• Mon, Oct 31 2011

Why It Is NOT Okay To Dress As Sexy Anne Frank

Well, it appears that the shoe is on the other foot now, isn’t it ladies and gentlemen? Just weeks ago we had an ongoing “Catgate” critique on The Gloss on why XO Jane is such an irresponsible blog. I particularly like the article Jennifer Wright wrote which claimed their site is much more responsible than XO Jane and how they check things before posting them.

However, when a guest posted an article on dressing like Sexy Anne Frank, the editors seemed nowhere to be found. This was Jennifer Wright’s stance

• By Jennifer Wright
1 day ago
As long as it’s coherent, of a reasonable length, and not factually inaccurate, we try to be receptive to all reader submissions during a theme week/contests.

I will agree with Jennifer Wright. It is factually accurate that Anne Frank did hide in an attic with a bookcase as its door. But, allowing a guest to post this on their site reflects a lack of foresight and sensitivity towards the readers, particularly to those of Jewish descent, and especially those who lost loved ones in the Holocaust, as seen on a few comments from said article.

With that being said, it is NEVER okay to dress like a sexy Anne Frank, even if you are a Jew (heck, especially if you are a Jew). As a fellow commenter said, a sexy Hitler or Nazi would have been more appropriate because you are ridiculing the evil people that did not triumph, not the victims.

Sexualizing a victim of something tragic such as the Holocaust or any other terrible historical event, takes away its humanity and its significance. We turn a victim’s suffering and, in this case their innocence and curiosity as well, into a joke, forgetting the pain, torture and death endured by her and millions more.

I am not a Jew, I am a history major who wrote a thesis on the Holocaust. I wrote papers about children who wanted to escape the “showers” the Nazis were taking them into, only to be beaten into a gas chamber to be killed. I wrote about Elie Wiesel and how he saw his dad die in the barracks of Auschwitz. Anne Frank herself died in Bergen-Belsen of typhus a few days after seeing her own sister die. Bergen-Belsen was a camp composed of tents of corpse-like people riddled with lice and disease, that’s where Anne Frank died. These are things that I know most Jewish parents tell their children about their heritage so as to remember those lost, about anti-Semitism and of the strong spiritual strength of many Jews suffering in a very hateful time, much like Anne Frank. Obviously this guest who dressed as a sexy version of Anne Frank did not get the gist of this lesson.

Anne Frank represents the humanity of the victims of the Holocaust. She represents the thoughts and feelings going through a sexually curious teenage girl, all having to be stifled in an attic later to be cut short by a Nazi regime bent on destroying her people as a whole.

The Holocaust and its victims are something not to be forgotten, not someone’s comical costume.

This is a guest post.

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  • Candace Bryan

    Wow. I apologize to those to whom it was not apparent that my article was completely satirical, attempting to scrutinize the ridiculous sexualization of Halloween.

    • Ellie

      What kind of apology is that?

      The “I’m sorry you’re all too stupid to realize my satire” apology isn’t going to cut it. The fact is your costume was offensive to people, and as a decent human being, you could at least own up to it in a grown-up manner instead of getting defensive.

    • Beth

      Halloween is ridiculous. Every single “sexy fill-in-the-blank” costume is arguably offensive because it screams “the only way I can embrace my sexual identity is to dress up in some costume once a year.” Maybe some nurses find “Naughty Nurse” costumes offensive, and teachers might believe “Sexy Teacher” offensive, and cops may think “Bad Policewoman” offensive, etc etc ad nauseum. But if we tailored the holiday to keep from offending anyone, we would all dress as brown paper bags for Halloween. Even then, the tree huggers would probably be offended….

    • Natasha

      This is exactly the kind of apology that The Gloss often publishes from corporations (American Apparel, for example). I’m sorry that you were offended is not an apology. I’m not asking you to own up to the fact that you sexualized a child victim of genocide because it’s not important to me that you feel bad. But if you don’t have a real apology, please understand that readers of this blog can discern a real apology from what you posted.

    • Sunny

      Apparently I should have been offended by the article. I was not, its Halloween. I agree with Lisa’s thoughts.

    • Mel

      @Candace– Take your lies and shove them up your ass.

      I’m willing to bet 1 years salary straight from my account that “satire” was NOWHERE in your mind when you were a drunk college freshman dressing up for Halloween. Let’s revisit part of your article, shall we?

