A Black Woman Seeks Joy Through Victorian Cosplay in 'Black Girl in a Big Dress'

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Black Girl in a Big Dress [Web-Series] premiered days ago. It's a web-series about a black woman who is into Victorian cosplaying. It was created by and stars Aydrea Walden.

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A Black Woman Seeks Joy Through Victorian Cosplay in 'Black Girl in a Big Dress' (source)
Creator and star Aydrea Walden: "Sometimes, Black people stay up all night at swing dance competitions, or get up early to watch British sitcoms before work.”

"When she’s not writing for animated shows like Nickelodeon’s “ChalkZone,” Aydrea Walden fills her time with hobbies that she thinks people will find strange.

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I’ve always had weird hobbies, especially for a Black person—or so I’ve been told,” she said in an emailed press release. “In high school, I loved Shakespeare and classical music. I mimed a few times. In college, I studied opera and ballet. And now, I attend swing dancing events, Renaissance Fairs and this one Victorian dance society class.”

Trailer:

She draws on these hobbies—and people’s reactions to them—in “Black Girl in a Big Dress,” her new eight-episode web series that premieres today (October 4). Walden stars as Adrienne, a Black cosplayer who confuses her family and friends by adopting Victorian era clothes and speech. The series follows Adrienne as she starts a relationship with someone from her Victorian reenactment events, all while enduring the judgment of her loved ones.

Walden says in the release that she often encounters industry pressure to develop Black characters that conform to stereotypes. She created “Black Girl in a Big Dress” to push against those perceptions.

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I love that people are looking for more and more diverse stories,” Walden says. “But I find that I’m still getting asked to create characters that are more typically ‘Black.’ Like a lot of writers, I draw from my life experience when I’m writing. And sometimes, Black people stay up all night at swing dance competitions, or get up early to watch British sitcoms before work.


Episode 1:

Episode 2:
Available on their Facebook page.


clip from episode 2:

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It seems cute. I like Victorian era clothing myself and historical fashion. Thoughts?
 
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The Many Faced God
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I’ve always had weird hobbies, especially for a Black person—or so I’ve been told,” she said in an emailed press release. “In high school, I loved Shakespeare and classical music. I mimed a few times. In college, I studied opera and ballet. And now, I attend swing dancing events, Renaissance Fairs and this one Victorian dance society class.”
ob1.gif

: unamused: Because black people can't enjoy Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Pachelbel, Othello, Macbeth etc. her costumes are cute but this comment has me side eyeing her
 
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I’ve always had weird hobbies, especially for a Black person—or so I’ve been told,” she said in an emailed press release. “In high school, I loved Shakespeare and classical music. I mimed a few times. In college, I studied opera and ballet. And now, I attend swing dancing events, Renaissance Fairs and this one Victorian dance society class.”
ob1.gif

: unamused: Because black people can't enjoy Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Pachelbel, Othello, Macbeth etc. her costumes are cute but this comment has me side eyeing her

I think what she's getting at is that because she's black, she's not expected to like these things. That she's expected to be a stereotype and only like things that people think black people should like. And she's like, sometimes, black people like to do these other things too.
 
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I think what she's getting at is that because she's black, she's not expected to like these things. That she's expected to be a stereotype and only like things that people think black people should like. And she's like, sometimes, black people like to do these other things too.

I appreciate and get what your saying, but i get a vibe off of her that she's proud to be on of the supposed few black people to enjoy the arts when in reality i would say a majority of black people I know are involved in the arts whether it be through music, theatre, poetry etc. Black people are the arts. at least in my opinion
 
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I think what she's getting at is that because she's black, she's not expected to like these things. That she's expected to be a stereotype and only like things that people think black people should like. And she's like, sometimes, black people like to do these other things too.


Well she's just as narrow minded as the black people who think black people who said we should stick to black people things. Any other open minded black person or open minded person in general would know people can like whatever we please.
 
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I’ve always had weird hobbies, especially for a Black person—or so I’ve been told,” she said in an emailed press release. “In high school, I loved Shakespeare and classical music. I mimed a few times. In college, I studied opera and ballet. And now, I attend swing dancing events, Renaissance Fairs and this one Victorian dance society class.”
ob1.gif

: unamused: Because black people can't enjoy Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Pachelbel, Othello, Macbeth etc. her costumes are cute but this comment has me side eyeing her
Thought I was the only one who was side eyeing that bit. Giving me "special snowflake" "I'm not like thoooosee black folks, I'm different" tea.
 
