I just finished reading about The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862 (if you would like some insight, see my Twitter feed, where I force this knowledge onto my poor followers.) This is a story with really no good outcome. Both European-American settlers died brutal deaths, and the Native Americas were screwed over by the government, it was really a lose-lose situation for both sides. And even though the Sioux were the aggressors of this particular war (they attacked after the United States government began violating treaties and not paying the Sioux their agreed upon annuities) they, in a broader stroke, have been given the short end of the stick when it comes to American history.
Along with all the indignities the Native Americans suffered, they also have to put up with something that even I, the most German-European-American-Minnesota-White-Girl finds offensive, Native American Halloween Costumes. Personally, I think it's just this side of Blackface, and we all have big enough brains in our head to know that's wrong. So why do the Native Americans still get to be the target of some kind of weird and misguided racism? Well, because it can be sexy, you see.
When it comes to Halloween costumes, if you can make it sexy you can wear it. Sexy nurse, sexy schoolgirl, sexy cheerleader, when in fact, in real life, these things aren't all that sexy. Nurses wear scrubs and spend a good majority of their day covered in human waste and bodily fluids, schoolgirls are CHILDREN, so if you are into that, please quit reading my blog, you creeper, and cheerleaders, well...if we are taking professional athletics cheerleaders, then yeah, they're sexy, but those high school girls are super athletes as far as I'm concerned. You can't really make slavery or African-America racism sexy, nor on the flip side do you ever find a "sexy klansmen" costume at you local Party City. Asian women, mostly Geishas are a popular costume, but everyone thinks Geishas are prostitutes (they aren't) so that's inherently sexy (the idea of prostitution, not actual prostitution, that usually involves lots of drugs and violence.) Leg Avenue has been trying to push the "sexy Eskimo" on us for the last few years now, which I don't understand. Should I be offended by that?
Trust me, I am not one of those over-sensitive types who thinks everything should be off limits if it even offends even one person. Some things are worth emulating and sometimes mocking. Some things are asked to be mocked. Native American Halloween costumes, while most people don't find wearing one as "mocking" their culture, is a bit insensitive. And I too get the urge to put on the huge Native American headdress we sell at my costume shop, because it is very beautiful and so put-on-able, but I resist the urge.
Now, as an American with German heritage do I find it offensive when people dress up in beer girl and Bavarian costumes? No, not at all. Do I find it offensive when people dress up as Nazis and say they are a representation of all German people? Well, let me ask you this: Who the hell dresses up as a Nazi for Halloween? See, some things are just off limits.
And did you guys really think I was going to leave you hanging without an example of a sexy Native American costume? C'mon now.