      “Perhaps I just still had Anne Frank on the mind, but Goodwill seemed to have a lot more sensible little blouses with rounded collars that day than usual. I “jokingly” proposed the idea to my friend of my being Anne, and she generously chuckled. It wasn’t until I found her a low-cut top with a book-shelf pattern, though, that she was entirely on board. How could she pass up being the secret annex?”

      Yeah… “satire”…. That’s what you were going for…. More like covering your ass for some incredibly stupid choice.

      Go bullshit someone else.

    • Jenna

      Just for the record, I got the satire, and I don’t think I’m the only one. I know that when I went looking for a Halloween costume this year, I couldn’t find anything that would cover my bum, boobs, and belly all at the same time, so it seemed only natural to choose something “us-sexy” as a “sexy” costume. I was a sexy cafeteria lady this year, but I have been worse. One of my friends held a “Most Offensive Costume Party Ever” last Halloween, and I went as Jon Benet Ramsey. Not to make fun, because that would be wrong, and yeah, all of these things are awful! But it was supposed to be offensive, and also she started the party because how is it better to be a slutty unicorn?! Other than being offensive, I’m not sure. Regardless. The point seemed ironic, and I appreciate that.

    • Canaduck

      Congrats, Candace. At first I thought you were just misguided and foolish–like so many of us are when we’re younger–but generally well-intentioned. Your comment here has considerably lowered my opinion of you.

      There are plenty of funny articles online that satirize and scrutinize that pervasive sexualization of women’s Halloween costumes, thank goodness. All of them–except yours, apparently–manage to make some vague reference to that fact, which is why your defense doesn’t hold a lot of water.

      Stop being gutless and say it: you thought you were being clever and edgy, and it turns out that you upset people. And you aren’t sorry. That’s fine. Just don’t be insulting about it by telling people that they were too clueless to recognize your attempts at satire after you came up with the idea of defending it as such.

  • Lisa

    I for one was not all that offended, because it seemed when I was reading the original Anne Frank costume article that the Anne Frank who wrote about wanting to be in Hollywood, glamorous and popular, might not have only wanted to be remembered as someone thoughtful and wise for her years, but in fact cheerful, displaying the qualities of a teenager interested in modern culture, upbeat. This doesn’t mean that “sexy” is okay, to me, but it doesn’t put plain Anne Frank out of the question.

    Either way, TheGloss, and other websites at the front of changing culture and fashion, are constantly taking risks with what is okay for a reader to hear. Everyone is at times offended by something in the media; I for one was offended by the mere presence of an article titled “F*ck, Marry, Kill: Gandhi. Martin Luther King Jr. Jesus.” the other week. But considering that the world is a place one has to live in carefully anyways, and that the writer of the Anne Frank article was a guest writer, I’ll still return to The Gloss as long as it hasn’t sunk into the comment wars, ad-addled pages, or politics of some other magaziney websites out there.

  • Nancy

    It is good of the Gloss to post another Guest post from the other side of the coin, though. Good job!

  • Holly

    Maybe that’s what she IS sorry for, though. We can’t force someone to be sorry for something they aren’t just because we might be offended by it. If The Gloss only published what certain people didn’t find offensive or what certain people didn’t agree with, there would be just as many complaints about that censorship. There are plenty of articles out there to read that won’t offend you. If you find one that does, simply roll your eyes and move on. You’re not going to change anything by complaining about it. At most you’re going to get an apology. And are you the one that really deserves the apology anyhow?

  • Fatima

    Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. “Sexy Anne Frank”, didn’t. Please, let’s just move on. November is around the corner…

  • Abigail

    Personally, I find THIS article to be MUCH more offensive than the original. The original didn’t bother me at all, and was clearly written playfully.

    • superjack

      Agree 100%.

      And: self-righteousness is way more offensive than irreverence.

    • Canaduck

      …the tone of the article wasn’t the issue. The issue is that the original author gleefully dressed up as the sexy version of a little murdered girl and then (if you read further in the comments) told everyone who found the costume offensive that they were too stupid to understand her clever attempts at satire.

  • Eileen

    Anne Frank wouldn’t bother me. SEXY Anne Frank does, because she wrote the diary as a middle schooler. Come on.

  • Funny And Jewish

    Victims of the Holocaust should never be reduced to a punch-line. What is more disturbing: the fact that a Jew thought of this Anne Frank Halloween costume, or that someone else might actually find it funny?

  • Mark

    Slice and dice it anyway you want, but the fact that someone can take the memory of Anne Frank and use it as a satirical statement is sickening. This was a young girl, people. We should never, ever allow our own self-amusement to cloud real suffering. I guess that’s what this Real Housewives world has come to.