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5 Black Cosplayers Beating the Odds

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Self-expression has become one of the biggest reasons why people are gaining a huge following on social media. One area that helps people do that is cosplay. Many people are using this to play their favorite characters and show their skills in makeup, dressing, and other things. 

That said, the representation of black cosplay characters remains wanting. Even so, the few that are in it are making waves. Check them out.

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BlackKrystel

BlackKrystel standing on stage. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

BlackKrstel also got into cosplay through anime. She realized at a young age how different anime characters were from other forms of Western entertainment. Pokemon Indigo League, Sailor Moon and Code Lyoko are some of the characters she followed. 

They were vibrant and conveyed a sense of belief in oneself. As a black woman, she could relate to them. Her first experience with cosplay was at a convention in Orlando. Since then, she’s been part of the cosplay world and sees it as a means of escape.

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Kiera

Kiera posing for a photo. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Kiera was introduced to anime by a friend. After watching Future Diary, she became an avid consumer of it. As for cosplay, Kiera was likened to Garnet from Steven Universe and was challenged to dress like her. She did so on Halloween, and that kickstarted her role of playing characters.

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Mimi

Mimi dressed up as anime characters when she was a child after watching Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z. Cosplay came along in adulthood and she also mimicked her favorite characters. 

One of the characters that she’s played is Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon. That said, Mimi admits that black cosplayers are racially targeted as people don’t want them to portray other people’s characters. Nonetheless. Mimi yearns to be a professional cosplayer.

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Snitchery

Snitchery. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Eleanor Barnes, popularly known as Snitchery is one of the biggest black cosplay artists on the internet. She began posting content on TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic and she’s never looked back. 

Some of her first posts were anime headshots and Disney-inspired beauty looks. As a cosplay, she’s played characters of Scooby-Doo’s Daphne, Poison Ivy and  Harley Quinn.

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Shellanin

Shellanin. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Her dream of getting into anime and cosplay was inspired by Cartoon Network character Toonami. She always waited for Halloween to dress up like them as it was the only moment she could do that. It’s through this that Shellanin got involved in cosplay. With that, she doesn’t have to wait for Halloween.

One of the things Shellanin is keen on is amplifying the representation of black women in cosplay. This is the reason why she mimics characters like Vegeta and Bulma from Dragon Ball Z. She hopes to portray characters like Misty from Pokemon.

Black cosplayers are creating their space in the niche by defying age-old stereotypes and racism. Who’s your favorite?

If you’re a fan of anime characters, Amazon has a large collection to choose from.

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