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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

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naivete
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I wanted to post this up for discussion, debate, deconstruction.

As you guys are choosing costumes this year for yourselves and your children, are you choosing things that are politically correct when it comes to races, genders, feminism, etc, or is it all just fun and games?

For example, one of my own biggest pet peeves. The costume "Indian girl". I don't mind Pocahontas as it is based on something that happened and it is a Disney character, but as only Disney can release a Pocahontas costume, most other places come up with "Indian" or "Indian Girl" costumes that look like Pocahontas for a cheaper alternative.

It makes me angry when I see this, kind of like when I saw Outkast and their on stage costumes. I don't see my race as anything to dress up as, I don't see how it can be a costume on the racks next to ghosts, goblins, etc. I don't see why it's taken so lightly, when if there were a "black girl" costume that perpetuated the stereotypes against black people, there would be more outrage.

I'm also talking about "pimp" costumes, where the pimp only comes in one theme, black man, big suit and either an afro or a fedora with a feather and "bling".

Mainly I'm talking about how the majority of Halloween costumes for men come in comfortable, respectable and non-revealing items, but if I wanted to be a policewoman for Halloween, I bet you anything the majority of the costumes I'd find would be cleavage-bearing, short-short wearing, very revealing costumes.

Why is it that the majority of costumes that stores sell are "slutty nurse", "hooker", "naughty witch", "slutty angel". Why is it that we as women, even as feminist women, feel the need to expose ourselves on Halloween in these tiny costumes and gobble them up as if they were acceptable? Doesn't it seem demeaning or anti-woman in any way? I'm not judging at all and am also trying to figure things out for myself and deconstruct my own costumes, I myself two halloweens ago, was a "slutty angel", with a short-short low cut barely there minidress and knee-high gogo boots, the only thing really making it an "angel" costume, was the halo and wings.

Is it empowering to dress in revealing outfits on the one day you can get away with it? Why do women feel it's the only day they can do it and be comfortable in doing so? Why do stores automatically assume that because we have a vagina, that we'd like to show it to everyone on Halloween in a "naughty schoolgirl" outfit and why grabbing these outfits off the rack in the millions without even a thought as to the fact that there are barely any costumes for women that don't show off the majority of your flesh. Are we doing it for guys to live out the majority of their sexual fantasies in a tiny-barely-there school girl outfit? For ourselves? For fun? Without even realizing implications behind every costume, are we offending other women, children, races?

I remember when I wore my slutty angel outfit.. I was out in -20 weather thinking.. what the hell am I doing wearing this, I'm practically naked. As I won first place in the costume judging as well, against a woman who had a very intricate outfit that she made herself that was both funny and great, I had to wonder if the only reason I truly won is because mine was barely there.

Thoughts? Comments?

Elizlibelle
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I've been wondering the same thing. Last year I bought a costume from Hot Topic that was black latex and knee boots and a whip It was supposd to be a nurse but I turned it into dominatrix. The feminist side of me at the time said it was wrong. But I am very conservative most of the time and at the time I was considered overweight so I was also challenging people to say something because I wasn't tiny. Most of the time I just do it for fun. But we should really try to put a better view on it I think and stop making ourselves out to be sex objects, unless we choose too. This year I am going to be a pregnant nun! What's sexy about that? LOL I just thought it was a funny idea.

LessThenLove
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I see absolutly nothing wrong with showing off as much skin as you like. Personally, I would not buy a costume that had the word "slut" in it becuase I find that offensive. Last year I was a sex doctor and I totally don't see anything wrong with being that. It was a big hit! My teachers loved it! This year I am being a bubble bath.

adifferentme
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

You know, I agree.

I want to be a pirate for halloween.

But all the costumes I can find either actually SAY something like "Pirate Wench" or "Pirate's Girl" in the title, or else they're these little teeny costumes that don't say "I'm the scourge of the Seas!"...they say "fuck me."

I don't care you you talk to, one can't go gallivanting about on a schooner, or engaging in firey ocean battles wearing one of those...

bluemystique82
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I guarantee you anything that MEN design the majority of those costumes.

Audreysmommy
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

naivete not to brush aside anything else you wrote, but focusing specifically on your mentioning of Outkast and the way they dressed onstage, maybe they were just acknowledging the fact that they may have some Native American backgrounds (as many blacks living in the United States do). As for the rest of what you wrote I also agree that people need to be a little more conscious of what they deem as appropriate costumes.

