Costumes Gone Wrong

101 costumes cover

101 Costumes for All Ages, All Occasions
Cummings
1970

This book sure looks old and the illustrations are awful. I just want to cringe at “instant Oriental” as well as some culturally insensitive assumptions. Yikes.  It certainly needs to move on from a public library collection.

This isn’t really for a serious costumer or theater person and it also seems a bit much for the basic Halloween costume or even school play. Is there a real need for an “Instant Napoleon”?

Mary

 

8 comments

  1. My Lord, the prejudice and bias of centuries that led up to printing all these books is going to take decades if not centuries to examine (examination of conscious), question and unlearn as we listen to people who never never were listened to over all those centuries. These books need to be considered where any information can be salvaged, then be rewritten perhaps. Most especially today these mundane books can be weeded and composted, while many of the “award” winners can be considered every year for weeding….
    for example: Smoky Night by Eve Bunting
    https://socialjusticebooks.org/smoky-night-misguided-effort-to-help-kids-understand-rodney-king-events/#:~:text=What%20has%20come%20to%20be,want%20to%20smash%20and%20destroy.

  2. -Is there a real need for an “Instant Napoleon”?

    Well, only before the commitment hearing…

  3. Even in 1970, some people would have objected to this. Nowadays, it definitely needs to be discarded (Possibly straight into recycling, so it doesn’t hang around another 50 years).

    The “witch doctor” with the bone in the nose looks like something you see from the right wing conspiracists!

  4. The Egyptian slave costume is problematic due to the near nudity involved. Loincloths are not appropriate costumes.

    1. If it was an all-adult party, maybe. But this seems to be aimed at children, so probably not.

      Not to mention the terribleness of cosplaying as a slave of any time or ethnicity. Particularly since slaves and poor people throughout ancient and medieval history (at least) tended to dress alike. I bet a lot of free Egyptian men back then only wore loincloths in the summer.

  5. Aside from the doubtful legitimacy of most of those featured, where are you going to find “an old fedora or man’s hat”? Does this imply fedoras are _not_ men’s hats?

    1. They’re named after a female book character, but I agree it’s a weird phrasing — they were unisex by then. And a woman’s hat would have a larger brim to pin up anyway.

      The redoubtable Agent Peggy Carter rocked her red fedora.

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