(image source–there are like 40 more pictures if you’re curious)
These pictures of Paris Hilton at the Playboy Halloween Party have been making the rounds on the internets today. Jezebel put the photo up with a “ZOMG RACISMZ” headline–but no follow up or further information, so in typical Jezebel commenter fashion, the comments have descended into crazy. Check them out if you want to get pissed off (as per usual).
I (noticeably) didn’t do a big “Halloween Post”, though I can say that I probably started one about 200 times. Every time I would open up my browser to get started, and click on costume pages like this one, I would get overwhelmed, upset, and start to feel physically ill. So I’d stop. The sheer enormity of the task seemed too much to tackle in a 250-500 word post. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about it constantly, and wishing I could easily put into words how frustrating it is to see non-Natives gallivanting around in fake Indian attire.
So as the Halloween pictures start popping up on your Facebook feeds and twitpics–feel free to send them over (I’ll block out faces, don’t worry), or if you have stories or encounters with treat-o-treaters dressed as “Indians” and want to share how you felt or dealt with it, please don’t hesitate to comment or write. Let’s put some personal narratives to the “abstract” ideas about why dressing in redface is wrong.
Though I was quiet on the issue, others were not. Here are some other bloggers’ takes on the Native costume debacle: (Note: I don’t agree with everything in all of these posts, but it’s interesting to see multiple approaches to the same issue)
- Gawker: Is Your Halloween Costume Racist?
- Don’t Pay to Pray: Halloween: The Most Racist Day of the Year (watch out, the site has music)
- Change.org: One Woman’s Costume is Another Woman’s Nightmare
- Angry Navajo/Indian Girl: My Identity is Not a Costume For You to Wear
- The Loop 21: Accosted by Racist Costumes
- Drawing on Indians: Portraying Pocahontas: or the not-so-modern origins of the Sexy Indian Princess
If you have any others I might have missed, let me know. Now I’d like to end with something that I think sums up perfectly my disgust and disappointment with all the Native costumes this Halloween, from Paris herself:
Yes Paris, I’m grossed out too.
and for all the Jezebel commenters wandering over, read this please: But Why Can’t I Wear a Hipster Headdress?
(Thanks Liza and everyone else who sent this over!)