Cosplaying while black (as one hashtag states it) isn’t always easy.
Representation of black characters is hard to come by, so some cosplayers choose to play as a character with a different skin tone, which sometimes results in negative comments and online backlash. Some cosplayers even report receiving insults thrown at them on social media purely based on hate.
The 14 cosplayers below not only prove those Internet trolls wrong — they bring a new life, creativity, and beauty to characters you know and love. Check them out below!
Evensya brings a unique twist to cosplay with her insane body painting skills, which she uses to create the outfits of the characters. Her art and makeup are truly next-level. Now if you excuse me I’m going to head go watch some YouTube tutorials because I can’t even handle eyeliner.
Shell perfectly recreates characters including Kim Possible, Rey, and the Harley Quinn but reimagines them with curly/afro hair textures to create #CurlyCosplay.
Fans of her work can also purchase stickers and prints based on her recreations here.
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is just trying to save the world any way he can.
Naiquan has been heading out in cosplay to take place in the protests in Brooklyn (although technically he should probably be in Queens) and creating some amazing shots while making a difference. His Instagram feed is full of different forms of Spidey, heroes, and more.
Speaking of Spidey, this Gwen Carnage cosplay is everything. Black Crystal also brings life to anime characters, such as My Hero Academia’s Mirko and Deku.
With more than 200,000 followers you definitely should have already heard about this cosplayer. Her artistic creations span across superheroes, classic cartoon characters, and so much more.
Hey, look, another cosplayer that makes me feel terrible about my makeup skills. She uses her artistic skill for good, with designs of various popular anime characters.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power might be over, but Destiny keeps Catra living well past nine lives with this killer cosplay. She has many animated looks, based on characters from Avatar the Last Airbender, My Hero Academia, and more.
This cosplayer’s most recent look is the fiery Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia but he also has a whole lot of Naruto content. His looks are created with dreadlocked hair, which stands as something that may not be canon but sure is authentic.
Anarkee describes herself as an IRL Bratz doll and has the makeup skills I imagine they all have. Not only does she create some amazing works of art (on her face!), she also cosplays as Disney princesses and more.
Whether he’s playing the good guy or the bad guy, Claude Xavier brings justice to them all. In addition his portrayal of Aquaman above, he’s cosplayed as both Black Panther and Erik Killmonger, and other DC and Marvel characters.
Let’s talk about this Princess Leia cosplay! All of Cheyenne’s work stands out because she’s a third-generation seamstress who sews her costumes herself. She has a huge variety of characters up her sleeve and literally everything she touches turns to gold.
Belle, just like the hero he cosplays, brings a message of hope to his followers. A scroll through his feed means you’ll be greeted by the occasional quote from the Seattle Superman (or just actual Superman), such as “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” The visual storyteller dons the crimson cape all over the country to create some really unique art.
Monty merges the worlds of video games and cosplay by designing Keyblades from just about every fandom. When the con circuit rolls around, he’s also got some pretty great cosplays to show off.
Bee-chan is among the growing number of cosplayers on TikTok making some must-watch content. In the video above, she hilariously points out that skin tone is — and should be — irrelevant when it comes to cosplay. We can all agree.