Sorry about your arms, bro.

I actually wanted to a pre-Halloween reveal of my costume here on the blog but then I… just didn’t. So you get these after-the-fact photos, which is still cool. Alex and I decided that I would be Michonne from the comic/TV series The Walking Dead (which, if you’re not watching and/or reading, come get your life because it is crazy good) and he would be one of my zombie pack mules. If you’re not familiar with the series or wanting to get into it, I’m not really spoiling anything by telling you that Michonne is a dreadlocked, katana-wielding badass who has managed to survive alone and has a couple of “walkers” chained to her at all times as a deterrent from the rest of the undead. “But Bri, how does she keep them from attacking her?”, you may ask (no one asked). Because she’s CHOPPED OFF THEIR ARMS AND TORN OFF THEIR JAWS, that’s why.

My costume was fairly easy to put together – almost every piece of clothing was already in my wardrobe. The final three pieces of the puzzle were a cloak, a sword and the hair. The sword was easy, one of my roommates is a collector. The cloak took a little bit of hunting but I found one on eBay. It arrived and I realized it was wool and thought, “Great, I’m going to melt in this thing!” as at the time, we were still experiencing high temperatures in the mid to high 80s. But as luck would have it, a cold front came through Halloween weekend so I was nice and warm under my cloak as it dipped into the 50s that night.

For the hair, I thought about doing yarn braids in my hair for a more authentic look but I ultimately decided that it would end up taking too long, I’d probably get done with a quarter of my head before I said “(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻” and the whole thing would just be a waste of time and opted for a wig. I thought a dreadlock wig would be fairly easy to find but after hitting up several Halloween/party stores, I was disappointed by the selection. There were dreadlock wigs available at most that I went to but they ended up looking 1) cheap and terrible and not at all what they looked like on the packaging and/or 2) they were attached to some kind of “generic rasta guy” hat. Not exactly the look I was going for. My first choice should’ve been supporting a local business (especially since they’re literally down the street from me) because Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds hooked me up with a decent wig AND the guy who helped me also suggested this big chain for Alex to wear around his neck! I ended up taking one of the links apart and making it into a leash, so it was perfect. As Halloween got closer, I ended up going back to Lucy in Disguise for a cheap plastic sword, because I didn’t want the real one to get confiscated by cops if we ended up downtown later. The only thing left was the matter of figuring out how to get all this under a wig to avoid Predator-head (answer: wet hair, lots of twists, lots of bobby pins and a stocking cap).

Put it all together and what have you got? I don’t know, you tell me. Here I am with a floppy-ass plastic sword:

Photo credit: Me!

Photo credit: Noelle Shelp

Then I remembered the real sword!

Photo credit: Justin Turner Arthur

Also check out Alex’s makeup, which I applied following the official Walking Dead zombie makeup tutorial. I obviously couldn’t hack off his jaw, but he had the brilliant idea to at least simulate being unable to attack with a bandage. Of course, this made eating/drinking an adventure but I admire his commitment. He also had a perfect zombie shuffle.

Photo credit: Justin Turner Arthur

Photo credit: Justin Turner Arthur

After the party, we went downtown for a bit, where the few people that seemed to get our costumes were very enthusiastic. A couple people even asked for pictures. Is this what ComiCon feels like? Halloween: where everyone’s a cosplayer and the world is your con.

P.S. I got a like on Instagram from the official Walking Dead (the TV series) Instagram, which I didn’t know was A Thing until they liked my picture.

OK Cupidity.

I have been loving the recent posts over at the OK Cupid blog, OK Trends. First, the OKC team takes all those seemingly meaningless questions they make their users answer to see how well people should match up, based on race and religion – then they knock the whole thing on its head when they throw in peoples’ actual preferences.

I find these studies of particular personal interest, not just because of my concern for race relations and love of social media, but also because I met my boyfriend of one year on OKC and we are also in an interracial relationship. Mostly OKC’s findings confirm what me and many other people of color who have tried online dating already knew.

To be honest, when I was still on the market and very much open to dating practically anyone, I was wary enough of rejection due to my race that I very rarely reached out to guys on the site that I thought were cute and interesting based on their profiles. I figured that it wasn’t even worth putting myself out there since black women typically are considered the “bottom of the barrel” when presented with the media and society’s images of “what men want.” So I mostly waited for guys to contact me and then decide from their first message whether or not I wanted to respond – and if I didn’t, it had to do with their lack of grammar or reading comprehension skills, not with race. Thankfully, my boyfriend, (who had showed up in my matches on the site several times and who I thought was pretty cute but sounded way too good to for me based on his profile), messaged me first and the rest, as they say, is history.

I feel like I had a whole lot more to write about this but my brain won’t let me at the moment. In the meantime, another interesting related read is Racialicious‘ (love love love them, too!) analysis of the findings. Also, I really wonder how their findings would translate with same-sex couplings (I’m not sure OK Trends plans to explore this but I hope they do!).