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By SarahTheRebel On 2 Aug, 2013 At 09:03 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com.

I recently interviewed Deja, better known as Jade Aurora. Jade is an artist, model, and cosplayer from Detroit, MI.

Me as Bellatrix Lestrange, Youmacon 2012

Me as Bellatrix Lestrange, Youmacon 2012.

1.) When did you first start cosplaying? What inspired you to start?

I started cosplaying in 2011. What inspired me to start cosplaying was in 2010 when my best friends convinced me to attend Youmacon with them. This was the first anime convention I ever went to. Seeing all those people dressed up in these amazing, kickass costumes is what inspired me to join the cosplay club, lol.

2.) What are your favorite video games?

My favorite video games are Super Smash Bros., Mortal Kombat, and Dead or Alive. I don’t know if this counts, but I am a huge Sims addict!

3.) What’s your favorite anime?

I have quite a few favorite animes, but my absolute favorites are Sailor Moon and Soul Eater. Death the Kid can take my soul any day.

4.) What’s your favorite cosplay memory?

I would have to say that my favorite memory was during Youmacon 2011. I was cosplaying as Princess Tiana, and my friends and I were on our way to a panel, when a little girl and her mother stopped us. The little girl thought I was really Tiana, and wanted a picture of me. It was very heartwarming.

Jade Aurora, Cosplay, Tiana, Youmecan 2011, black, female, cosplayer

Jade as Princess Tiana, Youmacon 2011.

5.) What advice do you have for other girls interested in cosplaying and modeling?

Do what you feel. Cosplay is about having fun. Don’t let race, gender, or size stop you from indulging in your fandom. To those who want to take the path to modeling: be prepared, because it is not easy. The modeling industry can be very cutthroat and catty, and you will hear a lot of nos before you hear yes. And do your homework and always take precautions, because there are people who take advantage of women and prey on their dreams to become models. But modeling can be very fulfilling. You will gain confidence in yourself, and will begin to embrace YOU, flaws and all.

Great advice! You can find Jade Aurora on her Facebook page.

No GravatarWhen you hear the word cosplay, the first image that comes to many people’s minds is a waif-like Asian girl. However, anyone who has ever been to a con can tell you that cosplayers come in all shapes and sizes. Despite this fact, many people still hold outdated beliefs on who is allowed to cosplay which characters.

Chocolate Covered Cosplay, also known as C3, is trying to change that perception. These six ladies couldn’t find a community for cosplayers like themselves, so on June 15, 2011 they formed Chocolate Covered Cosplay,a group to showcase and empower the gamer/geek/cosplayer within everyone, regardless of culture, shade or background”.

The six founding members are Ashphord “Ashi-Chan” Jacoway, Ginger Burton, Brittney “Angel Tenshi” Drake, Nivi Pix and sisters Danielle and Deanna McRae.

From left to right: Ginger, Angel Tenshi, PeiPei, Ashi Chan, Danielle

The Mission

“We want to be an inspiration to other women of color who haven’t done that cosplay that’s outside their race” said Ginger.

Often cosplayers of color will find themselves classified as a “version” of a character, for example they will be considered a “Black Melfina” instead of just a person cosplaying Melfina.

“I don’t wanna be a ‘VERSION.’ I don’t want to be a side character. I want to ‘BE’ that character.” said Angel.

These ladies don’t believe that skin color, shape, or size should rein in their imagination.

“I love C3 because it gives me the opportunity to be myself,” said Ashi Chan. “It’s nice to be in a group of women of color who are excited about what you do and there isn’t any judgment; there’s just love and I feel as though we should love each other all the time, because this is the one way we can all be free.”

Changing Minds

C3 often holds panels and discussions focusing on race and gender in the geek community. They hope that these open discussions will strengthen the community as a whole and change perceptions.

“Nerds should have a beautiful community, and we should always uphold that no matter what our race or color or gender is,“ said Ashphord.

Events

June is a great month to catch these ladies out and about, as they will be participating in quite a few events to celebrate their founders day, culminating with their one-year anniversary party June 23rd at Meltdown Comics. The event will feature cosplay items and vendors with the theme of diversity in cosplay.

They also plan to hold another panel at Anime Expo. “Like” C3’s Facebook page to stay informed about their upcoming events.

Meet the ladies of Chocolate Covered Cosplay

Ashphord, “Ashi Chan” Jacoway

You may recognize Ashi Chan from Sony’s The Tester Season 3. She is also well known for her one-woman show “I Wish My Life Was an RPG”  which discusses race and gender as it affected her development as a nerd and for her appearances on season 5 of the Guild and Video Game Reunion. She is also a cosplay artist and model.

Ginger “GNB Cosplay”, Burton

Ginger is the Editor-In-Chief of Otaku Sanctuary Cosplay Magazine. She is also a cosplay commissioner, sewing costumes that have garnered her numerous awards.

Danielle McRae

Voice actor and singer, Danielle voices Hagara The Stormbinder in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Karma the Enlightened One in League of Legends, and Painwheel in Skullgirls.

Deanna, “PeiPei” McRae

PeiPei is a freelance artist and web designer. She has a great webcomic, DeadFingers, as well.

Brittney “Angel Tenshi” Drake

Angel is a cosplayer, stylized artist and cosplay photographer. Check out her amazing work with body paint!

Nivi Pix

Nivi is a self taught photographer, motivational speaker, and model. She is the long-distance member of the team, as she is currently in Nevada!