Chica
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

In my own opinion I do not find the costumes demeaning and nor have I ever saw a costume that said slut slutty nurse, all teh ones I seen say devious nurse or naughty ect. But I cannot speak for everyone thats just my own personal feelings. I wouldnt wear one because thats just not me but I dont mind seeing it on someone else. I dont think its to show off your goods to please guys its all out of fun for some people.

The one thing that really bothers me is when I see little girls and im talking small 4-8 maybe trick or treating in revealing costumes, I cant really pin point one feeling that makes me feel uncomfortable. My youngest cousin 2 years ago wanted to be a hooker from kensington (area in philly) and her mother allowed it went out and bought her all types of stuff and her only being 7 "shrugs"
Being from philadelphia I saw alot of that over the years and also children dressed as hobos, bums and I feel so bad because someone has to really live that life and they are making fun of them basically.

As for the kids costumes I like the fictional characters as in winnie the pooh, spiderman along those lines because imo thats what a child should wear nothing revealing just cute.

I hope I didnt upset anyone by what I said remember its just my opinion

maja
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Lets not forget that Halloween is a bastardisation and commercialisation of a Pagan tradition! But hey, then again so is Yuletide (midwinter celebration usually starting 23 December stolen by Christians and called Christmas even though Christ wasn't even born in December - he was born in August or September!)

And when hateful/stereotypical images of a witches are used it is perpetuating the the propagada that lead to the near destruction of religions that pre-dated Christianity and the estimated 10 million women killed during the many Witchhunts.
Celebrating Halloween is pretty rare over here. Though if you follow the Southern Hemisphere schedule for pagan festivities it was 6 months ago. Occasionally I've burnt a candle for people who've passed on but I don't really celebrate much as I don't identify with one religion strictly, however my mother is Wicca.

Naivete, I really see what you are saying by the commmodification of Native identity. It happens so much with Roma as well. There are so many brand names Gypsy this & Gypsy that. People dress up as Gypsy like being Rom is nothing more than a story book charactor. People talk of the "Gypsy look" being in (I wonder if the persecution comes with the flowing skirts they buy, huh?) Or describe themselves as Gypsy because like like to travel :roll:

Mommyme, I am totally uncomfortable those kinda costumes you mentioned. Its the sexualisation of children, to fit an adult model. Its one thing for a girl to play dress up as an adult women, but what message is there when adult woman = male sexual fantasy?

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I've never really been one to wear skimpy clothes, whether it's Halloween or not.

I enjoy just taking my kid to trick-or-treat every year. We got him an awesome dragon costume at Goodwill this year for only about $15 (it probably would've cost $30 or more brand new). I just get to sit in the back of my mom's pickup truck while the kid runs up to houses and gets candy, then when we get home, I still get to eat any candy I want. :)

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I'm Native and my husband's ex is dressing her daughter up as a Native American, with "war paint" and all kinds of other ridiculous stereotypical crap. It makes me furious and feels like she is shitting on my heritage.
I'm Native- do I walk around with my face all painted up, yelping all day long? No. It's really insesnsitive. Dressing as a historical figure is one thing but this is another thing entirely.

julie
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Good reminders about not appropriating other people's cultures just to have a good Halloween costume. My hope is that most people don't realize why it's upsetting, they've just bought the "Generic Native American" or "Sexy Hula Girl in Coconut Bra" image without really questioning it, and when they have it pointed out that the costume carries much more weight than they'd originally thought, they'd put a stop to it...

The discussion of women's costumes in general though is much stickier. Dressing in skimpy, revealing clothes is something I wonder about all year long, not just during Halloween.
I know that going out in something that makes me look stereotypically hot makes me feel good, and often, i tend to try and avoid the question of WHY it makes me feel that way. i haven't quite bought into "if it feels good, do it" feminism that believes that if doing something makes us happy, it must be okay and i know it's silly to think that what we wear has no effect on perceptions of women. sure it might build my self-confidence to know someone thinks i'm hot, but i can't get away from the fact that that reward comes from dressing how they want me to dress. in all honesty, push up bras and tight jeans aren't the most comfortable things to be wearing, so i can't fully buy "oh i'm doing this for ME!"

