As Halloween approaches, one TikToker voiced her concerns over possible racist interpretations of “Squid Game” costumes in a snarky skit.
Don’ts: Last Thursday, comedian and “Feeling Asian” podcast co-host Youngmi Mayer posted a 13-second video that touches on how non-Asian people might feel compelled to dress up as their favorite characters from the Netflix hit show.
- In the video, she pretends to be a non-Asian person who says, “I really want to do ‘Squid Game’ for Halloween but I’m so scared that Asians will get mad at me.”
- Mayer then plays herself with the caption “Me, Asian” and says, “Why would Asians get mad at you?”
- After she gives her confirmation that it’s OK, the video quickly cuts to the non-Asian character in a cheap wig, taping their eyes upwards to appear more slanted.
- Mayer’s video caption reads, “It’s totally ok to put on a tracksuit and a wig just don’t get racist with it.”
Not a trend: The video currently has 5.3 million views and thousands of comments that support Mayer’s satirical approach. Some users said that it’s acceptable to cosplay without “Asian fishing,” and some begged people to just wear a green tracksuit or pink jumpsuit when dressing up as “Squid Game” characters.
- One user said, “Dressing in clothes from an Asian show=fine. Pretending to have a feature that people get abused for having=not okay.”
- The video touches on the racist connotations behind the “slant-eye gesture.,” On TikTok in 2020, slanted eyes were deemed “trendy” by makeup artists who stretched back their temples or elongated their eyes to get a narrower eye shape that is reminiscent of how Asian eyes appear naturally. It was called the “Fox eye trend,” and many Asian TikTokers criticized it as being in the same vein as yellowfacing in old Hollywood films.
- Mayer’s skit followed her mega-viral TikTok video from Sept. 30 where she explained some of the questionable English translations behind “Squid Game.” That video has over 12.8 million views as of this writing.
Featured Image via @youngmimayer (left), Netflix Asia (right)