Spin Off: Offensive Halloween Costumes

Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
The topic of sexy Halloween costumes always pops up this time of year and so does a *barrage (iPhones) of blogs, news stories and finger wagging lectures about inappropriate/offensive costumes. So, we might as well start a thread about that too.

What are your thoughts and feelings about offensive costumes? Offensive ranging from cultural appropriation to dead celebrities (no matter how much time has passed).

http://www.bustle.com/articles/43322-how-to-not-wear-a-racist-halloween-costume-this-year-a-simple-guide-for-white-people

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6004138?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

http://m.eonline.com/news/590044/18-offensive-halloween-costumes-that-you-should-definitely-stay-away-from-this-year

There are some costumes I would never, ever, begin to wear. You would not catch me in black face, but I have painted myself green and silver for different costumes. No offense to aliens or mannequins intended. I have been a Geisha, twice, and loved it. Not Sexy Geisha in a bag, or full on Kabuki but inspired by the visual beauty of Memoirs of a Geisha, $3 Kimono bathrobe paired with a straight black wig, simple day to day Geisha. It was quite the hit. I have never dressed in Native gear, or had the urge to, but I live near 2 reservations and see headdresses and other attire sold on both as novelties for tourists or something fun for a small child. That said, I think people need to be careful with their assumptions. A woman looked like a fool last year when she went to a local news station and complained about appropriation due to a child who trick or treated at her house in a headdress. The child "looked white" but she is an enrolled member and lives on the reservation where her outfit was purchased (all production of items now unfortunately outsourced and the majority not even historically correct anyway). As far as the others go, I would not be offended by Hazmat suits, Zombie Robin Williams or a few others I have seen mentioned in different blogs. One of my favorite Halloween costumes was a young man dressed like Kurt Cobain, roaming the streets all night, carrying a toy shot gun. It was chilling. He walked briskly and vanished around corners. You wanted to stop him and scream, "Don't do it!!". Pure art in my opinion. Not a mockery of depression, drug abuse or suicide. There are always different ways to view things and I do believe some jump to negative at every turn while some costumes are just wrong.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

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Comments

  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    I think a better Ebola themed costume would be a news anchor in a box with a crawl at the bottom that says, "EBOLA! EBOLA! EBOLA! EBOLA! EBOLA!"
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • eveumeveum Registered Users Posts: 744 Curl Neophyte
    Yes, I really do think that they're inappropriate. What if someone dressed up as a stereotyped caricature of a Jewish person? A Muslim? a transatlantic slave? I think if this happened it would cause an outrage. But costumes talked about in the first article you linked, such as the geisha costume or Indigenous North American headdress etc have become (unfortunately) so much a part of the Halloween/Costume party generic default costumes that they have just become accepted and nothing much is thought about it by a lot of people.

    Because of this it could be easy for some Caucasian people to become so wrapped up in their own white privilege that they forget that our European ancestors have been ****ting all over minorities and indigenous peoples for hundreds of years (America, Australia, Africa). And although the exploitation was not committed by modern day Caucasians, It still needs to be taken into consideration in order to be sensitive. Which is why I think that a lot of people reading these articles would sort of think; 'well I'M not racist, so it makes it okay, it's just a bit of fun'. And THAT is why I believe these costumes are offensive, granted not everyone who wears them is a racist, but perhaps simply ignorant. And that is also a problem. I'm lucky in that in school I was taught about the Civil Rights Movement, about the Slave Trade, but I know in the past people might not have been.

    And the idea that people are profiting by making cheap and tacky replications of an aspect of other peoples culture makes me feel uncomfortable.

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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    There seems to be great debate over the Geisha, even in blogs where listed as inappropriate. (Read over a few Feministing & other sites). I've seen some argue against "Sexy Geisha" who typically wears a mini skirt and "Dragon Lady Geisha" who is a over exaggerated and ridiculous and then some argue over over Geisha period. *I guess some more debates come in because it's an occupation.

