Being Style -Savvy Includes Avoiding Racist Halloween Costumes: An Open Letter to Loulou Magazine

Open Letters

Dear Loulou Magazine,

I was excited to see your fashion story on last minute Halloween ideas. But…

Please know that cultural appropriation is SO behind the times, especially for a Canadian Magazine. Our government is currently struggling to right and acknowledge the wrongs done to generations of First Nations peoples (including the thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women).

Your costume suggestions (like the Pocahontas outfit idea), for people who need a quick get-up, won’t just make you look like you dropped the ball in planning your Halloween costume; a ‘Pocahontas’ costume will also make you look ignorant. Appropriating another person’s culture as a costume is racist and completely inappropriate for an individual, let alone for a Canadian magazine (vetted by many individuals) who should at least understand that while ‘Spirits’ carries products that oblivious people still buy, Loulou Magazine should know better.

Unless you have lived that identity and shared that history, stereotypical representations of a group that has been historically marginalized are not up for grabs so you can look ‘cute’ at a one-off party. I don’t care if she is a Disney character. She is also an iconic, often misrepresented version of a racial group… with traditions, beliefs and experiences that the majority of our society know nothing about. A Disney movie doesn’t cut it (sorry). 

I was recently invited to a party that specifically put on their invitation:

*For those coming in costume, we encourage fun and creativity but ask that persons be mindful of not wearing racist and/or offensive costumes

Meaning: Please do not wear costumes that are culturally appropriating, or stereotype gender identity, race, faith, etc.

Just in case people weren’t aware of this great new cultural trend of being inclusive and respectful of people’s history and identity.

So, thanks for finding me bargains in the Canadian Shopping World, but please, don’t bother suggesting ways I can make myself look like a bigot through my fashion choices.

Sincerely,

A

ps. We also don’t really do ‘blackface’ anymore.

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Don’t Appropriate Culture

photos for poster

Because it’s not nice.

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And whether you mean to… or not…

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It’s racist.

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