Taking Cosplay Personally – Natural Hair Cosplay Remix, the First Part

April 12, 2017

So seven months ago, I shared a post about Dragon Con and Natural Hair, and promised a part two to that post.  Better late than never, right?  So how are my plans for cosplay domination going?  They’re not.  But my plans to bring some natural representation to the cosplay scene are well underway…  Get your cape, boots, and afro ready – project natural hair cosplay is underway.

Now I have no false aspirations or claims to single-handedly bring natural hair awareness to the cosplay community.  In fact, this is not a new concept.  This year there was an epic and awesome movement to bring awareness of black cosplayers and to appreciate the beauty of their representation of characters they love – whatever the skin tone.  And there were all kinds of diverse hair styles to go along with it – some rocking their naturals with their character play.  During the month of February, we enjoyed #28DaysofBlackCosplay, during which Twitter was a storm (no pun intended) of creative and chocolate-skinned cosplay.  You can still follow it on twitter, here.  Talk about eye candy for the chocolate-covered nerdy of us!

Cosplay I Want to Do

That is an extensive list.  But I prefer strong female characters – as my comic book, manga, and anime collection will show.  So my personal favorites include Niobe (Niobe She Is Life), Faith (Valiant Comics), Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Alana (Saga), Toph (Avatar), Mari Watanabe or Erika (The Irregular at Magic High School), Buttercup (yep, from Powerpuff Girls), Jennifer Blood, and others…

And I’m currently working on two characters that I’m especially excited about.  Stay tuned for updates on my cosplay to come!

So What’s the Problem With Cosplay?

Well no problem, actually.  I love everything about cosplay and our first con was the bomb.  Yes, I did…

Buuut… have you seen many cosplays with natural hair?  If so, how often?  Think about it…

Well, cosplay has not always been typically seen as a “black thing”, although there have been black people to cosplay.  Generally, speaking, of course – because if you’re like me you just don’t care what everybody is or isn’t doing.  However, many of the characters we love to read about, watch, and game with don’t look like us.  So many of us do what we can to make the character fit.

Here’s the clincher.  So is everybody else.

See, my take on it is two-fold:  First of all, cosplay is not a black, white, or any race “thing” – it’s just cosplay and should be void of any discrimination.  Although, if I’m keeping it real, that’s not completely true.  The whole “you’re too fat to cosplay” was a thing a few years ago.  Second of all, we – the entire cosplay community – are taking characters we love, admire, look up to, etc. and creating our representations of what that character looks like… acts like… thinks like.  But these characters are fictional.

Unless of course you believe that superheroes and vampires do exist.  Because I do.

And fictional characters leave room for interpretation.  I can’t help what my skin color is.  And I will like the characters who speak to me despite their skin color.  So I will cosplay those characters to the best of my ability and make it work for me.  You know #represent.  And for those who don’t like it… well… maybe you should lighten up on those imaginary cosplay rules set for those imaginary characters.  #justsaying #steppingoffmysoapbox #thispostisnotaboutrace #butitkindais

You know my favorite thing about cosplay?  The art and the creativity.  The heart and passion that goes into making a character come to life.  And the transformation that occurs when that art is displayed, or worn.  That should be the focus.

Oh, and the community.  Because I haven’t yet come across any negativity… this is one of the most fun and most supportive communities out there.  #cosplaycommunityforthewin

Making Cosplay Personal – Natural Hair Cosplay

So not like taking it too personally, or seriously.  Dude, lighten up and have fun with it.  I’m talking about infusing my personal style into my cosplay.  Staying true to my natural roots, as it were.

This is a blog centered around natural hair – with my other interests thrown into the mix, after all.  Because it’s all tied together somehow.  You knew this coming in.

So I’m going to cosplay my favorite characters and I’m going to have a blast with it – not even thinking about whether they’re Asian, African, White, Hispanic, American, Muslim, or Jewish.  And without setting limitations on myself to only cosplay “black characters”.  But I am going to infuse my personal touch into the hair of each character I play, interpreting the hairstyle into a natural ‘do.  Each one of my natural hair cosplays will have a unique wig or style created to represent natural hair.  Because I want to see how this will play out.  #challengeaccepted

Because… ask me about my natural hair… and cosplay.  And because natural hair has superpowers.  (look for the shirt for sale coming soon!)

Again, this is not a brand new concept… but it isn’t as common, either.  Yet.  I want to help make it more common, if you will. #naturalhaircosplay

But Wigs…

So let me correct any misinterpretations about what I’m saying.  I love a good wig.  LOVE them.  LOURVE. THEM.  I love cosplay wigs.  Some of my favorite wigs are curled purples, and straight blues, and the short reds with the pigtails that I get from sites like Arda Wigs and Epic Cosplay, which have some of the. best. cosplay. wigs. hands down.

You will see me wearing some of those wigs in my YouTube videos, and sometimes maybe even for a cosplay if I can’t make a wig in time.  But for the most part I want to infuse my natural hair personality into each cosplay I make by creating a wig for that character.

Confused?  Don’t worry – more explanation and examples to come…

But picture this… what if Harley Quinn had afro puffs?  I’ve seen it.  It was bomb. 

Okay, I’m starting to ramble, but those are my initial thoughts on cosplay, cosplay characters, and natural hair.  In part two I will discuss how I care for my natural hair while cosplaying.  Stay tuned.

By the way, I’m starting a new hashtag: #cosplayingwhilenatural – you saw it first, here!

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