ChibiTifa is a Cuban, Dominican and Jamaican mixed Cosplayplayer out of Maryland. She has been cosplaying for about 8 years. She is also a writer and majoring in English/Journalism. The Comic Cons she normally goes to are generally on the East Coast, but if she is able she does travel. Thankfully I was able to get her to sit down long enough to answer a few questions about Cosplaying. Now generally a lot of the Cosplay models that you will see will be either white or Asian, so to be Black and a Cosplayer is something unique. So you can understand why I was excited to get her to agree to jump into the hot seat here at GuysNation.com

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Mr. Incredible: How did you get in cosplay?

ChibiTifa: My first convention was Otakon 2002 and I was quite surprised at the amount of people that were dressed up as their favorite characters. Ever since then, I’ve wanted do to the same and finally at Otakon 2004, I wore my first costume which was Anthy Himemiya from Revolutionary Girl Utena. The rest is history from there!

Mr. Incredible: Do you ever feel limited to who you can dress up as due to your looks?

ChibiTifa: To be honest, I did at first, which was why my first costume was Anthy who happened to be a dark skinned character. I didn’t want to ridiculed and I wanted to look exactly like who I was cosplaying. As I grew older, I tended to want to cosplay whomever I wanted because I liked the character, regardless of skin tone. Right now, I do just that. I cosplay whoever I want because of tha love of the character. If haters wanna hate, let them, but it’s all just water off my back.

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Mr. Incredible: The reason why I wanted to interview you is beacause you don’t normally see cosplayers of African decent. Why is that?

ChibiTifa: I really think it’s because many people of color tend to feel that they shouldn’t cosplay due to the fear of being made fun of or called horrible things. We all know people on sites like 4chan and Reddit love to do this. They feel much more comfortable hiding behind a computer screen mocking cosplayers and throwing hideous insults. It’s something a lot of people of color don’t want to deal with, so they don’t bother with the hobby.

Another reason could be the lack of darker skinned characters in media such as anime and games. I have found that a lot of people of color tend to want to stick with their own skin tone for the aforementioned reason, and since anime and video games don’t have too many of those characters to choose from, they tend to only do those characters or just shy away from cosplaying anything at all.

One thing I’ve noticed though is that that the amount of cosplayers of color are increasing dramatically. This makes me happy and it shows that they are starting to care less and less about the critisim they’ll get.

Mr. Incredible: Who are some of the people you like dressing up as?

ChibiTifa: Anthy Himemiya was my first costume and I have always adored cosplaying her ever since. I plan on making several of her costumes throughout my time as a cosplayer. I also loved cosplaying Litchi Faye-Ling (Blazeblue) and Misty Knight (Marvel’s Heroes for Hire) as I had so much fun in both of those costumes as well!

Mr. Incredible: What has been your most difficult cosplay to do?

ChibiTifa: So far, it has to be Kat from Gravity Rush. That costume required a lot of altering patterns and boning in order to make it fit somewhat well. The cording on the front of the costume was difficult to work with as well, but after hours of fighting with it, I came out victorious!

Mr. Incredible: Now I imagine being a female geek you must get some strange requests and comments….

ChibiTifa: I do get the occassional lewd comments on my costumes from people who have no respect whatsoever. I just delete them and move on with my life. As far as requests, I don’t get too many of those. I can’t think of any that come to mind.

Mr. Incredible: Now, a lot of the costumes you do require that you do modding or create from stratch. Were these skills you have always had or learned along the way?

ChibiTifa: I very rarely modify anything. If I do, then it’s for a costume that I don’t really have to sew and that I can just get the clothing for. For example, I recently cosplayed Aoi Asahina from Dangan Ronpa and that character wears a white tank top, a red track jacket and track short. So, I just went to Target and got all that. I make most of my costumes from stratch because I tend to pick somewhat difficult costumes. I am mostly self-taught but I used to get help from my grandmother earlier in the hobby. Some skills I have acquired while working on particular costumes that needed use of them.

Mr. Incredible: Do you feel as a female that you have to sometimes defend your geekiness?

ChibiTifa: Oh yeah, all the time. Like so many other female geeks, I get my “geek/nerd cred” questioned. “Do you REALLY read comic books?” “Have you even played that game?” “Are you just saying you like that stuff to get a nerdy guy to like you?” Those are the questions I get a lot. Even when I walk into certain game stores, I get stares and asked if I’m getting something for my brother or boyfriend rather than myself. I handle myself very well and many guys are shocked when I prove that I do like the same stuff they do.

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Mr. Incredible: What are some of your other geeky pleasures besides cosplaying?

ChibiTifa: I’m an avid gamer and comic book reader. I do watch the anime occassionally sometimes as well. My PS3 and my 3DS are some of my best friends on a weekend when I’m not working on cosplay!

Mr. Incredible: Who are some of the other cosplayers you think people should check out?

ChibiTifa: Knightess Rouge, Kamikaze Miko, Blikku, Sonified, Cupcake Cosplay, Tess Rufflebutt, Mostflogged just to name a few. I’m very good friends with a lot of these talented cosplayers. They all have Facebook pages so be sure to check the out!

Mr. Incredible: Thank you for taking the time out to answer some questions. Is there anything extra you want to tell fans reading this?

ChibiTifa: Thank you for interviewing me! I will say this: Don’t let anything hold you back from doing what you love. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE can cosplay whomever they want. This hobby is about having fun and everyone deserves to experience just how fun it can be. If you want to see more of my costumes and follow my progress on other ones, be sure to like my page on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ChibiTifa.Cos