I wonder if that costume led to any unfortunate misunderstandings.
Q: “Hey Sally, what’s with the makeup?”
A: “I’m going to be a SPOOK for Halloween!”
Jesus…I remember these. And no, the makeup was anything but “easy-on, easy-off”. I think they used lead based paint and mercury.
Terrible color rendering, I believe the color of the makeup was intended to better match that of the inflatable helmet.
The thing I remember most about these is that the older boys were using them for bb gun shooting practice. It was serious incentive to pick a different costume.
If my mother had known that she wouldn’t have been so eager for me to wear one of those costumes. Fortunately I had final say over what I wore.
Considering that historically we have been the invaders, the portrayal of green-face by species with a history of being oppressed is broadly split into two types.
There is comedy, where the point is to mock, to lessen the horrors of the past by rendering the “monsters” into figures of fun, bumbling idiots who are baulked at every turn by the heroic Earthlings. Although any stereotyping is bad, I feel that this is a natural part of the rebuilding process and over time, such stereotypes will be considered nothing more than a quirk of history and and irrelevant to today’s multi-planetary society.
The child’s costumes of that era fall into this category and if the price of a child no longer having nightmares about Martian Invaders was a little gentle mocking, I consider that was worth paying.
There are some MRAs (Martian Rights Advocates) who consider all forms of green-face to be both insulting and specist but they are neglecting to take into account the position of Martian Privilege. Ironically, these MRAs are strangely quiet when it comes to green-face being adopted by for other reasons.
The more worrying aspect of green-face is that of Identification, where humans dress and re-enact some of the less palatable parts of our history. Neo-Martian groups thrive in a culture of xenophobia and social injustice, where the problems being faced by humanity can be blamed on others, obviating the need to address the root causes of the problems. They certainly don’t represent or understand the modern Post-Planetary-War culture of Mars.
I am also slightly disturbed by the recent rise in numbers of Green Power groups, particularly amongst environmentalists who are the most vocal proponents of this, but I think that more research is needed as there are distinctly mixed messages.
Context is everything. While I don’t think that green-face should be targeted (either by legal means or by heat-rays) , anyone engaging in green-face dress in this epoch should do so very carefully, such as historical depictions within the appropriate context.
Break a deal, spin the wheel!
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