When 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 Despite this fact, many people still hold outdated beliefs on who is allowed to cosplay which characters.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”.
From left to right: Ginger, Angel Tenshi, PeiPei, Ashi Chan, Danielle
“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.”
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.
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.