Dear white cosplayers

I have several friends/acquaintances who are white and also cosplay! And there is nothing wrong with that.  Unfortunately, I’ve seen some popular cosplayers I admire put on “brownface” to cosplay characters like Korra, Katara, and other people of color.  That is not ok.  What seems like innocent dressup to you is a tradition rooted in racism which dehumanises real people of color.  Skintone is not a costume. 

There’s a cosplayer I used to follow who has been doing this a lot lately.  I have sent them private messages explaining why that was hurtful to people of color in the past, when I saw them giving tips on “how to tan to look like Korra.”  My messages to them were ignored.  I have seen friends of mine who pose with them, condone it, and turn a blind eye. In a way I did that myself after my messages were ignored, I just quietly unfollowed because I couldn’t support it but I didn’t want to call them out publicly and cause a huge fuss.  But these cosplayers and former friends of mine are  still doing it, and I’m getting asks about it, saying “I know you are a huge fan of so-and-so! Why aren’t you commenting on their brownface?”

So I’m making this post now to help clarify the brownface issue for white cosplayers who Don’t Get It, if they would actually read about this instead of ignoring those who bring it up to them.

Because I am a myself a white person, I’m really not the best spokesperson for brownface and whitewashing. Instead, I’ll like to some posts from PoC that explain why slathering on fake tan or makeup to look darker is racist:

If you are a cosplayer who does or has done brownface, that is bad and you should feel bad.  But there is a silver lining.  Now you know!  And you can change for the better.  Nobody is saying you can’t cosplay characters like Korra- just stop wearing her skin color as part of your costume.

And if you have white friends who cosplay using brownface, talk to them about it.  Show them this post. Show them them the brownface tag. Don’t just turn a blind eye to systematic racism.

  1. rspanner reblogged this from homurathetimelesbian
  2. pictor-zenith reblogged this from yamino
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  4. rapturerinserepeat reblogged this from parkpeturs and added:
    That’s not even remotely the same though. There are no blue people who have had their culture suppressed and were...
  5. amethystarcher reblogged this from parkpeturs and added:
    You obviously didn’t read the links or even the whole post. And how awful, dehumanzing, and minimizing is it to say “So,...
  6. whatisahogwarts reblogged this from kushina
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  10. parkpeturs reblogged this from yamino and added:
    So, what, I can’t paint myself blue? My bad. Shaming people who darken their skin for cosplay, a thing they enjoy, and...
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