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Courtesy of Alden Wicker. Now that it's socially acceptable i. This story was originally published on 19th October Halloween is hands-down my favourite holiday. However, things got a little complicated a few years ago when I switched on NPR in the car and heard someone talking about how offensive it is when a white girl like me puts on moccasins, sticks a feather in her hair, and calls herself a sexy Indian for Halloween. The argument at its most basic goes like this: Three years ago, when it snowed on Halloween in New York, I pulled on a pair of big, furry Muk Luk boots, accessorised with every other fur accessory I could find, and called myself an Eskimo.
I felt beautiful, but who did I piss off as I raved all weekend with a bindi on my forehead? Courtesy of Halloween Costumes. I called up several experts on cultural appropriation and got their take. It comes down to Halloween being a goofy, silly holiday where people are trying to be clever and funny with their costumes. Hence why so many women dress in an overtly sexual manner, because they can reclaim it in a way that becomes acceptable on Halloween. Mexican cowgirl sexy is the author of Who Owns Culture: Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law.
Put another way, minorities have to put up with so much real BS every day of their lives — discrimination, hostility, structural violence and exploitation — then they go out on Halloween and everywhere they turn are people making fun of them and their family and friends using erroneous stereotypes. Or being a Muslim and unable to get on a plane without being pulled out of the security line, and seeing someone dressed up as a terrorist?
Akbari cautions against being too strident. Halloween in many ways is about pushing the envelope. Every costume can offend in the right context. Here are some more specific guidelines I found: What if — no. What about if — no. Not if you are dressing up as a Black celebrity, or even as Rachel Dolezal, the woman who literally wore blackface in real life. Leave that one alone. Just show your creativity. Wear a bodysuit, stockings, heels and a crown and be Queen Bey. Get your partner in partying to wear a tux and, bam, most powerful couple in Brooklyn.
No blackface or stereotypes needed. Courtesy of Costume SuperCenter. Or any Native American costume. These costumes are playing off stereotypes of people, and we know stereotypes have negative impacts on us on a daily basis. Oh, and on the topic of headdresses: Through her hard work and advocacy, Dr. Metcalfe has earned a total of two. The feathers of many people can come together to create the headdress of one leader.
You might have a fun time being dressed up as a sexy Geisha, but you can take off the costume and continue living undisturbed. Meanwhile, actual Japanese women well, Asian women in general are subjected to people fetishizing their looks without any easy way to make it stop. Same goes for a "sexy Gypsy" costume: Courtesy of Party City. Advertisement When in doubt, go as something mythical, from an extinct culture, or from a dominant culture.
So you want to dress as some sort of person, as opposed to an animal or a play on words. So put on your tennis whites and have a good time. Anyone offended by your WASP costume can comfort themselves with a gin and tonic. If you just have to do it, be ready to have a conversation. You brought this on yourself. But when I see the more offensive costumes, I talk to them about it.
I would want [people in costume] to be prepared to have that conversation. Now that you know, you might feel the need to righteously tell every person you see in an offensive costume all about it. Just be gentle about it. It comes from a lack of knowledge and carelessness. This awareness is relatively recent. But she would appreciate you being an ally for her ahead of and during Halloween. Just be mindful of the mindset that people are in, which is to say, drunk and rowdy.