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This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By ConUnaSonrisamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 01:47 PM
Edited by high_kick_qt (179575) on 2009-11-03 13:59:47

This girl happens to be my friend. We went to school together, kindergarten through senior year, and we were on the dance team together in high school. AND, she happens to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. EDIT: just to be clear, she specifically dressed up as the rapper Lil' Wayne (who has a house in our hometown, coincidentally lol)

Here's the article, with a video. I'll air my thoughts later. Your viewpoints?

www.cbsnews.com . . .

137 Replies to This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween

re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 01:56 PM
One of the rules on campus this year in the dorms was no blackfacing (or whitefacing) for Halloween. I don't care how much of an "American sweetheart" she is, I find that really low-brow and offensive. :? If she had a mask or something? Whatever...but blackfacing is too far, in my opinion.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By amarathPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 01:56 PM
Black face has a painful history in America.

I, personally, don't think it's as bad when you're portraying a specific individual than when you're portraying just a black person in general, but I don't think it's ever a wise idea or that it's ever appropriate.

Some issues are just touchy, and you should just back off. Especially when you're a public figure--like it or not, but everything you do can be news.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 02:08 PM
I did the Montrose Pub Crawl this year so I saw a lot of costumes that could be considered offensive, but they were also totally tongue-in-cheek. This? Not even remotely clever or funny. I'll point out I didn't see anybody in blackface either.

Taking a crap on other races isn't cool, even at Halloween. The Cowboys have extremely high standards for their cheerleaders so I wouldn't be surprised if she gets fired over this.

Dani
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Naoisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 02:16 PM
Crap. I was going to reply to this, but my nanny charges are waking up.

Here's a link: gothamist.com . . .

I'll be back later.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By MaxwellPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 03:07 PM
Sorry if you feel bad for your friend, but blackface has too much of a history of being downright offensive and hurtful to be pulled off. She deserves to know that was she did was really, really wrong.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 03:21 PM
At the risk of sounding really stupid, may I ask why "blackfacing" is so bad? I understand that it was used by white people to portray black people in theater. That is all I know about it.
How is it any different from a black girl wearing a blonde wig and going as a "valley girl"?
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween (karma: 2)
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 03:32 PM
I understand why blackfacing is offensive, but in this case I don't see the big deal. She was dressing up as a black rapper. She's not black. To make the costume work, she needed to make her skin the correct color. I guess to me it would be just as offensive as someone painting their face green to portray a witch.
I guess what I'm saying is that I understand WHY people would be upset by this, but it doesn't seem like it was this girl's intent.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 03:34 PM
Incredibly poor taste, in my opinion. As was already mentioned, due to the history of "blackface", it's just not something that it's cool to do, even as a joke or whatever. There have been some fashion spreads recently with it too, and that, to me, is just as touchy.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By SammyAnnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 03:39 PM
Is it possible that this girl didn't know what "blackface" was? I hadn't even heard of it before this thread. I agree with Nyssa, she didn't seem to have any bad intentions at all, and I hope that she is not punished severely for this but rather learns her lesson that these sort of things can be very sensitive and it's better to be overly-cautious.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By kandykanePremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 03:47 PM
Some kids at my son's university made national headlines a couple of years ago when they had a MLK Day party and dressed up as black stereotypes. One I remember was Aunt Jemima. One of the kids posted pictures on her myspace page and the media got hold of it and made them look like a racist hick southern town and college. It was an embarrasment to the entire town. The worst part was the KKK decided to hold a rally there after this incident.

The kids thought they were just being funny, but.... so not cool.

kk~
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween (karma: 4)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 03:54 PM
Oh, who cares. Do you care? Because you know what, I don't care.

