Thursday, October 31, 2013

Martha Plimpton, Julianne Hough, and so called “Blackface”

Until today, I had never heard of Martha Plimpton.   Upon an internet search, imagine my surprise to find that she’s not a black woman, but a white woman, who has taken to the tweet-waves to chastise Julianne Hough for her “Crazy Eyes” costume.   Crazy Eyes is a character from Orange is the New Black portrayed by Uzo Aduba.

Julianne has gotten quite a bit of flack over her choice of costume.   She was not in “blackface” as is being reported, she was in “extremely tanned.”   She has now been forced to profusely apologize.  She should not have apologized.  She should have stood her ground and held her silence.   This was not a slip of the tongue that caused mainstream media to toss Martha Stewart under the proverbial bus.  No, this was a Halloween costume based on a character.   Miss Hough did nothing wrong.

The Martha Plimptons of the world saw a fine chance to get in the spotlight.   Any publicity will do, even if it shows your ignorance, apparently.   And it is quite ignorant to blindly tweet your narrow-mindedness, as a quick perusal of Plimpton’s Twitter account will plainly show.

If it’s not okay to dress up as a character of color, it must not be ok to dress up as a fat woman.  What about men dressing up as women for Halloween?  And then there’s the whole cross dressing thing.  If it’s wrong to dress up as a black character, it must be wrong for a man to dress as a woman, according to Plimpton logic.

Is there any difference, really, between an actress dressing up as a character and an artist painting a nameless African American face?   I think not.

Julianne Hough was not racist, she was dressing up as a fun character that she personally liked.   Racism is all in the attitude, not in the shade of someone’s skin or the makeup they choose to wear.   Racism is not nearly as alive and well as a select few would have you believe.  If the Jessie Jacksons, Al Sharptons, and Martha Plimptons would be worried about such things as the (un)Affordable” Care Act bankrupting middle class America, we would all be a lot better off.   With the many real issues in the world today that we can be concerned about, why spend your day worried about a Halloween costume?

Some people dress up and have fun.  Others look for ways to be offended.