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Well she's just as narrow minded as the black people who think black people who said we should stick to black people things. Any other open minded black person or open minded person in general would know people can like whatever we please.


How so? She made the series to call it out and show that it's not the case. She said she's been told it's weird to do because she's black, she didn't say it was herself. That's why she added the "---or so I've been told."
 
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Well she's just as narrow minded as the black people who think black people who said we should stick to black people things. Any other open minded black person or open minded person in general would know people can like whatever we please.

Thought I was the only one who was side eyeing that bit. Giving me "special snowflake" "I'm not like thoooosee black folks, I'm different" tea.

she looks cute and i'm happy she found something she enjoys so passionately... but girl, how many nikkas you know write poetry? how many black people were in theatre in highschool, how many black people ya'll know whose art is on level 10? Black people have ALWAYS loved and fkked HEAVILY with the arts.

it may be true that black people that are into victorian cosplay are rare but sis, look how blacks were treated during those times, and overall, even though there were black victorians, as a whole, the victorian era was not of blacks. she coulda left the Arts out of her comment and focused on her love of all things victorian.
 
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I’ve always had weird hobbies, especially for a Black person—or so I’ve been told,” she said in an emailed press release. “In high school, I loved Shakespeare and classical music. I mimed a few times. In college, I studied opera and ballet. And now, I attend swing dancing events, Renaissance Fairs and this one Victorian dance society class.”
ob1.gif

: unamused: Because black people can't enjoy Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Pachelbel, Othello, Macbeth etc. her costumes are cute but this comment has me side eyeing her
We are sooo not known in ballet and opera circles. Girl bye, next thing we know she'll be at one of those antebellum parties white people like to throw.
 
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As someone who was into Gothic Lolita fashion, people look at you like you're weirdo for being into such things and even within the community, you're not seen as a "proper" lolita because you're black. So I get where she's coming from. Nobody gets stereotyped as much as black people.
 
The Many Faced God
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We are sooo not known in ballet and opera circles. Girl bye, next thing we know she'll be at one of those antebellum parties white people like to throw.

nah girl, i'm talking about classical music, theatre, opera, literature, fine arts. Don't play like black people aren't heavily involved in these. you don't have to be a ballerina or an opera singer to appreciate and be knowledgeable about these or ANY of the arts. I know more black artists than i can count. just say "not many black people are into Victorian recreation" and go. that would not be erroneous. bringing the other disciplines into it is very questionable
tenor.gif
 
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nah girl, i'm talking about classical music, theatre, opera, literature, fine arts. Don't play like black people aren't heavily involved in these. you don't have to be a ballerina or an opera singer to appreciate and be knowledgeable about these or ANY of the arts. I know more black artists than i can count. just say "not many black people are into Victorian recreation" and go. that would not be erroneous. bringing the other disciplines into it is very questionable
tenor.gif

She's not saying she's weird for being black and liking the arts. She said she liked ballet, opera, and Shakespeare (you can hate these things and still be into theater, music, art, etc.). That those were her hobbies and that's why she's into Victorian cosplay and Renaissance fairs and that's where she gets her inspiration from. She didn't say it was weird for black people to like those things, she said she was told it was weird for her to like those things (ie: "-so I've been told") because she's black. Her character says, when told black people don't do shit like that, "Not true. I do shit like that and I'm black." The character even avoids calling it weird because she's black, but because she's from Texas or whatever. And in the second episode, a white man tries to tell her she can't be into these things because she's black and that she reminds him of a character from a slave movie.

Hip-Hop and rap is art. Nobody will deny that black people are expected to like that, but we definitely aren't expected to like Shakespeare and opera. That's just how the world sees us. We're often put in a box. We know it's not true...some of us, but she said as a writer, she is often asked to write these stereotypical black characters because that's probably the only way they see black people. Even when black people are into things like ballet and opera, it's not often shown. How many black characters on tv right now doing ballet? Singing in an opera? They don't show it. I honestly don't get what there is to be mad about when she's trying to break those stereotypes and tell a different story. She ends the article not with "I do these things," but that "sometimes black people do these things too."
 
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The Many Faced God
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She's not saying she's weird for being black and liking the arts. She said she liked ballet, opera, and Shakespeare (you can hate these things and still be into theater, music, art, etc.). That those were her hobbies and that's why she's into Victorian cosplay and Renaissance fairs and that's where she gets her inspiration from. She didn't say it was weird for black people to like those things, she said she was told it was weird for her to like those things (ie: "-so I've been told") because she's black. Her character says, when told black people don't do shit like that, "Not true. I do shit like that and I'm black." The character even avoids calling it weird because she's black, but because she's from Texas or whatever. And in the second episode, a white man tries to tell her she can't be into these things because she's black and that she reminds him of a character from a slave movie.