    Everyone does seem to agree on the NA outfits being a no go, but like I said, people need to be careful with their assumptions. Especially when dealing with a small child. Who goes to the news over that??? Well, she had blonde hair. Well, so do many enrolled members of the Cherokee Nation. Blonde, black, brown, red... Various skin tones but thanks for playing.

    I really do hate that a lot of things sold on the Reservations are now made in China. I used to love the hand woven baskets, hand made moccasins, clothing, etc. They were truly beautiful and special. My moms house is full of baskets and dolls that were gifts from friends when she worked at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Great crafts, and a great source of income for many when I was a child. Not as much need for it now, though. *And luckily you do not see the people in movie get up taking pictures with tourists on the street beside a tipi anymore. No one in our area lived in tipi's or wore the type of headdresses commonly sold in stores.

    I never get the bagged costumes. "Mexican". What? Those are strange.

    I am pretty sure people have been educated about the CRM & slave trade for some time. Thats not a recent topic in schools though one of my friends who lives in the UK was educated rather oddly about it in the 80's & 90's. Europeans/Brits had nothing to do with it. Nope.

    What about other the costumes? I do think several get carried away with what people should or should not wear. I get being sensitive to people and not doing many of these but at the same time, you can't worry about possibly offending every last person on the planet because they may have a different sense of humor or out look than you. Zombie Joan Rivers... Hell, she wouldn't care (as long as she was an attractive zombie).
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • eveumeveum Registered Users Posts: 744 Curl Neophyte
    I only brought up CRM and the Slave Trade because I asked my mum if she was taught about in in school out of curiosity, she's 49 and Scottish and said she doesn't know but she can't remember being taught about it, and then we had that whole discussion about it being avoided or glossed over because the British were responsible for it.

    Personally, and I'm just speaking for myself, I've never given a **** about celebrities, dead or alive. So about zombified celebrities, I could not care less. I'm not the sort of person to get worked up over or care about the possibility of offending everyone.

    The sexy geisha in a mini skirt I think is a bit of a piss take. It's strange and a bit dumb that it would even be called a geisha costume, because a geisha wouldn't wear a mini skirt, so these costumes are capitalising on people's general ignorance of the culture.

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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    There are plenty to choose from

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414351923.002193.jpg
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    Even in the non Halloween costume sense
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4556405/victorias-secret-sexy-geisha-outfit.html

    (Though I am still a firm believer that what people do in their bedrooms is none of your bee's wax.)

    **********

    I'm a little amazed at how upset some people get over specific historical death costumes of those who were in the public eye. Be it celebrities or politicians. I have seen some loose their minds over Jackie O costumes with blood on them. It would not be my first choice but no, I do not think anyone is celebrating the assassination of one of Americas favorite presidents. Historical/period costumes and fake blood have always been a biggie, and that was one big historical & horrible moment.

    PS- Hobo Clowns are apparently on the list on inappropriate now. That is one of the only clowns I do not find scary, but it's offensive to the homeless. Especially those who paint their face and travel.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    It's tricky because everything could be offensive if you think about it. But cultural ones are in a different category but there are so many.

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  • sew and sewsew and sew Registered Users Posts: 3,443
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte

    Yep. There are plenty of those under the 55 most offensive halloween costume pictures.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    Josephine wrote: »
    It's tricky because everything could be offensive if you think about it. But cultural ones are in a different category but there are so many.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using CurlTalk App


    That is it and some think way too hard about matters. It's like they spend their time looking to take away nothing but offense and considering no other options. Negative Nancy's, everywhere.

    True though, some are in a different category. I do think the more people fuss, the more others will try to piss them off, just because.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    Then you have the other Hillbilly costumes

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414389581.848795.jpg
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    And Ellie May Duke ;) If your not pregnant in a bar or at your wedding, you're Ellie.

