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Henry King, Lorraine. "Black skin as costume in Black Panther." Film, Fashion {&} Consumption 10. (2021): 265–76. 
Added by: joachim (10/7/21, 4:22 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (4/6/24, 1:15 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1386/ffc_00024_3
BibTeX citation key: HenryKing2021
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Black Panther", Adaptation, Ethnicity, Film adaptation, Mask, Stereotypes, Superhero, USA
Creators: Henry King
Collection: Film, Fashion & Consumption
Views: 25/975
As a costume, textile and surface adornment practitioner my research focuses on how skin contributes to the reading of a costume. Black Panther’s (2018) Oscar winning costume by Ruth E. Carter conformation to whilst also breaking traditional superhero costuming tropes feeds directly into my research on reading black skin as heroic. The visual disruption to the limited and negative narratives usually embedded within black skin are subtly challenged by Carter’s use of both black primordial and superhero skin-like costumes to signify the heroic. The costuming of a black superhero and nemesis frame the black body in action away from the negative stereotypes of Bogle’s hypersexual buck. The reading of black skin as heroic underpins the practice’s explorations away from the binary of black and white skin to the many shades of brown the moniker of black represents. It is the repetition of skin as metaphor where both superhero costumed skin and primordial skin demonstrate the multiplicity between superhero, his alter-ego and Bogle’s stereotypes that form the basis of this article. Black skin as costume explores how skin colour, according to Dyer has been used to other the black body and rank it below that of the white body within postcolonial readings. Traditionally systemic racism in action films has seamlessly placed the white body and skin as inherently heroic whilst reading the equivalent black body and skin negatively. My practice explores equity of black and brown skin as strong, precious and powerful so that any costumes, textiles or surface decoration I create would read the same when placed on a black body as they would on a white body.
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