I go pretty strictly to gay bars, and I'm not comfortable all dressed up at straight ones because I don't like feeding into the idea men have that I'm dressing up to be one of many women on a visual buffet table just for them. and although i know that at a gay bar there will still be people looking at me and thinking certain things, i do think it's different when it's women. I don't think the rules at gay bars are so hard and fast and a more wide range of body types and appearanes are appreciated. you've got the sporty dykes, the mullet dykes, the butch ones, the femme ones (that's where i fit in), etc., and from what i've seen, one group is not considered more attractive than the others. at a straight bar i'd rather just be in jeans and a tank top, but at a gay bar it seems like a safer place to get to play more with things like that.

as far as costumes in particular, I suppose part of me wants to say, "but it's all in good fun!" my costume is more revealing than what i usually go out in. I'm mrs. white, the maid from clue, and the costume involves cleavage, a short skirt, and fishnet thigh highs. it makes me sad to know that when i was planning a halloween costume this year, the things i thought of were all similar to what you mentioned....a school girl, a dominatrix, etc. i suppose many of us obey the "Mean Girls" rules for Halloween, eh? i know part of it is the knowledge that everyone else will be doing it, and our society has told us that as far as appearance goes, we need to keep up..
I suppose I can sum this up by saying that i recognize i'm a sell-out, i know why, but i still do it. hmm..

*DamiensMommy*
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

As this happens to be my favorite holiday, but we call it Samhain.

We celebrate in differnt ways. But i included the commertilized aspect of it a bit this year. Austin was (and is i suppose) Spiderman. (we went to boo at the zoo on saturday so he wore it already). I did not wear a custome.

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Well, Destiny has always dressed pretty age appropriate I think.

Destiny has been a Teletubbie, Blue (from Blues Clues), Ladybug, Witch, Tinkerbell...and this year she is going to be a "Diva"...Her costume is long fuzzy pants with purple glittery fur around the bottom, and a shiny long sleeved purple shirt, It comes with a glittery, fuzzy purple hat and some black platform shoes..

Ive never really dressed up for Halloween, even as a child I never got to because of my parents religious beliefs.....

anj
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

i am white. theres a bit of blackfoot sioux in my heritage somewhere, and one of my grandfather's ancestors was a black slave girl. but those are quite far back, and MOST of my heritage is irish, so im am just a mutt. a white mutt. so i dont know how you all will take this, but i want you to know that i realize i have never been in these situations personally, and this is just how i feel.

i think that we ("we" as in white people lacking most knowledge of our cultural heritage) all get so fascinated and caught up with these hollywood images of other traditions and cultures, like the "indian girl" or the gypsy -- characters such as esmeralda and pocahantas glorify the images of those heritages, and we can only participate in that culture for one night a year, on halloween, when its the only time acceptable to pretend to be someone you're not. i have dressed as both a gypsy and an indian girl, and i really enjoyed it. i got to pretend to my hearts desire that i was actually part of these fascinating and mysterious cultures, and could actually claim these people as my own. it was never meant to be offensive, but more of a compliment. not because i wanted to perpetuate stereotypes, but because i longed to be a part of those cultures, and knew no better way to portray that desire. thats what its about for me, anyway.

even as far as the witch thing goes -- i claim wicca as mine own tradition. but i dont get offended when little girls dress as witches for halloween, because i feel it is because they have some sort of fascination with the mystical powers of the witch. in fact, im dressing as a witch this year myself. of course, instead of a green face and orange hair, ala the hulk, im wearing a lot of sparles and makeup, because i think witches are beautiful rather than ugly.... i mean, if you possessed that power, wouldnt you make yourself eternally young and beautiful, like circe of the odyssey?

now as far as the revealing costumes thing, i definitely think they should make pretty costumes for women that are not all skanky. however, i think the reason a lot of them ARE that way is because that is what sells. supply and demand, yes? we do this to ourselves as much as anyone else does. we like to play the mean girls halloween most times, and so the manufacturers give us that opportunity. i have always made my costume, or my mother has....except for the year that i was the black cat, with short black shorts and thigh-high black fishnets and a tail and pair of ears. and i bought into the slutty costume thing, pushing the demand up for the next year's tiny black cat costume. i think some of it has to do with what the men who design the costumes want to see us in, but i think it is equally our own doing.

naivete
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Well the difference being you chose to dress up in another culture out of respect. I don't see that here, I see a bunch of guys running around going "I'M AN INJUN" in a native american costume with a scalpel threatening cowboys (without of course, a clue as to the actual history of the culture, and further perpetuating ugly stereotypes which are just plain false and offensive). I've seen that. I actually got hit on a few years ago on Halloween, as I was an angel, by a very attractive caucasian man who I would have been VERY interested in, had it been under other circumstances - but he was dressed as a native american guy. He must have not realized I was not Spanish as most people think, and in fact native american, because you know how he approached me to begin with? Dancing around like an asshat (I guess trying to imitate traditional dancing) and whooping a "war cry", trying to dance with me.

