I was debating writing about this, but I needed to get it off my chest. As I was getting ready to leave the convention center on Sunday, I spotted this cosplayer from behind. I was super excited to see a Rufio cosplay, since Hook is one of my absolute favourite movies
and I had a huge crush on Dante Basco/Rufio back in the day. I called out “Rufiooooo,” but the moment the cosplayer turned to face me (with a big cheesy grin), my face fell; it was like I’d been slapped. I had nothing to say. No compliments. No words of anger. I was just disappointed and shocked. I don’t even think I managed a “thank you.” I just took the photo and moved on. Words cannot express how much I had turned back and shamed this person with a speil about yellowface and how just how racist it was, but I didn’t…and I regret it. This happened at the end of a ridiculously fun, but tough weekend (tough because one of the things I noticed was that although the fanbase at San Diego Comic Con was somewhat diverse, most of the big films set to come out were produced, directed, and written by white men…and only focused on white men).
Dear whoever that person is:
Here is a handy pictoral guide on how to cosplay a character of color without putting on black/yellow/brownface makeup on. Which is not the same as “tanning” because I know you’ll go there; tanning is something anyone, white or lighter skinned people of color etc., can do without racist implications (and remember PoC come in all shades regardless of race. I’m a pale East Asian person but when I was younger I was considerably darker like my dad). Literally changing your skin color with makeup (remember minstrel shows?)… not so much.
These people got it down.
wait. pause. the second person in your photo is the same girl as the first photo. 0o
Is it? O_O It doesn’t look like they’re wearing makeup in the second photo though. Their face matches the stomach that’s showing. Or am I going blind…
So confused right now.
Yeah, it looks like it must have been a different day because there is definitely no makeup in the second one and the lanyard is a different color. So either she added the makeup later or took it off.
Dear Internet, this is why we can’t have nice things. I live in the south and yes Racism is still a thing, but freaking out over something like this is not helping it go away. Instead of condemning this person for wearing the makeup maybe appreciate the fact that they thought a person of color was awesome enough to portray.