Friday, 25 October 2013

Costume or Culture?

Can a Halloween costume really be so much of a stereotype that it will offend an entire culture? In my opinion, I think it depends on the costume.

It may be going too far if you dress up in a traditional ghutra and iqal over your head with bombs strapped to your chest, while painting your face black to look like you are a part of a different race. That example is obviously offensive to many different people. Dressing up in a certain way that is making fun of a culture's past, is denying them to move forward and create a new name for themselves. It's like bringing up your worst memory and reliving it over and over again each year, like 9/11.

On the other hand, not all cultural costumes are offensive. Some costumes could even be flattering, like the geisha, people only dress up as them because they think they are pretty. They are not trying to be culturally offensive, they are trying to be different and unique in the particular society they are a part of.

Continuing, some stereotypes are just ridiculous. For example, in the text they talked about a Hispanic guy holding up a picture of a guy wearing a Mexican donkey costume. Compared to a Muslim student holding up someone dressed as a terrorist, I don't think a donkey is very offensive. If anything, it's just a harmless joke. I'm a Canadian and I don't get upset when I see lumberjack costumes for sale at the store.

Overall, I think that we need to draw the line between being offensive and being overly sensitive about the costumes people choose to wear.

1 comment:

  1. Hailey, I think you are right that there is a line between dressing up like a terrorist and dressing up like a Mexican riding a donkey. There is something incredibly obvious that dressing up like a terrorist is inappropriate and offensive. That said, while there is a line, I think dressing up like a Mexican riding a donkey is stupid and offensive. This perpetuates a stereotype that Mexicans are part of a backward culture that hasn't evolved. Furthermore, there is a difference between dressing up as a lumberjack and dressing up as a Canadian lumberjack wearing a toque, dressing beer and saying "eh" and "aboot". I think it also comes down to power. Historically, Canadians (who are white) have held power...power that hasn't been afforded to Mexicans. I know that since I read this article, I have thought more about Halloween costumes and what I have dressed up as in the past and what I will dress up as in the future.