I actually felt like crying. I called him an ignorant, insensitive prick and walked away. When he approached me later and asked why I had been so mean to him, I told him I didn't appreciate my heritage being made fun of by his ignorance. It was just a fun costume to him. He gave me his number, and I did call him a few times - I taught him what really happened and why how he acted was offensive to me, and then I left it at that.

If you KNOW the culture, and you know what's really gone down and you're doing it respectably and out of respect - then I really don't mind. Problem is not many people are doing it for the reasons you are. From what I've seen in the past - it's a gag costume, made to truly make fun of the culture instead of celebrate it and cherish it.

mae
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Well, I think women want to wear revealing costumes on halloween is because it's the one night where people on whole aren't judging you harshly for it. While women who normally wear tight, cleavage enhancing clothes are oggled by men, they also have snap jusgements made about them - by men and women, young and old. Halloween seems to be the one night where it's accpeted. Of course you'll be oggled by men, but it seems to come without all of that "she's loose" connotations. Alot of women want to be seen as sexy by men in that obvious way and this seems to be consequence-free way of doing that.
A friend of mine from Europe who was here on Halloween couldn't grasp these costumes, though. He said that there most women dress up in scary, macabre type costumes and he couldn't understand the relevance of naughty cheerleader. He says that in the US, Halloween is an excuse for men to hit on women in poor excuses for costumes. I don't know how true his portrayal of Halloween over in England is, though.

maja
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Agree with you Naivete.

Um I don't get this white people dressing up as other cultures out of respect thing... Years ago white comedians used paint their faces black, it is recognised now as being very fucking racist. So what's the diffrence with that and whites dressing up Native or Rom?
It isn't honouring at all.

However if a POC wants to dress up as a white (you know, have a knit jumper over your shoulders the whole suburabnite drag) that might be kinda subversive.

Whites over here seem to think they don't have a culture, thats what others have, they don't realise they are the dominant culture.
Appropriating adds insult to injury.

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I'm finding this topic really interesting. I have a deep desire to dress as a 'gypsy fortune teller' this year, but I couldn't help thinking of things along the line of maja and niavite's insights about it. The last thing I want to do is offend Roma people, or wiccans either.

But like Faeriesoulgazer said, I really LIKE taking that one day to dress up as someone else- to allow myself to experience the mystery and, as I imagine it (which may be something all-together different than the reality) the power of 'otherness.'... to be like someone I respect and admire from a distance.

What about a flamenco dancer? Is that a bad kind of cultural appropriation too?

Hmmm....

But then thinking about asshole guys dressed up like indians dancing around like jerks- that's disturbing. I'm sure glad I've never seen anything like that... White Westerner's fascination with all things Native American is pretty weird... maybe it's the same with 'gypsies' and 'witches'? I don't think it's exactly the same thing as 'blackface'... but maybe I'm not in a position to make that distinction.

I was almost going to say that I should just be a zombie again this year... but I wonder if someone from a Hatian background who grew up around voodoo and actual witchdoctors who made folks into real zombies would mind.

What about vampires? Is that anti eastern-european?

skeletons- but is that an eating disorder trigger?

I know, I'm taking this to extreems, and I don't mean to belittle real dialolg here, but once I start thinking about it, I wonder what is okay. Maybe I'll just be a man.

kaya
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

every girl i know is going as some version of something slutty. i admit i've rocked the catholic schoolgirl look, but i actually AM an ex-catholic skoolgirl, so i felt justified in that.

i think a lot of the costumes out there are just stereotypes of other people/groups of people. dominant culture really doesn't look too far beneath the surface of things. maybe the newer culture of parents who are becoming more politically correct will slowly change things over time? i know a lot of the stores here dont' even carry "indian girl" costumes, because of the backlash it has gotten from the native populations living here.

personally, i was going to dress as carrie a la stephen king this year, but i couldn't find a sitter to go out to any of the halloween parties. instead i'll just dress as a mom trying to stay warm while she takes her spiderman toddler out around the neighborhood.

maja
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Takomamama I found what you said belittling. (skeletons/ED)
How is (someone from the dominant culture) dressing up as a different culture NOT the same as blackface?
I'm not Rom, my wife is. Her family was forced to integrate into mainstream white culture, made to feel ashamed, very little is left of their practices. A couple of great aunts speak the old language and that's it. All in the space of a few generations.
And speaking for her (with her permission) she finds people dressing up as gypsy-style highly hurtful, highly derogatory.
Dressing up in a mockery of what her family was punished for, forbidden to do?
Everytime we see a representation/commodification of "gypsies' she tenses up. It still hurts her, the same myths and dumping on repeated over and over.

