It’s been 5 years since the #28DaysofBlackCosplay was created. Each year more and more black cosplayers are getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve. I got the chance to interview one of my favorite cosplayers and creator of the hashtag Curly Cosplay, Shellain!
”What got you into anime and what’s your favorite anime?”
S: Toonami definitely opened up the world of anime to me. From catching Naruto after class and waking up to Inuyasha ending themes in the middle of the night! My favorite anime is Fullmetal Alchemist. Brotherhood is a fan favorite but honestly, I love both versions for many different reasons.
“Have you ever received backlash for the characters you’ve cosplayed? How have you dealt with it?”
S: A lot of people feel the need to tell me that I shouldn’t cosplay characters that are outside of my skin tone unfortunately. 99% of the time I just ignore them. Their hate CANNOT and WILL NOT stop me from doing what I love. I also get comments saying that I shouldn’t cosplay with curly hair textures and I should just try to match the character’s accurate hair texture. When I cosplay accuracy is not my number one goal, representation is. Representation matters even within the cosplay community and I will continue to be a part of that representation regardless of people’s hateful comments.
“Who is your favorite character to cosplay?”
S: Ahh that’s a super hard one! I’m going to have to go with Vegeta though. It feels very empowering when I wear my Vegeta cosplay. I mean I get to be a Saiyan Princess in a set of armor, it doesn’t get any cooler than that!
“What do you foresee in the future with anime and the black community? For example the fandom, storylines, animators etc.”
S: I’m hoping to see a future with more representation. With creators like Adorned By Chi creating black manga and anime leads, and many black cosplayers like myself showing the world we can cosplay whoever we want regardless of our skin tone, I believe the future for anime and the black community can be a bright one.