Meet Tranquil Ashes, The Full-Sized Cosplayer of Your Dreams
Above is Anita, her cosplay handle is Tranquil Ashes Cosplay. She is a full-sized cosplayer who loves to travel, eat Steak and potatoes, loves everything about Game of Thrones and all nerdum. She spent a lot of time in Japan and began her journey into becoming a make up artist.
"...cosplaying is such a fun and fulfilling experience for me, and even though I am faced with a large amount of adversity being a queer, Full sized, African-American woman. I honestly can't think of anything I spend more time on, or enjoying."
1. When did you decide you wanted to dress up as your favorite anime character? The first time I ever cosplayed was my first year in HS and it was Urd from Ah! My Goddess. There weren’t a lot of brown characters in anime, and having a beautiful and strong character like Urd look like me it was instant love. That and she’s kick ass!
2. You have been cosplaying for a while now, why do you keep going? I’ve been cosplaying in earnest for around 5 years now. It’s something that I love to do. So it’s pretty easy to continue to do something that you have fun doing. That and I’ve met some really great people along the way.
3. Name 3 of your favorite characters wardrobes? Three of my favorite cosplays would have to be Rose Quartz from Steven Universe, Yang from RWBY, and my Barbarian Snorlax Gajinka from the ever famous Pokemon.
4. You have been invited to talk at anime conventions recently, can you speak on that experience? I haven’t been asked to be a Guest at a convention as of yet, but I am going to be a panelist for Beach City Con in October this year. It’ll be my first time. It’s nerve racking but exciting.
5. What has the reception been for you cosplaying as both an African American woman and a plus size woman? It has truly been a mixed bag of reactions. I’ve been told on one hand I inspire others that don’t fit societal body norms, and on the other been told that I was fat and the wrong color to cosplay a certain character. I take criticism with a grain of salt, not everyone is going to be happy with what you produce, and that is perfectly fine.
6. What do you think is the biggest misconceptions about black people, anime, and cosplay? I think one could talk at length about the misconceptions of POC within the cosplay and nerd community. My biggest thing would be to say that there isn’t only one type of POC nerd. We are a varied and wonderful mix of people who happen to enjoy the same things.
7. Any recommendations for plus size cosplayers? Take this opportunity to be unique. You have the opportunity to show others what a character could look like, or an entirely different redesign on a character. Something that fits you and makes you feel comfortable. The key is, you’re doing this for you. If it makes you happy, that’s the end of the sentence.
8. Do you have favorite black and brown cosplayers we should know about? I am a huge fan of Ivy Doom Kitty, who is one of the first POC woman I started to follow that inspired me to think that a plus-size woman could do the damn thing. Also I love Brichibi Cosplays, she is so smart and talented and imaginative. If you don’t follow her, you definitely should!
9. Have you learned anything about yourself through dressing in cosplay? I’ve learned how important representation in the cosplay community is. Cosplay is for everyone, yet there still aren’t many well known, career making plus size cosplayers. I hope to be one, one day and I hope I can inspire others to follow their passions as well.
10. How would you like to change plus size cosplay or do you think it is fine the way it is? Representation as I mentioned before! There needs to be more of us, showing the world what we have! It starts with yourself though. Cosplaying needs to be for you first!
11. Who are your favorite characters to cosplay or to see cosplayed? Rose Quartz is currently my favorite character to cosplay. I’ve made two versions of her and have more ideas for variants of this character in the future. I will also never tire of Sailor Moon cosplay! I’m a moonie. What can I say lol
12. Where do you think anime is going as far as representing black and brown characters? There have been several animes in the last 5 years that have shown some strong black female characters...do you think this is enough? There are more brown characters showing up across all nerd fandom, but I can tell you it will never be enough. However it’s good that change is evident. It’s only up from here!