As Halloween is nearing, we are choosing costumes and preparing for a night of fun. But before you go out, you should verify that your costume doesn’t offend anyone – at least that’s what East Nashville’s Taylor Anne Chew says. Chew, who owns ‘Cheeky Designs‘ (a local unlicensed business, from all appearances) went on a social media rant earlier this week, about how people are not allowed to dress up as an “Indian”, “native american”, “Pocahontas”, or “any other variation on this very real race of living human beings”. We’re not quite sure why she’s involved in what other people want to do with their bodies, clothes, or parties, but she has certainly inserted herself into a debate where she wasn’t invited, like a Trump Tweet at 5AM.
We’ll post her cultural appropriation rant below, and you can read it, because we’re heading out to get fitted for our head-dresses, and after that we’re stopping by a Mexican restaurant on the way home and pretending it’s our birthday so we can wear the sombrero that they put on our heads to celebrate. I wonder if she also boycotts Mexican restaurants where we get to wear the hats? Or what if we make those paper cranes.. is that appropriation, too? Not everything is about you, snowflake. If you want to be offended by what someone wears, go right ahead but don’t pretend you can control it, or make them change. If that’s the way you like to live, I’m sure China or North Korea has some space left for a new citizen who believes that people can only wear certain things that are offensive to now one.
Here’s Taylor Anne Chew’s recent social media rant:
On this Indigenous Peoples Day, I would like to send out a genuine, friendly reminder that it is NOT ok to dress like an “indian, native american, Pocahontas” or any other variation on this very real race of living human beings. Not on Halloween, not at music festivals, not at your sorority mixer.
With roughly 80% of the US having access to the internet, I’ve become increasingly hopeful that I wouldn’t have to explain this to people, that most people understand this to be as inappropriate as black face (remember Julianne Hough?), but I still find myself confronted by good natured friends getting drunk in full feather regalia, cleavage beautifully accentuated by the fake turquoise that came with their fringe leather mini skirt. For whatever reason, some people just don’t understand. They still don’t get it. So, this is for you, sweet friend that isn’t racist and doesn’t understand the implications of your fun sexy costume.
We are real people. We live with you. We work with you. We eat in the same restaurants, see the same movies, listen to the same music. Some of us may “look native,” while you may feel compelled to ask the rest of us “Really? What percentage?” But we are here all the same, and we do not appreciate your costumes. We do not wear leather loincloths and hunt for buffalo on our barebacked horses. We do not live in teepees (I’m talking to you, Ivy league educated friend, who REALLY believed this, in 2011), or fight with bows and arrows. We rent apartments! We shop in grocery stores! We have cars, and salaries, and internet access. So please, stop perpetuating this idea that indigenous people are a caricature of the past. We are still here, and we see you in your disregard for our culture, ancestry, and personhood.
What if we wear a skirt and hooker heals? Is that stereotyping a person and appropriating the street walker culture? Cops – we can’t dress as a sexy cop, because that shows the profession in a bad light? What about skeletons? Are we offending the dead?
So, you’re basically left with two choices, East Nashville. Either you can get approval from Taylor Anne Chew for your costume to avoid being ridiculed, or you can do what we’re doing, and wearing whatever the hell we want to, because this is America, it’s Halloween, and that’s what we do. We might convince our partner to go as a Cowboy, and play cowboys and Indians on random East Nashville streets while trick-or-treating. You don’t get to claim everything is ‘cultural appropriation’ so sit your ass back down and stop trying to to be the center of attention, snowflake (oops, we might have appropriated ‘snowflake’ from Mother Nature). Don’t you have better things to worry about, really?
Want to support local journalism? You can set up a monthly subscription in any amount you choose, or make a one-time donation below. All new subscribers or pledges will get some free branded SWAG!