Thinking about Costumes

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    Seeing so many posts and articles about the importance of not wearing potentially offensive Halloween costumes (mainly, those that perpetuate stereotypes/myths linked to different ethnicities or cultures). Being so vigilant about the Halloween masks we wear is masking the real problem, isn’t it?I understand the good intentions behind it, but I’m wondering whether this means people shouldn’t dress as nuns any more, or as zombies or ghosts (which could offend someone who has just lost a loved one). Shouldn’t we extend this concern not to offend to cover not only certain ethnicities but to anyone who might be offended or hurt by a costume? Are witch costumes out, in deference to those who currently practice witchcraft? Nurse costumes? Is almost any costume – which often portrays something that the wearer is not usually identified with – potentially offensive to those who may identify with what is being caricaturized in the costume?

    Maybe so. Maybe we should rethink all these costumes. I’m also thinking that this frenzy of articles and posts may belie a misplaced focus on not having the *appearance* of offending or being insensitive to others, without a corresponding deep questioning or examination of our fundamental beliefs or prejudices. I don’t think the whole costume thing would be an issue if we didn’t all participate in a deep, underlying culture of prejudice and racism. That’s what we need to take a much closer, longer look at – starting with our own unconscious beliefs – and not only pointedly ask whether a particular costume that we might wear one day out of the year might be offensive or hurtful.

    Happy Halloween, everyone! : ) Just wanted to get that off my chest, wondering what other people think, realizing just now that this is just the consequence of fb and social media, and – oh, in case you hadn’t guessed – having a Mega-Fit of Procrastination…!

    -Lynn
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