Halloween is next week and I’m not going to lie, I want to be Lizzo. But I’m not sure I can do it because my skin is white. I’m Mexican but my skin didn’t get the memo. I’m a freckled Mexican and that’s ok because Latinos come in all shades of the rainbow. But I’m not black and I don’t know if it’s ok for me to be a famous black woman for Halloween?
Lizzo is such an inspiration to me. In honesty, Melissa Vivianne Jefferson may be one of my favorite people in pop culture right now. She is such a strong, straight up, force and I love that my girls have someone like Lizzo to see in the world right now. There is something about her that speaks to my soul, in a way that I’ve not felt connected to art in a long time. She is truth for so many girls and women.
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Halloween is a favorite holiday at our house. We all get into it. We have, by far, the creepiest decorated house on the block. We have an annual Halloween party. We do family costumes and Zombie walks and on any given weekend, you will find us, as a family, binge-watching horror movies. We’re that family.
Halloween costumes are more than just dressing up as our favorite heroes or villains for a night, it’s the chance to emulate some of the people we love most in history and pop culture. I’ve been everyone from Bing Bong to Miranda Sings and Carrie White for Halloween. This year our family costume for the party is the Addams family. I will be playing the role of Morticia for the evening. But for the big night, Halloween, I really want to be Lizzo. This bitch is 100% that bitch.
However, as a POC (if you know me IRL, you know that I can be any shade from alabaster to a golden goddess with my olive Latina skin) I find myself asking if I can be Lizzo because y’all know that I’m not about that appropriations life.
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I am a bi-cultural Latina woman who grew up in an urban African American neighborhood in Chicago. While my skin may be white and my culture may be Mexican, black people have always been a part of my story. I see color and I respect differences but to me, people are people. But as someone who has written about cultural appropriations and admonished those who’ve done it and warned others against doing it, would I be appropriating if I dressed as Lizzo, a strong black woman who I admire?
I think the fact that I’m even asking and giving pause, is a sign that I just shouldn’t do it. But at the same time, I feel like I’m a curvy woman with long wavy hair who loves and respects Lizzo and I really want to play Lizzo for a night. No, I won’t be adding padding or altering the color of my skin. It’ll just be me, as Lizzo. But that’s the thing about appropriations, right? I can be Lizzo for a night but then I can be Debi again. Debi the white Latina who blends in almost everywhere. And that is what is really giving me pause.
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So, I’m coming to you Internet and I know you’ll give it to me straight because isn’t that what the Internet loves to do?
Is it inappropriate for this white Latina to dress up as Lizzo for Halloween?
I don’t want to be Lizzo because of her outrageous outfits (while the That Bitch outfit is amazing and I’d feel like a boss wearing it around my neighborhood) but I want to be Lizzo for the night because she is a force to be reckoned with. She is strong, vivacious and full of self-love. She has life figured out. All the things that women struggle with universally, she’s already had a come to Jesus meeting about and she has made peace with it. She is a strong female, maybe one of the strongest in pop culture, and I want to be that iconic empowered character for one night. It’s sort of like dressing up as Wonder Woman with slightly more clothes and 1000% more relatable to every woman.
Well, if this mama can’t dress up like Lizzo for a night, I guess I’ll just get tickets to a concert, wear the t-shirt and support her in all the ways I can because the world definitely needs more women like Lizzo in the world.