Hip-Hop and rap is art. Nobody will deny that black people are expected to like that, but we definitely aren't expected to like Shakespeare and opera. That's just how the world sees us. We're often put in a box. We know it's not true...some of us, but she said as a writer, she is often asked to write these stereotypical black characters because that's probably the only way they see black people. Even when black people are into things like ballet and opera, it's not often shown. How many black characters on tv right now doing ballet? Singing in an opera? They don't show it. I honestly don't get what there is to be mad about when she's trying to break those stereotypes and tell a different story.

"I’ve always had weird hobbies, especially for a Black person—or so I’ve been told...I loved Shakespeare and classical music. I mimed a few times. In college, I studied opera and ballet"

sigh, chile, nobody here is mad. and nobody said it's weird for black people to like anything except for her. I said I was side eyeing her. Many black people are into the very things she said are "weird" for black people to enjoy. I agree that the victorian thing is rare. However, she coulda kept the rest cause it's too many black people who contradict her statement sans the victorian thing. When have blacks ever been accurately portrayed on TV though? she should know better as a black person. she can showcase her Hobbies without tokenizing herself because she's really working backwards by generalizing the rest of us and portraying herself as the exception. I'm not trying to fight with you. I think what she's doing is admirable, and your gothic lolita hobby is cool too. I appreciate that both of you are fighting stereotypes. it's okay to agree to disagree, sis, no hard feelings. I'll leave your thread now.
 
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Y'all are a damn lie.

How many websites made for and by black people consistently talk about ballet, classical music and opera.

How many black radio stations and radio hosts are devoted to classical music and opera.

I have been to several operas, ballets and Victorian era plays and usually there are only a few other black people in attendance.
 
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Y'all are a damn lie.

How many websites made for and by black people consistently talk about ballet, classical music and opera.

How many black radio stations and radio hosts are devoted to classical music and opera.

I have been to several operas, ballets and Victorian era plays and usually there are only a few other black people in attendance.

They may not be the majority but they still exist and there may be groups online dedicated for black people. Often black people think they are the only ones in the world that like these things but the Internet is a good way for other black people to find other black people.

Just because you went to an Opera and saw less Black people doesn't mean black people don't like the Opera. There could be many reason why you didn't see as many black people there. You sound as narrow minded as the black woman playing dress up. Like I say to white people just because you don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. For you as a black person to assume that black people cannot be cultured is shameful.
 
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"I’ve always had weird hobbies, especially for a Black person—or so I’ve been told...I loved Shakespeare and classical music. I mimed a few times. In college, I studied opera and ballet"

sigh, chile, nobody here is mad. and nobody said it's weird for black people to like anything except for her. I said I was side eyeing her. Many black people are into the very things she said are "weird" for black people to enjoy. I agree that the victorian thing is rare. However, she coulda kept the rest cause it's too many black people who contradict her statement sans the victorian thing. When have blacks ever been accurately portrayed on TV though? she should know better as a black person. she can showcase her Hobbies without tokenizing herself because she's really working backwards by generalizing the rest of us and portraying herself as the exception. I'm not trying to fight with you. I think what she's doing is admirable, and your gothic lolita hobby is cool too. I appreciate that both of you are fighting stereotypes. it's okay to agree to disagree, sis, no hard feelings. I'll leave your thread now.

"-Or so I’ve been told" is added after it. It implies she's calling it weird because she's been told it's weird. I think it's meant to be sarcastic. That's how I read it, anyway. But okay. Thank you.
 
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They may not be the majority but they still exist and there may be groups online dedicated for black people. Often black people think they are the only ones in the world that like these things but the Internet is a good way for other black people to find other black people.

Just because you went to an Opera and saw less Black people doesn't mean black people don't like the Opera. There could be many reason why you didn't see as many black people there. You sound as narrow minded as the black woman playing dress up. Like I say to white people just because you don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. For you as a black person to assume that black people cannot be cultured is shameful.

What does any of the aforementioned have to with being "cultured"?

And no one said there are absolutely no black people who enjoy these things, it's just considered rare. Which is this woman's point. Some of you are ready to jump on this woman when she meant no harm.
 

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