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    It is hot in the South. I did love my cut offs. My dad played the banjo though no family relations and mutations occurred and my Great Grandma Teeny May gave birth to Fannie Jay and Ninah May. So... You know. Haha. Whatever.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    eveum wrote: »
    The sexy geisha in a mini skirt I think is a bit of a piss take. It's strange and a bit dumb that it would even be called a geisha costume, because a geisha wouldn't wear a mini skirt, so these costumes are capitalising on people's general ignorance of the culture.

    I meant to add to this earlier and got side tracked. I was trying to remember if the first link I posted or a different blog I read claimed that being a Geisha was problematic enough, w/o considering appropriation, because it is prostitution. That was a partially ignorant statement as well. Yes, some prostitution has been involved through out the years (it is the oldest profession for women) but Geisha translates to Entertainer-Artist and numerous women did that alone. Music, singing and dance were the only things on their list. Quite a beautiful art form with years of training and perfecting. Another article I read also mentioned it perpetuating the submissive/docile stereotype. Not true either. That occupation has held positions of great power at different times. When looking at Geisha as an occupation/art form, I truly don't see the need for outrage over one night in a costume. I know some have been suspended from schools, etc. Not sure if they were wearing the vamped up versions or what.

    The obsession with American Rockabilly (Rock + Hillbilly music/style) in Japan does not bother me and it's a 24-7, 365 thing for many

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    ^ The little girl is just adorable!

    Anywho, both involve an admiration for music/dance/entertainment and movies about it. So yeah, I can see why people debate that one. If done respectfully, it's a bit different than person in sombrero attached to donkey or hillbilly sheep ******.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    Ah! I still can't remember the source but one blog talked about Geisha reinforcing submissive and then they pondered this picture also reinforcing it because she wouldn't look at the camera.

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414399231.503723.jpg

    JC, people! Maybe she just doesn't like having her picture taken.?.? It's possible.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    Yeah, not a fan of all those mentioned/pictured.

  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    Ah! I still can't remember the source but one blog talked about Geisha reinforcing submissive and then they pondered this picture also reinforcing it because she wouldn't look at the camera.

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414399231.503723.jpg

    JC, people! Maybe she just doesn't like having her picture taken.?.? It's possible.

    What about occupational costumes like nurse and maids, that could be seen as offensive, cowgirl costumes, belly dancers, beer girl, etc. Nurses don't wear miniskirts either, and the costumes they sell in most stores aren't really supposed to be authentic.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    Josephine wrote: »
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    Ah! I still can't remember the source but one blog talked about Geisha reinforcing submissive and then they pondered this picture also reinforcing it because she wouldn't look at the camera.

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414399231.503723.jpg

    JC, people! Maybe she just doesn't like having her picture taken.?.? It's possible.

    What about occupational costumes like nurse and maids, that could be seen as offensive, cowgirl costumes, belly dancers, beer girl, etc. Nurses don't wear miniskirts either, and the costumes they sell in most stores aren't really supposed to be authentic.

    To me, the issue is that costumes representing the above "occupations" are often gratuitiously sexualized. Not necesarily offensive but potentially harmful for women.

  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    Josephine wrote: »
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    Ah! I still can't remember the source but one blog talked about Geisha reinforcing submissive and then they pondered this picture also reinforcing it because she wouldn't look at the camera.

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414399231.503723.jpg

    JC, people! Maybe she just doesn't like having her picture taken.?.? It's possible.

    What about occupational costumes like nurse and maids, that could be seen as offensive, cowgirl costumes, belly dancers, beer girl, etc. Nurses don't wear miniskirts either, and the costumes they sell in most stores aren't really supposed to be authentic.

    To me, the issue is that costumes representing the above "occupations" are often gratuitiously sexualized. Not necesarily offensive but potentially harmful for women.


