Disney has introduced the newest princess, Moana, to their ever-growing club of fabulous nobles. This new royal is adventurous, brave, and selfless. She also represents the first Polynesian princess in the big Mouse’s lineup of dignitaries. When us cosplayers get to see some inklings of representation within the media we actively participate in, as well as consume, we pretty much go over the moon about. I had the extreme pleasure of being able to interview one cosplayer who is happy to see Moana on the big screen. Please enjoy this interview with Monet Michiko Cosplay.
Black Nerd Problems: If you could brunch with one celebrity or fictional character, who would it be and why?
Monet Michiko: I’d really love to have brunch with my favorite cosplayer of all time, Yaya Han. Yaya is a very inspirational role model to me (since I was in middle school!). She is intelligent, talented, and so beautiful!
BNP: Tell us your story! What is your life currently all about?
MM: My life is pretty boring for the most part, haha. I go to college, majoring in psychology and a minor in education. When I am not at school, I am working my retail job to pay bills. Then on my free time, I make costumes because it’s a fun hobby for me! I love the process of making it than wearing it. (I usually throw away my costumes after a one time use)
BNP: What does it signify to you that a behemoth of a media and entertainment company like Disney has finally decided to include a Polynesian Princess to their world?
MM: I think it is really amazing because Disney has such a huge impact on children to adults with the theme/meaning to the story plots. I believe Moana will shed light on the Polynesian culture, teach children about- whatever the plot line will be about, and show a lot of diversity to the Disney universe.
BNP: How do you feel about representation in media as well as in the cosplay community? Is there anything you’d want to change?
MM: The representation in media and the cosplay community makes me happy. I think it’s super amazing that people are taking a huge liking to Moana, cosplaying as her and/or Maui so quickly! I personally love how Disney covered Maui in tattoos, growing up in Hawaii, I’ve seen many Polynesian men and women have Maori tribal tattoos all over their bodies. To me personally, I wouldn’t change anything I’ve seen so far.
BNP: What are your goals for the future?
MM: Since college is very expensive, I am planning on joining the U.S. military after my semester is over. Cosplay wise, I hope to improve my craftsmanship with every new project I do and travel to more conventions.
Be sure to check out Monet Michiko’s cosplay page.
Photography Credit: Anima Skye Cosplay & Eric Baranda