Cultural appropriation is becoming more and more common, and whose to blame I hear you ask? Well actually there isn’t a specific place to point the blame, as it’s the unawareness of what cultural appropriating is that leads to it. Many people confronted on their costumes are quick to apologise and justify themselves by admitting they had ‘no idea’ their costume was so offensive. The most recent case of this, Hilary Duff.
Her boyfriend was dressed in Native American head gear and make up, whilst Hilary donned a pilgrim outfit with an accessory of a toy gun to match. Not only are the costumes racially insensitive due to the history of Pilgrim’s driving Native American’s out of their own lands, but it shows the duo has no regard for the issue of cultural appropriation in the world today.
Hillary quickly took to social media to apologise for her costumes the following day, claiming she was
“So sorry to the people I offended with my costume”.
She also said
“It was not properly thought through and I am truly, from the bottom of my heart, sorry”.
For a childhood sweetheart that many of us grew up watching, it was heart breaking to see her take part in such an inconsiderate act. However due to the large scale of attention it drew, many are more aware of the affects that cultural appropriating can have on people. If anything, we should be glad that attention has been brought to the issue, as it enables us to take the next step into putting a halt to cultural appropriation for good.
For anyone attending Halloween parties this week, I urge you to consider if the outfit you’re wearing could be racially insensitive and/or culturally appropriating. Dress to impress, not to offend.