anime con soon and we're doing Disney girls. I'm white, she's Asian. I've always wanted to cosplay as Jasmine; is that racist/whitewashing? And she's deciding between Jane and Belle--would that be like a reverse whitewashing? We never thought of it that way but we don't wanna offend anyone, we just want to have fun with these characters.

    Answer:

    There’s a few posts about this in our cosplay tag so be sure to check them out.     

    Opinions vary among people of color regarding whether or not it is hurtful or offensive for someone who is white to cosplay a character of color.  It can even vary from character to character (especially depending on the cultural significance of that character) or the age of the cosplayer, or the venue.    

    [To give an example, I personally am not emotionally affected or experience a racial microaggression when I see cosplayers who are not Asian portraying Avatar: The Last Airbender characters even though I was one of the people who led the protest against the whitewashed movie.   This is because I feel there is a difference between fandom cosplay and a corporation whitewashing an official representation.  I do smile big when I see a PoC cosplaying Avatar characters, especially if it’s a kid, though—because growing up cosplaying a PoC was an opportunity I never really got to have.  Additionally, I am in fact appreciative of white fans who cosplay who are willing to acknowledge that they do not share the same race as the characters.   This is my personal preference and I do have a limit—I draw the line at fans who use make up to darken their skin or tape up their eyes.   That does bother me because it absolutely replicates the history for yellowface for me, and it’s totally unnecessary to cosplay a character.  Another person may feel differently from me, so I think it’s important to be conscientious of the possibility that your cosplay may be microaggressive.]

    You may encounter a variety of opinions on the character of Jasmine.  Some people really relate to her because she was the first Disney princess to be a person of color, or because they enjoyed how she was depicted in Aladdin, etc.   Other people I’ve met really, really dislike Jasmine because they feel her character design in and of itself is racist, orientalized, etc.—they might see a white person dressed up in Jasmine’s “harem pants” as yet another white woman exoticizing middle eastern women or culture in general.   

    The long and short of it is that worrying whether or not cosplaying a PoC will offend people s a privilege of being a white cosplayer.  Essentially, a non-zero amount of people of color will be offended.  It’s really up to you, after weighing the pros and cons, to chose if you want to do it.

    Re: An Asian person dressing up as Jane or Belle -Cosplayers of color do sometimes get “friendly reminders” from people, stuff like “Belle isn’t Asian!” (uh, yeah, we’re aware) but it isn’t going to have the same cultural context or meaning as a white person cosplaying a PoC.   This is because of the history of whitewashing and how those practices specifically targeted and affected PoC, as well as the availability of non-white characters for PoC to cosplay.  Lastly, women of color are pressured to conform to western beauty standards and  to emulate white women (and white princesses).   Due to these cultural contexts, an Asian woman cosplaying a white princess won’t send the same microaggressive messages that a white woman cosplaying a princess of color would.  

    Hope that makes sense, feel free to chime in, tumblr!

    hechu asked
    What is your personal opinion about cosplayers darkening their skin to cosplay a character of a different race? Because it seems like it would be more offensive for a white person to cosplay Nick Fury and not darken their skin. Then again what do I know.

    Answer:

    This is a YMMV situation. I assume you’re saying “but what do I know” as a way of admitting ignorance (lack of knowledge, not stupidity) and curiosity about the opinions of others, not because it is sometimes used as a manipulative way to cushion a statement about an —-ism… If that’s the case, then essentially, it’s this: You have identified a white person cosplaying one of very few characters of color as potentially “offensive.” If that is the case, how is putting on darkening make up (which has been traditionally used to convey racism, especially in costume) supposed to mitigate that? In other words…why would adding a costuming practice with tons of racism-related baggage to your cosplay somehow make your cosplay LESS racially problematic?