It's a cute, clever costume. It's Halloween. Lighten the hell up, America... or darken, as the case may be!
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By ConUnaSonrisamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 04:00 PM
Edited by high_kick_qt (179575) on 2009-11-03 16:02:48
Yeah, I agree with jazz_lover, Nyssa, and SammyAnn. I was also pleased to see that most people on the video, and the ones who left comments on the article, saw this as not *that* big of a deal. For instance, the movie White Chicks, I find that to be just the same, if not worse, than Whitney making her skin darker and pretending to be a rapper. I just feel so bad for her because she's such a nice girl and I hope her career isn't ruined for this. She's so pretty and SUCH a good and technical dancer (way above Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders' routines lol) and I know she didn't mean this offensively in any way. I really think people do need to grow a thicker skin, especially on Halloween. I personally believe there are a LOT more controversial costumes out there and it sucks that my friend was singled out. My mom and I honestly chuckled at the video because really none of the people "interviewed" seemed to think it was that big of a deal. I think the media is just trying to stir up trouble, and that makes me sad for my friend :( It's not like she wore a minstrel outfit!

And just so everyone is clear again, she is NOT dressed up JUST as a black person. SHE WAS TRYING TO PORTRAY A SPECIFIC RAPPER. I'm not sure if all of the posters here realized that...
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween (karma: 1)
By Felsamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 04:08 PM
I don't get what is so bad about it. Now I don't know why "black facing" is bad, I have never heard the term. But if someone who has darker skin can paint it white with no problem, and anyone can paint their skin green or red or purple ect... and get away with it, why not black? She was not discriminating against people with darker skin.

Everyone always says they are fighting for equality but then something like this happens. It is like saying "Okay if you have dark skin you can paint it white, but if you have white skin, you can not paint it dark because it will be seen as insulting."

It was a Halloween costume. People are allowed to prance around in underwear and not have anyone say anything about it, but dress as a famous person with a different skin color and BAM it is all over the news.

I don't get it.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 04:25 PM
en.wikipedia.org . . .
Okay, now that we all know what blackface is, can we at least START to see why it was so offensive?

Dani
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By SammyAnnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 04:36 PM
Edited by SammyAnn (102502) on 2009-11-03 16:43:45
I still do not see how this particular case is offensive. She is not dressing up with the intent of making fun of black people - she is Lil Wayne, who is very very popular. I do not see a similarity between her costume and the historical definition of blackface. I think that this is just a case of making a mountain out of a molehill. There are much more important things to focus on rather than one young woman inadvertently wearing an offensive costume - which, reading the comments made by black and white people on the article, is really not all that offensive to a lot of people.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Danamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 04:38 PM
Ugh. Apparently racism is still alive and rampant in the minds of uneducated, ignorant Americans. Shame.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween (karma: 1)
By SammyAnnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 04:55 PM
^ Racism is defined as hatred or intolerance of another race or other races. I don't see any of that on this thread, or in this news story. Blackfacing can be very offensive, certainly - for example, KandyKane's story about the college students dressing up as black stereotypes. But this was simply a white girl dressing up as a black man - not just a black man, but a famous rapper. Saying that this is racist in my opinion trivializes the issue of racism, because unfortunately there are ACTUAL cases of racial hatred all the time, as opposed to instances like this one, where the girl's intentions seem pretty innocent. This is not a problem of hate or intolerance, just poor judgement - obviously she did not forsee that it would become such a problem.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 05:22 PM
Maybe I think too much, but to me there's a difference between "blackface" and dressing up in a costume where the character is a different race. "Blackface" makes me think of the big, drawn on lips, wide eyes, etc. This girl dressed up as a rapper who is black and did her best to pull off the costume. Plenty of costumes portray different races.

Two of my friends, one black and one white, were going to be Milli Vanilli for Halloween, had one of them not gotten sick. We were going to put a bunch of bronzer on the white guy so that he could play Rob and the other guy was going to be Fab...nobody thought it was offensive. *shrug*
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By DefyingGravityPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 05:30 PM
If she had painted her face black, acted like a dumb fool, and said, "I'm a black person for Halloween!" then I would be 100% offended and see this event as a blatant display of racism a la the 1800s/early 1900s.

