SATIRE: Why I chose to culturally appropriate basic white girls for Halloween

Stephen Armica, Satirist

Amateur cultural theorist Stephen Armica asked to publish his findings on the phenomena of cultural appropriation during Halloween in The Oakland Post. We didn’t read it before we agreed to do it, so we would like to present to you our blatant mistake of an article.  

Cultural appropriation is a big deal. It’s stealing from a rich and beautiful culture and reducing it to its most basic stereotypes in either a negative or an overly sexualized manner. This line of reasoning, which reduces complex ways of life to the most basic and trivial, needs to be recognized as harmful.

What is cultural appropriation? Well let’s take, for example, the really hot blonde girl with the Pocahontas outfit and the average-looking Native American girl who’s dressed in an elaborate customary Native American tunic made out of cow hide and decorated with paint made from inkberries.

Who do you think is gonna get hit on more? The one who knows that Thanksgiving is actually about killing Native Americans? No. It’s the one with blonde hair and less imagination.

So I decided to go about this logic on the back end to help solve the problem. To combat debasement and trivialization, I had to figure out what was actually basic and trivial. Is it Starbucks in the left hand and iPhone in the right? Is it blonde hair, leather boots, leggings and a black vest? The answer to both of those questions is yes.

In the hopes of starting a movement, a la Arlo Guthrie, I went to a Halloween party wearing exactly that plus a self-grown mustache. And it was awkward.

At first, people didn’t understand. Guys walked over trying to figure out, in their drunken stupor, whether they should hit on me or call me some derogatory term. And they didn’t stop there.

People very much took offense to this. “I’m showing respect to this culture by showing my support,” one person said in a Pocahontas costume and a push-up bra.

“What are you trying to say if you’re just culturally appropriating regardless,” said the blonde girl in a Pocahontas costume. “Aren’t you just part of the problem then?”

And the answer to that, which I wish I could’ve thought of during that conversation but didn’t, is that’s the point. I’m trying to be part of the problem. I’m trying to oversexualize and debase the complexity of Facebook-induced catatonia, a developing addiction to caffeine and furry boots that are actually a lot more comfortable than you’d think.

I’m trying to take this complex system of coping with existence and satirize it so that it could be made into something that becomes almost meaningless to the people that actually live it. I’m trying to oversimplify the problems, the challenges, and the intellectual contributions that mark that group’s position in the international community.

Mostly because they’re just a bunch of basic white girls.