    Okay, that's a different topic. But what if they weren't sexualized, some could still see it as offensive. 'I am not costume'.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    Josephine wrote: »
    Josephine wrote: »

    What about occupational costumes like nurse and maids, that could be seen as offensive, cowgirl costumes, belly dancers, beer girl, etc. Nurses don't wear miniskirts either, and the costumes they sell in most stores aren't really supposed to be authentic.

    To me, the issue is that costumes representing the above "occupations" are often gratuitiously sexualized. Not necesarily offensive but potentially harmful for women.


    Okay, that's a different topic. But what if they weren't sexualized, some could still see it as offensive. 'I am not costume'.

    That, for instance, a real nurse would be offended by someone dressing up in a nonsexualized nurse costume...bc it demeans her profession? I wouldn't see it as deameaning at all. How would it be offensive? No value judgments about the nature of the work are being made.

  • scrillsscrills Registered Users Posts: 6,700
    some of those, yes, they could be offesive because they deal with someone's culture. Culture costume, you are always taking a risk. Occupations, not so much.


    imust admit the thought og going as a Geisha has occured to me. but I would wear the kimino I ordered from Japan and the shoes and toe socks I bought in Japan. I would do as much to honor the tradition as possible. All too often the costumes are mocking and that is a huge part of the issue
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    Yeah, not a fan of all those mentioned/pictured.

    Good Lard to some of those.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    Josephine wrote: »
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    Ah! I still can't remember the source but one blog talked about Geisha reinforcing submissive and then they pondered this picture also reinforcing it because she wouldn't look at the camera.

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414399231.503723.jpg

    JC, people! Maybe she just doesn't like having her picture taken.?.? It's possible.

    What about occupational costumes like nurse and maids, that could be seen as offensive, cowgirl costumes, belly dancers, beer girl, etc. Nurses don't wear miniskirts either, and the costumes they sell in most stores aren't really supposed to be authentic.

    No, the costumes sold in most stores are not supposed to be authentic in the slightest. I personally don't get how some of the cowgirl-cowboy costumes are supposed to be offensive (not talking overly sexualized). I read about some universities asking students to not wear plaid shirts or large cowboy hats because thats not how people on ranches dress. Those two items are not horribly offensive on their own. Jeans, a plaid shirt and a hat. Regular clothes.

    Occupational costumes are and will always be a huge part of Halloween. That's 75% of what I see. Insane doctor, naughty nurse, Swat Team in tutu. Or you have movie/tv show options like Reno 911. Silent Hill Nurse. Etc. A great deal of them are ridiculous but I have never heard any friends who are nurses/officers complain about being offended. I find a large majority of those who work EMS end up being a Reno 911 cop or crazy doctor for Halloween ;) It's all in good fun.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 20,730 Curl Virtuoso
    I personally wouldn't wear most of these. Some are just plain ugly, some are way too revealing, some are in bad bad taste. But I'm not offended by much of anything. And I'm sure I've worn costumes that have offended someone at some point, since people are offended by most everything.
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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    scrills wrote: »
    some of those, yes, they could be offesive because they deal with someone's culture. Culture costume, you are always taking a risk. Occupations, not so much.


    imust admit the thought og going as a Geisha has occured to me. but I would wear the kimino I ordered from Japan and the shoes and toe socks I bought in Japan. I would do as much to honor the tradition as possible. All too often the costumes are mocking and that is a huge part of the issue


    I wish!! We have one store in town that has an Authentic and absolutely amazing kimono hanging on the wall. It has been there for years. The owners (two men/long time partners) travel to Japan quite often. Pale gold silk with the most magnificent embroidery! They had an amazing wig from Japan at one time as well. Very high dollar. I always look at the items in awe. I'm scared to touch them. Some are very old. So beautiful. $3 Kimono style bathrobe was the best I could do, but it is very pretty. Standard fabric. I don't have a good full frame picture of it

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414435949.111971.jpg

    Not mini skirt in a bag.

