Popular cosplayer Kayyybearxo has gained wide appeal for both her faithful and risque takes on popular characters from anime and video games - but one of her costumes is making the rounds on social media for a negative reason.
Kayyybear put together a cosplay of Resident Evil 3’s Jill Valentine in late March, which earned her ample praise on Facebook and Twitter; however, Reddit was less than pleased with her work, with users posting a slew of negative comments about her race and costuming skills.
“She can’t cosplay [a] white character,” one user wrote of the cosplay. “She should stick to her African characters.”
“Some cosplays look incredible,” another said. “This one looks like it took 2 minutes.”
Kayyybear took note of the harassment and created a collage of some of the more hateful comments about her cosplay, compiling them in a lengthy Facebook post where she admitted that many of her cosplays get locked on Reddit due to “extensive” racism.
“It’s a shitty feeling when another person that’s not black can post the same cosplay, in the same outfit, and be met with praise and compliments,” Kayyybear wrote. “However, my version is wrong and lazy (simply because of my skin color, NOT because it’s actually inaccurate).”
She went on to encourage other cosplayers of color to embrace their hobby despite potential backlash, prompting an abundance of fans to post their own cosplays and experiences in response to her story.
This isn’t the first time Kayyybear has hit back at online harassment, either; the cosplayer lashed out at critics angered over her risque take on Apex Legends’ Lifeline in early March, who accused her of merely “lewding” the character for money on Patreon, among other insults.
“People always complain when I post lewds, saying, ‘This isn’t even cosplay anymore,’” Kayyybear Tweeted of the issue. “Just for the record, I do the full cosplay of a character every time I do a lewd version.”
And even if I didn’t, it wouldn’t matter because you can cosplay the way YOU want to! Be it full armor, closet cosplay, lewd cosplay. It’s all cosplay and it’s all fun! ❤️— kay bear 🐻 (@kayyybearxo) March 6, 2019
Despite the hate, Kayyybear’s Lifeline costume earned her praise across the internet, with even Respawn’s CEO Vince Zampella giving kudos to the cosplayer for her impressive likeness to the character.