When comic-book fans participate in “cosplay,” which is dressing up as one’s favorite comic book character, all should be fair, right? Racialicious contributor Kendra James says it’s not. Especially when the character she’s chosen to emulate isn’t brown.
Cosplaying in and of itself can be stressful enough; I’ve definitely had convention days when I did not feel confident enough for tight spandex. But for non-white fans, the additional pressure felt when not playing a character of the same ethnicity can add an unspoken anxiety to the experience. It often feels like a white cosplayer can not only dress as their favorite characters of color but also do so in the most offensive way without comment. But when a non-white cosplayer colors outside the lines in the same way, there’s a risk of getting an awkward look because–instead of seeing the costume–no matter how perfect