Fashion Nova is selling a ‘sexy’ geisha costume for Halloween.
We’ve officially entered October which means pumpkin spice lattes, warming buttery pies … and potentially inappropriate Halloween costumes.
The topic of culturally inappropriate costumes is not something new. In 2016, Chrissy Teigen addressed the issue on a wider scale within the fashion industry. And earlier this year, Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson was called out for her culturally inappropriate dreadlocks. And don’t even get us started on celebrities dressing up as Native Americas or this ‘sexy’ Handmaid’s Tale outfit.
But, yet again, here we are. Enter: Fashion Nova’s ‘sexy’ geisha costume.
Priced at $49.99 (£38) the costume includes hair sticks, a kimono, a skirt, and an obi (a traditional sash worn with a kimono).
In the most simplest of terms, cultural appropriation is defined as the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices or ideas of a culture. Often by members of another and typically more dominant culture.
The issue here is that in Japan, geisha culture is one of tradition and respect. Identifiable by their white faces, bright red lips and elaborate hairstyles, geishas are treated like celebrities in their own country. Unfortunately, in the west geishas (a performing artist) have long been misunderstood as high class prostitutes – but that’s not the case. Geishas perform publicly and at large events (attended by men and women).
In previous weeks, people have taken to Twitter to remind people to pick appropriate costumes – including avoiding dressing as a geisha.
Just a reminder that Halloween is tons of fun! But please... it is ignorant & insulting to use a race/culture as your costume (native american, gypsy, geisha/asian, POC, etc)— Vanessa Sweet (@SweetWitchCoven) September 24, 2018
& it isn't edgy to want to wear handmaidens tale outfits as sexy tone deaf b.s.
Be a ghoul, not a fool.
Since it’s time to start thinking of Halloween costumes here are a few things NOT to be:— krista. (@kristanichelle) September 20, 2018
- a Mexican or Day of the Dead
- a TRANSGENDER
And many more!! Be cautious & mindful !!!
friendly reminder as Halloween approaches that ethnicities and cultures are NOT costumes. you cannot buy them. they are not yours. these include: Native American/Indian warrior princess garbage, G*psy/Fortune Teller bullshit, Geisha China doll pan-Asian trash, Blackface, etc.— jenna vélez🔮🍒 (@northernbruja) September 18, 2018
In short: geishas are part of Japanese culture and history – not a fancy dress outfit.
And, unfortunately, they’re not the only brand creating such inappropriate designs.
Stylist.co.uk has reached out to Fashion Nova for comment. We will update this article accordingly.
Images: Unsplash / Twitter