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Oct 28, 2011 at 07:06PM EDT
Interesting. I was thinking the same about the geisha one; that there are number of types of people that happen to be within a culture (in my opinion, at least) would be entirely acceptable to dress as. I don’t think dressing as a geisha is any more offensive than dressing as, say, a ninja or samurai. Or as the person who made the picture pointed out, dressing up as a cowboy isn’t offensive to Americans, nor would dressing up as a Pharaoh be offensive to Egyptians.
On the other hand, what a few people have said about the other one is right. A white person coloring their skin to make themselves into a parody of a black person is generally a cultural no-no. While I think there could be times when you could get away with it because it’s really vital to the costume, I don’t think this was one of those times. The rest of the costume makes it clear enough what she’s trying to be that the skin coloring is unnecessary, and therefore offensive. Not that I think she was likely trying to be offensive, but it’s ignorant of some important racial issues. As someone coming from a Jewish background, I think something analogous would be that it would not be racist for a non-Jew to dress up as a rabbi for Halloween, but if they put on a big prosthetic nose, it would be offensive.
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