Reblogged from inbetweenthelineart  1,168 notes
inbetweenthelineart:

negroism:

racebending:

pokemonmasterkimba:

racebending:

fangshinobi:

butts-with-bro-shades:

puzzlegirlsandpoprocks:

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
DON’T
Wear body paint to mimic skin tone
DON’T
Go out tanning to mimic skin tone

DON’T
Get a fake tan to mimic skin tone

DON’T
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.

Apparently not.

“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.

inbetweenthelineart:

negroism:

racebending:

pokemonmasterkimba:

racebending:

fangshinobi:

butts-with-bro-shades:

puzzlegirlsandpoprocks:

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

DON’T

Wear body paint to mimic skin tone

DON’T

Go out tanning to mimic skin tone

DON’T

Get a fake tan to mimic skin tone

DON’T

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.

Apparently not.

“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.

Reblogged from pokemonmasterkimba  1,168 notes
pokemonmasterkimba:

racebending:

fangshinobi:

butts-with-bro-shades:

puzzlegirlsandpoprocks:

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
DON’T
Wear body paint to mimic skin tone
DON’T
Go out tanning to mimic skin tone

DON’T
Get a fake tan to mimic skin tone

DON’T
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.

Apparently not.

“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?

pokemonmasterkimba:

racebending:

fangshinobi:

butts-with-bro-shades:

puzzlegirlsandpoprocks:

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

DON’T

Wear body paint to mimic skin tone

DON’T

Go out tanning to mimic skin tone

DON’T

Get a fake tan to mimic skin tone

DON’T

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.

Apparently not.

“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?

Reblogged from fangshinobi  1,168 notes
fangshinobi:

butts-with-bro-shades:

puzzlegirlsandpoprocks:

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
DON’T
Wear body paint to mimic skin tone
DON’T
Go out tanning to mimic skin tone

DON’T
Get a fake tan to mimic skin tone

DON’T
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.

Apparently not.

fangshinobi:

butts-with-bro-shades:

puzzlegirlsandpoprocks:

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

DON’T

Wear body paint to mimic skin tone

DON’T

Go out tanning to mimic skin tone

DON’T

Get a fake tan to mimic skin tone

DON’T

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.

Apparently not.

Reblogged from jedifreac  156 notes

The Lose-Lose Situation for White Cosplayers?

jedifreac:

So, some cosplayers who are white are saying they are in a  lose-lose situation when it comes to cosplaying characters of color.  The argument goes like this:

  • If I cosplay and put on dark makeup, I am “brownfacing”
  • If I cosplay and don’t put on dark makeup, I am “whitewashing.”

There is a distinction between cosplaying a character and presenting yourself as the official character.  And hey, being able to acknowledge that the character you are cosplaying isn’t white is already a huge step that many cosplayers who are white are unable or unwilling to make.  (If one more person tells me Ichigo from Bleach is white…)

That being said, yeah, on a cursory glance with this lose-lose stuff, yeah, being white and cosplaying a character of color, no matter what you do?  You are not going to be able to avoid the unavoidable racial awkwardness that comes with the territory.  

(Because, history.  And, because, current systemic oppressions intersect in all aspects of fandom including cosplay.)

But is it really that big of a “lose-lose” situation?  Or remotely comparable?  Because, the feelings of white cosplayers aside, think about it.

  • When a white cosplayer puts on dark makeup, it is possible that other people might point out that it makes them feel uncomfortable or that brownface is a racist act, etc. 
  • When a PoC at a convention sees someone in brownface, it might evoke feelings of being discriminated against, or trigger that uncomfortable feeling of experiencing a microaggression, discrimination, or racism.
  • When a white cosplayer is dressed as a character of color, they might run into people who tell them “but your character is supposed to be brown/black/asian.”
  • When a PoC at a convention runs into a white person dressed as a character of color, they might be reminded blackface, brownface, yellowface, redface, of the hundreds of times people who are white have appropriated cool characters of color while sidelining PoCs in real life.  Or of the subtle and overt cultural messages they have received throughout their lives that their skin color is not good enough.  Or that there are not enough characters of color to cosplay.