And many places in Eastern Europe you can still get away with killing Roma, many Roma die in police custody.Yeah a long flowing dress and dangly earrings is really going to give you an understanding of otherness.

Oh, and who persecuted flamenco dancers, c'mom..

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

my daughter wanted to be pocahontas, and i let her watch the movie that protrayed her, so waht does that make me????

i completly understand the whole thread, but my kid is five years old. so is it me being the mocker cause i let her be an indian for holloween last year??? becuase she has no idea.

are we talking about adults here??? or the kids????

this year she is a witch. is SHE mocking witches????

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

My sons's going to be Spiderman. I hope no one finds anything wrong with that.

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

maja, I get it... at least I get it as much as it's possible to get without sharing your wife's history. I understand that the Roma people have been persecuted for generation upon generation and in many cases, still are.

My point is that this train of thought can be followed to absurdities. What if I were offended if Kaya dressed up as Carrie? What if I said, 'hey, I was an outcast in highschool and that makes a mockery out of bullying!'...

Part of the dressing up thing is an opportunity to be someone else, explore some other part of us that lays hidden most of the time. I'd imagine someome would choose to be something that they at least feel an affinity towards.

I s'pose Spiderman's okay... though there's a hellovalota overt sexism in the comic and movies 'oh, save me Spiderman!'.

kaya
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

some interesting points about how the thread and the topic address what the intentions of our kids are. my kid wants to be spiderman because he's a boy going through the superhero stage. he fits into categories in my sociology textbooks. i've put a lot of thought into this side of him, if it is a truly "feminist" parent thing for me to allow him to express and explore what it means to HIM to be big and tough and badass like a spiderman character would be, etc. some wise writers have shared thougths about what the consequences are of oppressing ANY side of our children, and what that especially means for boys who are socialized already to not talk about their feelings or desires or dreams all that much. if spiderman is sexist because he saves people, would be dressing as a police officer or a doctor be ok then? it seems like it would, but what if the child isn't really at the age or understanding to see those professions as the same as they mythical superheros they want to be?

he is going to be trick or treating tonight in a costume with added padding to give him muscles, when he wears the costume he puts himself in all these poses that simulate a superhero, yet he has never seen the cartoon, the movies, or even anything that actually has spiderman in action. we talk about how boys AND girls can be superheros, aka tough and strong and badass. he calls me "spiderman mommy" when i "save him" in our mock superhero play. is it ok then? should parents be deconstructing the costumes their kids wear, in order to get behind the stereotypes that they represent? should a little girl dressed as a witch, or pocahontas, or a gypsy be educated on the background of the groups her costume represents? or should we let them stay in make believe (where as parents, we know they like to hang out)?

my son has been hardcore into being hardcore and "boy"ish for months now. failed attempts at talking about it in a "raising feminist boys" workshop, reading books on the topic of raising boys with awareness to the issues they face, talking and talking about it have led me to believe that if i discuss with him in a way that he can understand all the parts of being a "person" and not just a "boy" help. its halloween though, and he wants to dress up. he wants to make believe. i'm not sure what else i can do in this situation, aside from first educate and then step back to let him have fun. is it ok then?

although it kind of seems repetitive and like the issues brought up in this thread could be taken to extremes, like tako suggested, i still think its important to bring these things up. we live in a world that encourages and reinforces stereotypes, in a way that seems to cheaply address the various groups in our society, and encourage further segregation. i don't think it is ever a waste of time to talk about the underlying issues in these situations, nor is it conducive to personal and community growth to dismiss the concerns of people who identify as someone who feels objectified or oppressed.

side note: i was going to be carrie because the costume party i was going to go to was encouraging gory, gross costumes. carrie covered in blood fit those requirements. also, in the scene that i'm in with the people i hang out with, i have been ostracized for my "big mouth" and "feminazi" ways for YEARS, so i figured dressing up as an outcast would be a way to address the impact that could have on me, if i let them get to me as much as i think they wish they did. like, i know i'm not the most popular or well liked girl around, and here's me actually in the role, because i'm not afraid of addressing that side of my social self, and mocking what THEY are doing by dressing up as the most famous outcast of all.

i don't think i can do anything anymore without making a statement. but i just thought i'd address that side of tako's post, since i figured i needed to make sure it was clear i wasn't just idly taking on some other role. heh.

