A More Feminist Halloween: Rethinking Costumes

Halloween is nearly upon us! Unfortunately, along with the usual witches, monsters, and superheroes, it’s also common to see some of the following costumes, especially on a college campus. This campaign – “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” – targets costumes based on racial stereotypes that make perennial appearances at Halloween parties and asks all of us to rethink what we’re unwittingly reinforcing when we wear them (even if our intentions were just to have fun).

Think back to Chimamanda Adichie’s talk “The Danger of a Single Story” from the beginning of the semester. How do each of these costumes capture her point?

Culture-Not-Costume-African-American

 

photos for poster

 

Read about actor Julianne Hough’s poorly-thought-out Halloween costume, which included blackface. She dressed as one of the characters from the TV show “Orange is the New Black.”

Julianne Hough sports blackface as one of the characters from "Orange is the New Black" for her inappropriate Halloween costume this year.

Julianne Hough sports blackface as one of the characters from “Orange is the New Black” for her inappropriate Halloween costume this year.

 

Like Jason Alexander, whose lengthy and well though-out apology we read earlier this semester in our unit on derailing, Hough issued her own apology on Twitter. Now that you’ve learned about derailing, what do you think of Hough’s apology? Is it as successsful as Alexander’s? Why or why not?

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