Hey, Your Themed Parties Are Awkward
Hey, Your Themed Parties are Awkward
[Image] A smiling Caucasian woman with short hair facing the reader.
Woman: We’re having a 1920’s themed party! You should come!
[Image] The same woman, same expression.
[Caption] What I hear:
Woman: We’re having a “dress like a white person from the 1920’s” party! You should come!
[Caption] Cuz they don’t mean what my family wore in the 1920’s. Which is fine, I guess. But when I’m the only non-white person? I wish they would see how awkward it feels.
[Image] Four Caucasian people all facing each other in a group. They are dressed in headbands, fedoras, bow ties, and dresses – stereotypical 1920’s outfits. They are all smiling. At the edge of the group is a non-white man wearing a suit. He has a sad expression, and is looking at the other four people.
[Caption] In a room full of white people wearing clothes from an overtly racist era, at best I feel out of place…at worst I feel like I’m part of their costume as the servant.
I love parties. House parties, Halloween parties, Super Bowl parties… you name it. I’m an outgoing guy and I like meeting new people and having a good time. But themed parties, can we talk about it?
Look, obviously some themed parties are stupid racist (hint, anything with blackface is racist). I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the seemingly innocent 1920s themed parties. Or 1930, or any decade before 1960 really, let alone anything in the 1800s.
My white friends seem to like these parties. Fancy hats and moustaches and 3-piece suits and dresses with white gloves and things like that.
Let’s get a few things straight. When white people say they are throwing a “1920s themed party” they’re really saying “dress like a white person in the 1920s”. If I showed up the way MY ancestors dressed at the time, you would think I missed the memo.
Which is fine, I guess. But I really don’t think they understand that parties like this can get awkward. Especially if I’m the only person who isn’t white.
In a room full of white people wearing clothes from an overtly racist era, at best I feel out of place. At worst I feel like I’m part of THEIR costume as the servant.
Sure, I often end up having fun because I’m with friends…but it doesn’t mean it’s not awkward. The entire night, I’m reminded of my minority status. I think it’s one of those things white people never stop to think about (or experience), but it’s pretty obvious.