First Name and Last Initial: Stardust Megu
Where are you from originally, or where do you reside currently? I’m from NYC. The Bronx to be exact!
How long have you been cosplaying? I’ve been cosplaying for about 8 years and still going strong!
What characters have you cosplayed? I did so many characters!. Haruhi Suzumiya and Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Saya Kisaragi from Blood-C, Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid, Yuki Cross from Vampire Knight, C.C. from Code Geass, Junko Enoshima and Mukuro Ikusaba from Danganronpa, Sailor Pluto from Sailor Moon, Hiroko Takashiro from Bible Black, Poison Ivy from DC, Satsuki Kryuin from Kill la Kill, Umbreon from Pokemon, Mileena from Mortal Kombat, Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, Luigi from Super Mario Bros, Chun-Li and Poison from Street Fighter, Mariah and Joseph Joestar from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Yuno Gasai from Mirai Nikki (Future Diary), Supergirl from DC, Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw, Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann, Sailor D.va (a crossover of D.va from Overwatch and Sailor Moon), Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty, Wonder Woman (Justice League War ver.) from DC, Ms. Marvel from Marvel, Meiko Shiraki from Prison School, Red Sonja from Red Sonja, Angewomon from Digimon, Power Girl from DC, and Panne from Fire Emblem Awakening.
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What inspired you to start cosplaying? I knew of cosplaying in 2006 through Google, but didn’t actually do it until 2010. During that time, I would search images of my favorite characters from anime shows. That’s when I saw photos of people dressing up and found out that it was called “cosplay”. The cosplayers looked amazing and I wanted to do it so badly, but was afraid that I wouldn’t look right. I was bullied severely because of both my size and my dark skin. It really effected [SIC] my self esteem, even after when the bullying stopped. Then in 2010, my friends convinced me to join them at NYCC and cosplay (and this was my first con!). I was super into The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and decided to be the titular character for the convention. I bought the outfit and used my real hair and instead of a wig. I also used a black headband instead of the yellow one she wears. We brought our cosplays to school and changed into them after our classes. Throughout the train ride, I was super nervous, but my friends were by my side. When we entered, everyone was super sweet! My cosplay wasn’t perfect but everyone was nice and asked for photos. I even did the Hare Hare Yukai dance with some people! It was so much fun! I had my first case of Post Con Depression when NYCC ended that weekend. That’s when I said to myself that I should do this again. Years later, I’m still cosplaying and now I make some of my cosplays! Cosplay really helped boosted my confidence! I made more friends and learned some new skills! I hope to inspire people, especially darker skinned and plus sized people, to join the community and have fun!
What do you do when you are not cosplaying? When I’m not cosplaying, I watch anime and movies or play Overwatch or Fire Emblem. Sometimes I would watch old episodes Forensic Files or King of the Hill.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? My advice is (to quote Shia LaBeouf): “Just do it!!!” Jump right in and cosplay as any character you want. Cosplay is Rated E for Everyone! Don’t let your skin color, size, disability, etc stop you from having fun! I’m a darker skinned and plus-sized cosplayer and I cosplay lighter skinned and thinner characters all the time. If I can do it then so can you! Cosplay is all about having fun! You will look amazing as your favorite characters.
Why do you feel that #28DaysofBlackCosplay is important? #28Days ofBlackCosplay is very important because there’s so many of us in this community and we’re right under people’s noses, but we get overlooked and even bullied because of our skin color. Most places and even some photographers refuse to feature or shoot black cosplayers because “we’re too dark” and will only accept White or Asian cosplayers. If they do accept black cosplayers then they can’t be “too dark” or “too fat”. Lighter skinned cosplayers get featured 24/7 in every social media in existence. Black cosplayers, on the other hand, have to push three times harder to be featured once in a blue moon. Because of this, the audience thinks that there’s not a lot of black cosplayers in the community. I love 28DaysofBlackCosplay because it’s a great chance for black cosplayers, especially those who really get undermined, a moment at the spotlight and be appreciated for their hard work. This is also to show everyone that black cosplayers exist in the cosplay community and that we’re just as amazing as non-black cosplayers!
What is one thing the PoC cosplay community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other as well as non-PoCs? To not discriminate and actually support each other. I see lots of non-PoC cosplayers and even PoC cosplayers say that they support and uplift all PoC cosplayers but then they discriminate and undermine certain types of PoC cosplayers (LGBT PoC, darker skinned and plus sized PoC, etc.). The majority of cosplayers in the community have been marginalized in real life so it breaks my heart to see fellow cosplayers, especially PoC cosplayers, do this to other PoC cosplayers. This is what makes people afraid to cosplay and why some cosplayers quit this hobby. As cosplayers, we need to do better by respecting and uplifting fellow cosplayers! Spread love and positivity!