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

kaya wrote:
side note: i was going to be carrie because the costume party i was going to go to was encouraging gory, gross costumes. carrie covered in blood fit those requirements. also, in the scene that i'm in with the people i hang out with, i have been ostracized for my "big mouth" and "feminazi" ways for YEARS, so i figured dressing up as an outcast would be a way to address the impact that could have on me, if i let them get to me as much as i think they wish they did. like, i know i'm not the most popular or well liked girl around, and here's me actually in the role, because i'm not afraid of addressing that side of my social self, and mocking what THEY are doing by dressing up as the most famous outcast of all.

Wow..I actually think thats a really brave thing to do, to take a stand like that, with your costume. Thats very bold.

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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

dressing up as someone of another culture because it's "mystical" or "secret" sounds to me like the way minority cultures are exotified. i think it's possible to have that enthusiasm about another culture without attempting to take it on as your own.
but what about activities that fall just short of dressing up? i think cultural appropriation is a really hard thing to grasp, because where is the line? if i do yoga and eat chinese food is that appropriation? i think a lot of people get confused by it and so just decide to say fuck it. there's no clear boundary, and if you ask three people you get three different answers.

the vast majority of the white dominant culture IS appropriation anyway, and the fact that cultural appropriation is so unclear means that people are going to map it out by butting up against the people that define the perimeters. a skeleton COULD be an ED trigger for some people. shit, i'm going as the french maid from Clue, and i suppose that could be offensive to someone somewhere. my great grandfather was a flamenco dancer, and when he moved here he had to change his last name because it was too ethnic and was mocked for being a dancer. so perhaps seeing someone dressed as a flamenco dancer COULD be upsetting to my grandmother. does there need to be proof of oppression in order for it to be offensive? and at what point can we decide that someone is being irrational, or is there no point? lots to think about...

maja
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

I'm talking about adults not kids.

Can anyone seriously say that dressing up as Rom or Native is different to dressing up as Black?
If so how the hell is it different?
So how many of you would consider putting on boot polish to honour Black Culture?
If not, why do you find it distasteful, wrong?
Why not extend that same understanding towards the Roma?

Where do I draw the line? At crapping over other peoples cultures.
Dressing up as a stereotype of another race or culture is a very different thing to eating Chinese food.
The stereotype is there to ridicule, to inspire hate, to dehumanise.

And bringing up Carrie, skeletons, et al is to water down an arguement.
An experince of being an outcast at high school and a horror movie image that invokes it and the miniscule possibility that someone may feel offended compared to insulting an entire culture or race of people??
Think about it, how is it the same thing?

I really thought GM was more race and culture aware than this

maja
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

By the way I usually assoicate folks extending arguements to an "absurd extreme" to diminish what people are saying a right wing arguing technique, it puts people in the situation where they have to explain the absurd and the real is ignored.Y'know, it's like "gay marriage leads to bestiality" etc..
It runs counter to intelligent debate.

jen
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Takomamama, there is a big difference between something that could be offensive to someone, somewhere, and costumes that actively reinforce stereotypes. A costume portraying a Roma person as a "mysterious fortunetelling gypsy" is not at all equivalent to a costume of a skeleton that might somehow trigger an ED person. The skeleton is not appropriating and tokenizing someone else's culture. You don't have to "go overboard" to be culturally sensitive, yk?

naivete
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

Quote:
My point is that this train of thought can be followed to absurdities. What if I were offended if Kaya dressed up as Carrie? What if I said, 'hey, I was an outcast in highschool and that makes a mockery out of bullying!'...

I would hardly relate 3 years of high school bullying, as traumatic as it can be, to hundreds of years of ethnic cleansing, murder, child-napping and genocide. But I'm glad that once again a lot of people here with the privilege of not coming from my culture, can succeed in telling me as a POC when it's okay and not okay to be insulted by further oppression, just because you as a Non-POC don't think it is oppression.

naivete
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Halloween and what Lies Beneath the Costume.

word maja.

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