I am getting more excited for Halloween by the minute. I have been mulling over my costume, our decorations and what to serve to our guests. I have been talking about it at work constantly, and I have decked out my bulletin board and even up-cycled a tissue box to hold candy.
During all of this talk, one of my co-workers sent an email with this link: http://www.ohio.edu/orgs/stars/Home.html
Our office is very culturally-aware and people are very concerned about not making others feel uncomfortable or targeted. (This is why I had to get approval before I posted the following poster: https://www.oma.org/Resources/Documents/Snot.pdf)
After looking at the posters from the Ohio website, another of my co-workers (she is from Taiwan) said she is not offended when people dress up as an Asian stereotype. She said, to her, they can often be viewed as historical references. (kind of like the Geisha costume in one of the posters). We began discussing stereotypes and decided she should dress as a stereotype for Halloween. We discussed how she could be a tourist with a Hawaiian shirt, a big camera and a sun hat. I laughed so hard, and I really hope she does it. It will drive a lot of people nuts.
It got me thinking about all the costumes that depict a stereotype. I think a lot of the time people don’t view it as something negative, especially if they don’t know a lot about that culture or ethnicity. On the flip side- I do think there are some people who will be offended by anything, and it wouldn’t matter how innocent it was because they would find something about it that is offensive to some degree.
I am sure, at one time or another, I dressed up (or will dress up) in a costume that offends someone. I’m not saying I have, or will, dress in a way that is racist or culturally insensitive, but I am kind of an offensive person so it is only a matter of time before someone dumps a bucket of pig’s blood on me or chases me out of town with pitchforks.
What are you wearing this Halloween?
What kind of costumes do you think used to be okay to wear, but are now viewed as unacceptable?