Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Is Blackface offensive?

For more information on Julianne Hough's costume and apology read here


Note the girl duckfacing next to Julianne.  Haven't heard about her costume even though she is costumed like one of the characters played by a Latina actress. Hmmm...  Julianne's costume is dominating the discourse. It has sparked an interesting series of debates online. I think that it boils down to a few essentials. Is it offensive to dress as a person from a different culture or ethnicity?  NO.  Is what is depicted in this picture blackface? YES.  Is blackface offensive? YES.  When creating a Halloween costume that embodies another culture that is not your own you have to do it with respect if you want to pull it off but ultimately it's a fine needle to thread.  It's obvious when it's a thoughtless act.  In some ways this is appropriation.  White privilege gives some the impression that they have the right to embody any person in anyway they wish.  It's a complicated issue that comes up every Halloween.   I look forward to the year this isn't a conversation we need to have.

 Click here for more costumes to avoid this Halloween


  1. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Hey, Claudia! I've just been having a conversation with an Indian friend who DOES find it offensive to see, in her words, "white girls walking around in a sari on Halloween. Sari is not a costume, it's how many women in India dress up and it's part of their identity. Same goes for Geisha costumes, Arab men, etc. Here's to helping people learn the difference between CULTURES and COSTUMES." What are your thoughts? - Corey Atkins cadirect@mac.com

  2. "The difference between CULTURES and COSTUMES" I like it!

  3. Hey Claudia- thanks for settling this once and for all for the whole world. I hope it sticks!

  4. Anonymous1:54 PM

    your condescending tone makes me want to puke.

  5. oh boy. First troll! You win this link--