Instagrammer Zachary Crane is in trouble for dressing up for Halloween in what people are calling Blackface.
Crane is a 30-year-old Instagrammer and artist with over 22,000 followers. But he isn’t just an Instagram artist who shares his artwork, he also posts everyday pics of himself engaging in the world. Plus, he does a bunch of vanity shots as well like bathroom selfies, underwear selfies, shirtless shots, gym shots and more.
For Halloween, Crane decided he wanted to dress up as an iconic Marvel superhero from the X-men.
And while nobody questions his decision to dress up as Storm (because come on, Storm's awesome), many have a problem with the way that he chose to do it.
Many called it Blackface and berated Crane, and, of course, Crane saw nothing wrong with the way he dressed. Instead, he felt attacked by all the commenters.
“I’m fully aware that everyone is crying over my costume and calling me a racist piece of shit… like seriously,” he said in a now-deleted Instagram post. “Just to let everyone know, I love Storm. Have ever since I was a kid.”
Many people are calling Crane racist and pointing out that he’s a known Trump supporter to demonize the man. But, this writer won’t. I’m going to believe that Zachary Crane didn’t mean any harm when he wore this outfit.
That said, Crane’s costume choice is still offensive and a terrible decision from the get-go.
This moment reminds me of last Halloween when The Real O’Neals had the same controversy when main character Kevin O’Neal dressed up as Super Bowl Beyoncé including a darker skin tone. (I had similarly conflicting thoughts when that happened).
In history, Blackface is attached to things like the Minstrel shows of the 1800s. White actors would travel around America (and Europe). They would wear black paint on their skin and act out racist stereotypes of black people.
For many, the definition of Blackface includes the stereotypical and racist “acting” of blackness and not just the darkening of skin.
Perhaps that mentality of "If it's not meant to be racist it isn't Blackface," is why people like Zachary Crane or Kenny O’Neal dress up in costumes and darken their face to look black.
Again, I don’t think Zachary Crane was intending to be racist (or rather, I hope he wasn’t), but I also think that his white privilege was showing.
Instead of fighting to darken your skin, why not save yourself the hassle of fighting (and putting on the paint), and instead respect the feelings and history of people of color?
Can we all just agree to stop coloring our skin to mimic other races and put Blackface behind us for good? (And yes, I’m also including Yellowface and Whiteface found in comedies like White Chicks).
While you could argue “PC this” and “PC that,” this ultimately is a fight we don’t need to have. You can still dress up as Beyoncé or X-Men’s Storm. Just don’t color your skin. That’s it.
Note: The opinion in this article belongs to the writer and not of Instinct Magazine itself.
Update (11/2/2017): This article first label's Zachary Crane's action as not Blackface. That said, after some consideration and a long response to a commenter down below (which is worth reading if you're interested in this topic), it has been updated to say the opposite.