It’s a common refrain among white frat boys everywhere when you tell them they shouldn’t wear blackface on Halloween: “But I looooove Shaq/Lil’Wayne/[insert non-white celebrity here]. It can’t be racist if I love that person, right?!” To which I say: would you wear your stupid blackface costume to meet said celebrity in person? No? WHY EVER NOT?
But just because white people can’t don blackface without coming off like huge racist assholes doesn’t mean you can’t dress up like someone who is a different race than you for Halloween. Because most celebrities have defining characteristics other than their race, right? That’s why they’re celebrities.
For example! Perhaps learning from her “Asian eyes” incident a few years back, Miley Cyrus dressed up like Nicki Minaj for Halloween but left her skin color alone. To convey a sense of Nicki Minaj-ness, she wore a very Nicki-like wig, makeup, and jumpsuit, and even gave her ass a little extra padding. (Wonderpants are not a centuries-old tool of oppression, and Nicki’s amazing derriere is one of her defining characteristics, so I think it’s okay.) Perhaps most importantly, she had Nicki Minaj’s attitude. Her costume is not horribly offensive (Nicki even re-tweeted it), and you can totally tell who she is, which effectively calls bullshit on all those people who want to wear blackface “for the costume.” I never thought I’d say this, but Miley Cyrus did this correctly. Take note, frat bros.
Photo: Miley Cyrus