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    Just in complete awe of the clothing, props and set designs of this movie (which was only partially accurate itself cuz it's a drama/movie). Didn't even paint my face. I'm pale enough. I had an umbrella, too. I think i was the only one in the bar that night who was not wearing a costume from a bag.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • scrillsscrills Registered Users Posts: 6,700
    My kimono. Not fancy but I love it

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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    scrills wrote: »
    My kimono. Not fancy but I love it

    232323232%7Ffp%3A%3Enu%3D3239%3E689%3E382%3EWSNRCG%3D323245644998%3Bnu0mrj

    That is so pretty! I have a great appreciation for a lot of the textiles/prints and designs used when making kimonos. I like that they range from simple to incredibly extravagant, too.

    Mine was a good (all proceeds go to battered women's shelters) thrift store find. I was looking for a costume idea and it found me. I wore it to Asheville one year and had several street photographers taking pics. 2 years later I wore it in my home town. The next year I noticed a lot of mini skirt Geishas roaming around. Oops. I enjoyed wearing it, though and I could layer warmer clothes under it.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    I personally wouldn't wear most of these. Some are just plain ugly, some are way too revealing, some are in bad bad taste. But I'm not offended by much of anything. And I'm sure I've worn costumes that have offended someone at some point, since people are offended by most everything.


    Yeah, Geisha been my only potentially offensive one to date that I know of. Well... The Hobo Clown I wore 18 years ago is now potentially offensive and I am sure my 20 year old S&M Barbie would offend someone in 2014 but I found her hysterical.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    scrills wrote: »
    All too often the costumes are mocking and that is a huge part of the issue

    Yes that is offensive but more dumb than anything.

    What's considered mocking? Is dressing up as a native american or an indian/south asian(in a sari, which my friend did once, i let her borrow an old one of my mom's) considered mocking? One of my friend's is planning on getting an native american headdress for halloween, I'm sure that'll offend some. What about nun costumes?

    So univerisities are telling people what not to wear for halloween? Can they do that?
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    Josephine wrote: »
    scrills wrote: »
    All too often the costumes are mocking and that is a huge part of the issue

    Yes that is offensive but more dumb than anything.

    What's considered mocking? Is dressing up as a native american or an indian/south asian(in a sari, which my friend did once, i let her borrow an old one of my mom's) considered mocking? One of my friend's is planning on getting an native american headdress for halloween, I'm sure that'll offend some. What about nun costumes?

    So univerisities are telling people what not to wear for halloween? Can they do that?

    Oh yeah! Several have been doing that for quite some time. They send out letters advising students to not wear anything over sexualized, anything that might be culturally offensive or insulting on a class basis. BUT they just keep adding more and more to it each year. Don't wear a large Sheriffs Badge or plaid shirt, which makes me think of Woody from Toy Story, because it's not an accurate representation of cowboys/ranch hands. It's gotten very ridiculous. Do this type of clown but not that type of clown because it may offend someone. On and on. Wipe all the students a**es for them and hand them a tissue.

    There is nothing offensive about, "There's a snake in my boots!", Woody.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    I think some may have also restricted any costume idea of someone who died of an overdose or suicide because it may offend those who know people who died of an overdose or suicide. There are some awesome costume ideas for iconic people who overdosed or committed suicide and left us way too soon. That the Kurt Cobain costume I mentioned. That was a statement. People kept wanting to stop him but no one did.

    One of the most popular costumes when I was college age was Uma's character from Pulp Fiction with a needle in her chest.

    ETA: By the time you get into college it's rare to find someone who doesn't know a person who committed suicide or overdosed. That's a reality of life, one you can't really hide from. Different topic but it kind of goes along with the trigger warnings some request when overdose or suicide is mentioned in a book being discussed for a class. Some have asked for an all out ban on that material along with any costumes.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Registered Users Posts: 15,490 Curl Neophyte
    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1414447945.654668.jpg

    Pretty good Halloween costume. Especially when they did the runny face makeup.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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