Thursday, October 20, 2011

Afro Wigs Offensive?

Halloween is approaching and I've been reading many blog post on racist Halloween costumes. Some costumes are obvious in their offensiveness: All "sexy" professions (because women can't just be professionals), caricatures of traditional costumes of ethnic groups (Native Americans, Asians) but are afro wigs as part of Halloween costumes offensive?

Before I wrote this post, I googled afro wig and was surprised that ANY curly wig is referred to as an afro. The wigs were red, pink and blue, isn't that just a curly wig or even a novelty wig. I don't think these have any relation to my hair or hair texture.

My next problem is how they are advertised:

What's with the silly faces? Is this a hair style that is inherently comedic?

And last but not least, why would a colorless person NEED an afro wig for a costume? If they are invoking the 1970's they can just do straight hairstyles from that era. If they are portraying a person of color isn't wearing and afro wig just as bad as blackface?


Tam said...

I only googled the question of whether an afro wig is offensive or not, because I own one and love it. I am half Egyptian and half Austrian, but have white skin. While I could wear my hair in straight styles, I absolutely love afro's and want one. My mum has curly hair, but unfortunately I got my dad's straight hair.

It's not so much a case of a colorless person needing an afro as it is them wanting one. I think it's cool and I like the style, which is why I wear one with 70s costumes.

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