- Jasmine Jackson from Philadelphia, Pa
- How long have you been cosplaying? I have been cosplaying for almost 2 years now. So I’m still fairly new at it.
- What characters have you cosplayed the most? It’s a tie between my hero academia and demon slayer characters
- Please list your Website or Fan Pages
Photo Credit:Bryan Martin: ig @themanwhotakesflicks
1. What made you decide to cosplay?
I have been a fan of anime since I was around 10 yrs old. I used to watch rom- coms like Fruits Basket and Vampire Knight but eventually my interests grew to include action, thriller, and fantasy genres as well. The more I enjoyed watching the characters, the more I enjoyed impersonating them. So, once I found out about cosplay, and that there were black cosplayers, it just made sense for me to start.
2. What do you do for your day job or hobbies?
During the day I am a Registered Behavioral Technical. I work with children and young adults on the spectrum and help reinforce positive behaviors and social skills. Outside of work I love hanging with my friends, singing karaoke and traveling. I’d like to think that I’m a pretty social person.
3. Which of your cosplays have been the most challenging and/or the most rewarding and why?
The most challenging cosplay I’ve done was my most recent— where I cosplayed as Doflamingo from One Piece. It’s really hard to find a flattering looking costume for him so I found the coat on my own (thank god my sisters love pink) but the pants were hard to find so I literally learned how to sew just to do this look. The most rewarding was my Rengoku cosplay from Demon Slayer because I feel like I got really good feedback on it from the community and it really made me feel good that so many people enjoyed it.
4. What is the best advice you would give to other cosplayers of color specifically?
Just go for it. It doesn’t always have to be an exact or perfect replica of the original character. Yes, people may something negative about it, but it is one of those situations where you are darned if you do it or darned if you don’t, so why not just do whatever makes you feel happy? I grew up thinking that cosplayers could only dress up as characters with similar characteristics as them, but with how few characters of color there are that doesn’t leave much opportunity. So, I want to be one of the people changing that stereotype through the content I share because I’m sure I wasn’t the only one lacking confidence in that regard.
5. What one thing could the cosplay community do better when dealing with one another?
In reference to my previous answer, Gatekeeping is a serious problem within the cosplay/anime community. I see posts all the time about how there are more girls who aren’t nerds cosplaying for the attention, about how detailed costumes should always be, or on how certain types of costumes are cosplay, but others aren’t. For a community who faced similar prejudices themselves from the “cool kids” it’s surprising we’re subjugating ourselves in the same way.