Overwatch cosplay enthusiast Pion Kim offended the Internet with her Sombra costume. The first-person shooter is quite popular and Sombra is a recently introduced character that focuses on hacking. Kim is very talented in her craft to the point where she’s acquired a size-able fan base.
Apparently she used some light bronzing makeup on her face to depict the ethnic accuracy of the character which offended the Internet as social justice/keyboard warriors brought forth virtual torches and pitchforks to cast dispersion on Kim’s character, according to Heat Street.
— pion_피온 (@pion_ediya) January 13, 2017
According to the Overwatch Sombra Korean cosplayer, she had no knowledge of such a controversial topic when it came to using the makeup. In fact, she mentioned that she’s portrayed even darker skinned characters like that of a dark elf which occurred three years ago.
Is this indicative of how in such a short time span how sensitive and overly politically correct the Internet has become?
Kim did acknowledge how much better she’s gotten with her painting skills and had always used the verbiage of “skin tone darker than me” to portray a fair representation of not defining one by their color. However, she stands accused of her Sombra makeup application as being a racist move.
“I keep saying ‘skin tone darker than me’ because I hate define peoples’ skin tone by color name. And I still don’t understand WHY YOU GUYS DEFINED PEOPLES’ SKIN TONE AS A COLOR NAME? Some haters said to me ‘brown facing is racist thing’, but defined peoples’ skin tone looks racist to me.”
The Overwatch game is a highly popular title and there had been many who had cosplayed some fascinating characters at conventions. Some fans went so far as to utilize motorized portions of the costumes to impress others whom they may encounter.
On the other hand, Kim acknowledged the motive behind those who may have been offended by likely attributing their reaction due to historically negative experiences. The accurate Sombra cosplayer gave examples on how someone may cosplay a fictional character that has a disability and may risk offending those who are disabled even though the cosplayer themselves are not. The same thing went for a cosplay fan that may shave their head bald and may wind up offending someone that’s bald due to cancer treatments.
“Someone cosplaying disabled character even they are not actually disabled- disabled people can hate them. Someone cosplaying no-hair character even they have a hair – the people who has a cancer and have no hair can hate them.”
Members of the Hispanic community backed Pion Kim for her talents and encouraged her not to let those that do the labeling change her mind. Since Kim realized that her Overwatch Sombra cosplay outfit offended many, she tied it into some underlying trauma that may have cause for offense. As a result, she made a decision to never go with a darker skin tone again.
“So I’LL DO NOT CHANGE MY SKIN TONE MAKE MORE DARK NEVER AGAIN.”
Accolades can be given to Pion because this does reinforce her compassionate nature and thus unselfishly limited her craft after having heard an account from one of those who shared with her a sad experience via a private message correspondence.
This isn’t the first time a ruckus was raised regarding this issue. A couple of years ago a German cosplayer changed her skin tone via makeup, according to Uproxx. A couple of years ago cosplay enthusiast Kira Markeljc, a.k.a Purple Candy Cosplay, was attacked by the Internet in regards to her Walking Dead Michonne costume.
It was apparently a side-by-side test shot as she was conducting prep work for the costume. Negative reaction ensued which caused her to delete the photo and post a message defending herself and the character’s representation.
Do you think the Overwatch Sombra cosplay reaction by Pion Kim was justifiable? Do you think that eliminating changing the color of her skin was a reasonable response?
[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard /Getty Images]