Is this really the hill people want to die on? It is … ? Okay, let’s go, I guess.
Some people have decided that they want to explain that it is not racism that’s behind their hatred of Titans’ Starfire being played by black actress Anna Diop. Nope, they’ll be sure to tell you that it’s because she’s dressed like a “prostitute” or “hooker.”
Where to begin? Well, let’s start with the non-racial issues and the work our way down. So let’s begin with the costume. For reference, this is Starfire’s costume in the upcoming show from what we have seen thus far.
Let’s not be out here pretending that this is a lot of skin for Starfire. She shows less skin in the promo for Titans than she does in Teen Titans, a show aimed at children and other vague youth demographics. And as I’ve said before, I (mostly) enjoy Starfire’s comic costumes, even though some are just … too fanservice-y and make zero sense in terms of humanoid physics.
Secondly, she looks like a “prostitute”? You mean she looks like a sex worker? And that’s a bad thing how? Is the idea of Starfire working for a living offensive to you? Also, do you think all sex workers dress like extras from a ’70s exploitation movie? This shorthand for sex work = bad is not only sexist, but in this case, the criticsim itself is based on nothing but a dated, stereotypical idea of what a black sex worker looks like.
Finally, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of it all: race. Look, before we do anything, let’s get this out. If you don’t like Starfire in Titans so far because you don’t like the costume or styling then welcome, you have joined the majority of people on the internet, including this writer. Thinking Starfire’s costume is bad =/= racism. Making racist comments about the actress playing her and harassing her about it = racism.
And if you are not using racism in the way you are criticizing Starfire … why are you so defensive? So defensive, in fact, that you will use sexist coded language to somehow make it “better.”
“No, we don’t have a problem with Starfire being black. We have a problem with Starfire looking like a black prostitute, even though she is wearing more clothes than any of her incarnations to date.”