Words like ‘disgust’ and ‘disappointment’ can’t even begin to describe how I felt seeing multiple images of people in blackface as part of their Halloween costumes.
Fashion photographer Giampaolo Sgura hosted a ‘Disco Africa’ themed Halloween Party this past weekend where the majority of guests used this as an opportunity to display their interpretations of what it’s like to have dark skin.
Designer Alesandro Dell’ Acqua and several of his companions began the baboonery when they arrived clad in suits, bowties, and blackface. It was said that they wanted to pay homage to a mascot of an old racist Italian licorice commercial. (Alesandro, in case you didn’t get the memo, “minstrel shows” do not have anything to do with Africa.)
A couple of male models chose to wear blackface and chains to be “slaves.”
Actress Julianne Hough made headlines with her decision to go in blackface as her favorite character “Crazy Eyes” from the show ‘Orange is the New Black.”
Greg Cimeno dressed up as George Zimmerman, alongside his friend, William Filene who dressed up as deceased teen Trayvon Martin in Blackface and wearing a blood stained hoodie with a bullet hole near his chest.
Halloween is not an excuse to be disrespectful. Do people really not understand how hateful and disrespectful blackface is? The fashion world seems to have missed the point that blackface is associated with slavery. I question why some of the fashion community would rather paint a white model black than use a black model. Enough already. Ignorance is not an excuse.
People who have darker skin regardless of their ethnical makeup are in fact living, breathing human beings. A person’s skin color is not a costume. There is nothing funny about the plight of a people who happen to be your fellow man. There is nothing amusing about pain and mistreatment. So I challenge everyone to remember when you dress up for Halloween, don’t forget to put on your conscience.