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14 Oct 2012 - 10:2092536
Changing skin tone for cosplay [Debate]

Some feel it's racist and offensive - drawing parallels to blackface and yellowface. Others feel that it makes the cosplay more accurate! Here's a place to discuss.

[Removed link because Avox pls stop being biased]

So, offensive? Accurate? Debate here!

"She was batting her eyes in a way that she probably thought was highly seductive, but actually just looked like she was trying to pilot a yacht with her eyelashes."

Last edited by Avox (14 Oct 2012 - 15:26)
14 Oct 2012 - 13:3192547
I really hope you're trolling.

Tanning is NOT blackface. Simple as.

I used to selftan before I decided I'd rather be pale, and it wasn't done to be or seen to be racist at all.
I selftanned again for my Poison cosplay because she is portrayed to be slightly more tanned than I naturally am. That wasn't racist.

If people want to make themselves appear more tanned to be accurate for a cosplay, then go for it.
They're doing it to portray the character better, NOT to cause any offence.

If slightly modifying the colour of your skin to better portray a character is offensive, then you should stop using bodypaint to make your skin grey to cosplay trolls.
People cosplaying from Adventure Time should stop painting themselves pink and blue, because God forbid they offend somebody by changing the colour of their skin!

14 Oct 2012 - 14:0292548
I agree that actually using facepaint to change one's skin colour is offensive and that is because it conjures up the whole unpleasant history involving blackface. But I really wouldn't put using fake tan in the same category as that, as its not being done to make a parody of someone else's race.

14 Oct 2012 - 14:2292549
Just a heads up, you're probably going to get a lot of heat for something like this

I disagree - strongly. Accuracy is a big deal to some people in this community. I wouldn't say it's racist to tan yourself, if anything you're paying homage to the character. Racism is intended to hurt, if anything if you rejected the idea of changing your skin tone for accuracy to the character, couldn't that also be taken as racist as theyre 'too good as a white person to be mistaken for an other ethnicities' I mean, for Katara she is a mix of existing races in a fantasy setting, almost on the same basis as the trolls from homestuck. So be careful about tarring some with the brush, but not others.

I personally don't consider this racist, and while people prefer to cosplay to their skin tone, I dont think it's fair to those who like to give it their all on their costumes. If anything its discriminatory in saying that they cant if the means to do it is available. There's a big difference between tanning it up for Katara and Papa Lazarou.

What if they tan themselves in real life and it so happens to cross over while they're cosplaying?
There's too many grey areas too this argument and I've never EVER heard of there being a coffuffle at an event just because some girl used a darker foundation/fake tan to pull off Korra/Katara, or for them to be pulled up by staff and told to take it off right there.

'Blackface' is the term used for putting shoe polish on ones face - and only the face (like some kind of sick parody to make it obvious) and that died out a long time ago and is in fact racist. But if you consider the amount of people who tan today, including a lot of people in the public eye, then you could say that they're all racist. They obviously like to look sunkissed and think that its a more 'healthy' look. Which is strange to me because back in ye olde days the sign of an English Rose was to be as pale as possible and displayed a sign of wealth if you had others doing all of the dogwork outside.

I appreciate that you're worried about offending people, but I wouldn't take that tumblr seriously (I stopped on the second page for the shopped cover for black and white 2) Just as long as you don't do something stupid such as only changing your face i.e. not blending it into your neck and acting like a prat, there's no problem in expressing the love for your character.

14 Oct 2012 - 14:2792550
The Cosplay Island forums never ever dissapoint.

14 Oct 2012 - 15:0292551
Angel Tear: Nuff said.

14 Oct 2012 - 15:2592552
You're right, guys, I didn't want to cause an argument! I'm just a cosplayer with an opinion. It's a controversial topic within the community, though, so discussion is fine! (But let's play fair.) Here are a few responses.

By the accuracy reasoning, you'd also be saying that cosplayers of colour must lighten themselves if they were to cosplay a character with skin lighter than their own. Thoughts?

(I do actually agree with the thing of fake tan is just about fine - as long as it's not that orange stuff - but wheee)

(Also, I changed the thread title + description so it's more of a debate thread, not just me going 'PRETENTIOUS PSA AHEAADDDD'.)

"She was batting her eyes in a way that she probably thought was highly seductive, but actually just looked like she was trying to pilot a yacht with her eyelashes."
14 Oct 2012 - 15:2792553
Wow this is just about the dumbest post I've seen recently. Normally I'd ignore this but seriously guys, this is just a stupid argument

Most cosplayers aim for accuracy. If a character's skin is a different colour it's not racist if you're realistic about it. Fake tan is sold for a reason. It's not some kind of magic racist makeup, it's fake tan and it is makeup all the same. It's not offensive to colour your skin unless you are trying to be offensive

I just find it amazing that people think it's racist to tan your skin to be more accurate and accepting of a character's ethnicity. Because apparently being open minded and accepting is ~so racist~

Yet if someone is cosplaying a grey character or whatever they get hated on if they don't paint their skin because it's "inaccurate", isn't that weird?? It's still a skintone!

Nobody chooses their skin colour. Cosplay is a HOBBY. Nobody should be hated on because they are cosplaying who they want to, which is what this hobby is all about

People need to get over themselves and just deal with it

[edit] lol nice editing. Now I look pretentious, great.

Last edited by Exelia (14 Oct 2012 - 15:28)
14 Oct 2012 - 15:3192554



Locking to prevent pointless arguments (and they'll be one-sided, because this is a RIDICULOUS argument)

EDIT: Oh, and editing it to remove all of the ridiculousness does not a good thread make. Ended.

Water Tribe.

CosplayIsland Staff Member

Last edited by sjbonnar (14 Oct 2012 - 15:34)
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