So I’m still trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. I have thought of being Spock or maybe Cousin Itt. I know that if I decide to browse at my local party store or one of them pop up Halloween stores that I will most likely be annoyed by the costumes that depict different cultures. Like mine for instance.
Now I know some of my relatives have dressed up as Native Americans for Halloween and I guess I shouldn’t judge but… that was the past and they probably wouldn’t now. Right? Right.
Anyways I decided to peruse Party City’s website to see how offensive the costumes are. First I had to see where it was located. Oh huh, ‘Back in Time’ okay… and hmmmm ‘Western outfits.’ So Party City is saying that Native Americans lived in the west back in the day. This has so many things wrong with it I don’t even see the point in going into detail.
There are 6 women’s costumes and 4 men’s (which includes Disney’s Tonto!). My favorite was this one since it had so many comments about how people who wore it got asked if it was authentic. Really? REALLY? I hope that no one dresses in their traditional clothing for Halloween. I would be never ever ever wear my jingle dress unless I was dancing. At powwow.
What makes it okay to dress up as another person’s culture for a costume? Nothing. These costumes should stop because it is perpetuating a stereotype that many have worked hard to stop. I’m not sure if me protesting at Party City will do anything because 1) I could be seen as “disturbing the peace” 2) its not the young kids who are working’s fault that they work at a store that sells those costumes 3) people will tell me to either move on or get over it since it is not a big deal and 4) I don’t think it would do anything. Sigh.
What I will do is email Party City to understand more about where they get these costumes from and who makes the decisions on what to sell in the stores.
Meanwhile please read this blog post from Native Appropriations for further information on the topic: http://nativeappropriations.com/2013/10/the-one-stop-for-all-your-indian-costumes-are-racist-needs.html