I’m sorry but I have to step in here because I’ve been watching this unfold, and I feel like this is the best place to post my full response as clearly as possible.
Agreed, agreed, agreed 100%. Telling a ‘white’ person to not cosplay a character of another race is exactly the same as telling a male cosplayer that they cannot cosplay as a female character, because of the male/female power dynamic inherent within society. Bullshit. Am I not allowed to cosplay as a traveller from the Journey video game because the characters facemask hides their race and gender, and it somehow might not match up to my own? Of COURSE not.
Secondly, implying that we should leave characters of colour ‘up to the PoC to cosplay’ seems to suggest that people of colour should somehow feel obliged to cosplay within their race, and have something of a responsibility to dress up as their own race in order to gain better representation. UM, NO. Cosplayers should be allowed to dress up as whatever race/creed/gender they feel like, as a fucking HOMAGE to that character!
Also, can we take a moment to discuss equating cosplay costume makeup to blackface and yellowface? Blackface was a disgusting form of ‘entertainment’ used almost exclusively several decades ago, that was explicitly designed to satirize and degrade PoC. THE AIM OF COSPLAY IS NOT SATIRE, IT IS HOMAGE. Therefore, in my opinion, changing ones skin tone to look more like a character is no different than putting on a wig, circle lenses, or stuffing socks into a bra. I would not be in the LEAST offended if I went to a convention and saw a girl cosplayer who had used makeup techniques to alter her skin tone to look more like a character who happened to have the same ethnic background as myself.