An Ethnic Costume You Can Wear Everyday

I saw this sweatshirt while I was shopping in Tillys. I could not help but find it disturbing and appearing negatively racialized. It is even more disturbing because it is only made in children sizes. The sweatshirt is made by Volcom and on their website it describes the sweatshirt as, “a bandit with a big ol’ mustache…a full ammo cross belt on front and back for the authentic bandit look!”. Although their description for the sweatshirt says nothing about race, it is clear that the sweatshirt depicts the stereotypes of a Mexican man. It is sad to see how these negative and inappropriate images are kept in our society and how they continue to socialize people with a racial bias.

This is very closely related to costumes for Halloween and even takes it a step further.  Selling this item to children is allowing them to continue disrespecting Latino culture through costume 365 days a year rather then just once a year on Halloween. They chose not only to have the image to wear a poncho and having tan skin but also chose to wrongfully associates Mexican men as being criminals and  dangerous by having the belt of bullets and mask on his eyes. It comes to no surprise that there is still much racism in our society and people hold negative racial stereotypes.  

 Link to Volcom website

Research Question:

1. How can clothing designs socialize people and perpetuate racism?

2. What are the effects of gender specific and racialized children clothing?

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