...But she didn't. She dressed up as LIL' WAYNE for Halloween using theatrical make-up. That's it. To me, a modern day example of this situation would be to dressing up as, "a gay man" by using flamboyant hand gestures, wearing tight pants, and speaking in a high pitched voice vs. dressing up as, "Jack from Will and Grace." First one? Rude and not appropriate. Second one? Funny.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Brittanymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 05:40 PM
I gotta admit I'm on the, "I understand how blackfacing is offensive but I don't think this is," side.

I didn't know what blackface was until I heard about it...I realize it is offensive and all that mess...but she was dressing up as Lil Wayne. She wasn't doing this in an offensive way, it was a Halloween costume. I don't think she was "taking a crap" on any race.

And just because I feel this way does not make me a racist nor does it make me ignorant...my friends would probably laugh in someone's face if anyone told them that they thought I was racist...most people I have dated or been involved with were of a different race than I am...mostly Hispanic or African American (to be pc).
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 05:59 PM
Edited by Arak (4524) on 2009-11-03 18:04:24
jazz_lover wrote:

At the risk of sounding really stupid, may I ask why "blackfacing" is so bad? I understand that it was used by white people to portray black people in theater. That is all I know about it.

They weren't just dressing up; they were portraying stereotypes. It went beyond makeup into the way they dressed, moved, acted, and spoke in blackface acts. Now, I was once told that blacks also had to wear blackface in order to appear onstage or in films during the Jim Crow era and up until about the 20's or 30's, but I can't find anything that actually says this is true. It was, however, extremely common before American attitudes toward racism began to change.

And my opinion on the matter at hand is, it's being blown out of proportion. For one thing, she was dressing as someone specific, and I'm guessing because she admires him and not to make fun, because the rest of the costume doesn't look ridiculously over-the-top. And besides that, traditional blackface didn't look like that. It was actually black - originally burnt cork or shoe polish - and there was more to it than just the black; there was usually at least an exaggeration of the lips using white or red, and sometimes a wig. It was about over-the-top exaggeration. Now, if she'd gone as a Jim Crow minstrel, yeah, there'd be a problem with that. The more attention you pay to it, the stronger it gets. Racism will never die because the people taking issue with things like this - which were obviously not meant as derogatory - are the ones feeding it and keeping it alive.

Would everyone be so up in arms about this if she had darkened her skin to dress as Cleopatra?
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 05:59 PM
She was dressing up as Lil Wayne for Halloween. In order to make the costume work, she needed to darken her skin. And... that's about all I've got. I understand perfectly well what "blackface" is, and this ain't it. It's no more offensive in my mind than if a black person wanted to dress up as Lil Wayne for Halloween. The only difference is that the black person wouldn't have to wear brown makeup to make their skin darker.

Personally, I'm a lot more offended by the fact that it looks like someone behind her is dressed up as Edward Cullen.
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By SOADftwmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 06:29 PM
Edited by SOADftw (184382) on 2009-11-03 18:32:36 spelling
Edited by SOADftw (184382) on 2009-11-03 18:33:23
I went as Oprah for Halloween in 2005. My friend went as Dr. Phil. We actually won FIRST PLACE in the costume contest at my high school. The first picture is of us in our costumes, and the second picture is what we look like now. Basically, I'm a very white person. Blonde hair, blue eyes, the works. I don't consider what I did to be "blackface." To me, black face is what's in picture 3 - painting your face completely black and putting on big white lips.

However I think people are making WAY too big of a deal out of this. I know a white person who went as Mulan, does that make her bad? What about the tons of people who go as Indians every year? Is that bad?
re: This made national headlines: a girl dressed up in "blackface" for Halloween
By Emmamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 03, 2009 06:36 PM
Prince Harry once dressed as a Nazi and a whole pile of people got a whole pile of pissy over that.

I was out on Saturday night and there were a couple of girls dressed as smurfs. They had blue body paint...

Some things are way too PC. A costume that is meant to be offensive should be taken that way, this is obviously just a "what will I dress as for a fancy dress party?"

Like Prince Harry, she's being slated for it, but it was just a bad decision on her part, because she didn't realise that other people would be so stupid about the whole thing.
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