Being put on the defensive for your costume for “something you can’t help” isn’t fun, and I’m not saying that white people should not cosplay characters of color (which is something that you technically can help, should you want to avoid having to defend your choice to cosplay characters of color.)  

That being said, being told that you are brownfacing or whitewashing is—ironically enough—one of the privileges of being white and a cosplayer.  By virtue of existing in a media entertainment fandom world where white actors are allowed to play characters of any race while PoC rarely get the chance to play even characters of their own race, you may occasionally be reminded of that privilege.  Getting confronted like that?  Definitely awkward.  

But is this situation lose-lose?  Anymore than the situation PoC are faced with when it comes to encountering white cosplayers of characters of color?  (Especially since many PoC who express feelings of discomfort are told they are “overreacting” or “being too sensitive” or “putting people in a lose-lose situation.”  aka. their concerns marginalized or worse, blamed for the discomfort they are experiencing?)

Will being told you are whitewashing or brownfacing evoke a miasma of shitty feelings similar to the ones that crop up when PoC encounter someone they perceive to be whitewashing or brownfacing?  Feelings that are accumulated over time from experiencing microaggressions and systemic racism over a lifetime?  Probably not. 

Because of systemic racism towards PoC, white cosplayers who cosplay characters of color may be told that they are either brownfacing or whitewashing.  But this systemic racism affects PoC, too. 

(And to flounce and passive-aggressively say, “This is a lose-lose situation for me as a white person!  I guess I won’t be cosplaying this character after all how tragic for me and unfortunate!” really ignores, again, that this situation affects—and hurts—people of color, too.)

    janedoodles asked
    May I ask a question? I don't understand why something such as coloring skin to match the character is bad, when there is also the similar problem of whitewashing where characters of color are played by whites. I am also confused as to why coloring skin a different color such as gray or blue to match the character is acceptable but changing it to a more realistic color is not. Am I being a racist butthat for feeling this way?

    Answer:

    Just because something is “bad” (in this case, whitewashing) doesn’t make something related to it (blackface/brownface) “good.”  

    "Coloring skin to match the character" is bad because it’s merely an extension of “whitewashing.”  Before there was whitewashing, there was brownface and blackface.  To act like white character portrayers only have two options (whitewash or black/brownface) is kind of misleading.  There’s also the option of not portraying a character of color at all.  Or, portray them, with the understanding that blackface/brownface/darker make up is absolutely replicating historical tools of oppression and insensitive to people of color, and that you will be called out.  

    Essentially, adding blackface/brownface to whitewashing doesn’t make it better—it makes it more problematic.  People who do not like whitewashing are not going to be happier to see blackface.

    Gray and blue are not skin tones that people have in real life—skin tones that lead to people experiencing discrimination from others.  As far as I am aware, no one has painted themselves blue to mock a real life race or culture; no one has painted themselves blue to take jobs form other actors, etc.

    As for the question about whether or not you are a “racist butthat,” what you do and the impact it has on others is going to be more important than whether or not you are racist as a person.  

    There is this tendency to personalize racism (“am I a racist for thinking this way?”) that sucks attention away from the people who are affected by it (“will people be affected by my racism if I think this way?”)  

Why brownface cosplay doesn’t really work

Because it doesn’t make you look more like the character; it makes you look like a racial caricature of the character.

The practice of blackface and brownface is inextricably rooted in racial caricature and the use of racial caricature to discriminate and dehumanize. To engage in that legacy detracts from your cosplay— not to mention, it can also be hurtful to people who must contend with the effects of colorism in daily life.

"I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan. It’s one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit." -Jackson Rathbone interviewed in 2009 on playing Sokka in the Airbender adaptation. (They didn’t end up tanning him or putting him in brown make up. Even the “The Last Airbender” production, for all it’s gender and race fail, didn’t think it was a good idea to go there. ATLA Sokka’s skin tone was not a tan.)

Don’t pull a Rathbone!