Thursday, October 15, 2009

Need A Halloween Costume, Dress Up As Octomom

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When I initially saw this costume on The View I was positively horrified.  This costume was pitched as a cheap alternative to celebrate Halloween.  Isn’t that great, you can save money while participating in racism and the purposeful reduction of another human being.  Just get yourself a black wig, 8 baby dolls, duct tape and don’t forget the enormous red lips.

When it was announced that Nadya Suleman had given birth to eight healthy babies and did not have a job, public opinion turned savage.  People raged about their tax dollars being spent to raise these children.  Investing in children always reaps returns. unlike the billions spent to engage in an imperialist war of aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am sure the designer of this costume did not stop and think for one moment that it might be the least bit problematic to mock the size of the lips of a woman of color.  Doing caricatures  of people of color has simply become normalized.

Suleman is not a joke; she is a living breathing human being.  We give lip service to supporting motherhood but in truth, we only consider it valuable when it occurs under certain conditions.  Reproduction is work and it is only devalued because it does not create a profit on the open market.  Each day that she wakes, she is responsible for ensuring that these children are cared for and loved.  Spending the day with one child can be exhausting never mind eight. 

This costume is offensive.  No one deserves to be reduced to a joke for their reproductive choices.  Suleman is an easy target because she is a single woman, with few financial resources.   If truly valued women and the unpaid domestic labour of raising a family Suleman would be supported and not denigrated.