I feel like nowadays we are very quick to judge and crucify people – whether it be bad feminists, cultural appropriation or just insensitivity. Although none of these topics is to be taken lightly, we still can’t dismiss points of view that are different from our own. Instead, empathy should be encouraged. We should try to understand why people think differently from us and if there is something to learn from them or their experiences.
One recent example on crucifixion was an article, which claimed that ‘humanity is officially cancelled’ because there was an Anne Frank costume being sold online. The argument was centered around the fact that a holocaust victim should not be someone to dress up as for Halloween. The author went on to say that we can’t take ‘horrific moments in history and try to manipulate them for monetary gain’ and that they ‘gloss over horrific history’.
In a way, I do understand why she is upset, I also don’t approve of gaining money from other people’s misery and suffering, but I do feel that the article does not make a convincing argument against wearing an Anne Frank costume.
Nowadays, knowledge is usually just a click away. Children can find out in a second what World War II was, as well as the Holocaust and Anne Frank. We just need to make sure that they actually do look it up and that their curiosity is sparked. Dressing a child up as one of the most influential girls of her time, could make them appreciate their lives much more and maybe even awaken a little historian – who knows? Therefore, I strongly believe that dressing up as someone meaningful, is on the contrary, absolutely fantastic. It makes children learn and have fun at the same time.
Because, when it comes to children, learning through playful and fun activities is the key to making them interested in history, science and basically everything we teach them both at home and in school. For example, dressing up as historical figures can be quite rewarding, learning about the person and who they were, what they did and why should we remember them. It also says a lot about the era: the clothes, the hair, the makeup – these all have stories and explanations behind them.
It was the legendary girl herself that said: ‘We aren’t allowed to have any opinions. People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but it doesn’t stop you having your own opinion. Even if people are still very young, they shouldn’t be prevented from saying what they think.’ Based on that thought, I think she would have been very supportive of people wearing whatever clothes or costumes they want.
Finally, I’d like to come back to my initial argument – we crucify others too quickly, without trying to understand them. Dressing up as a ‘slutty Anne Frank’, or a ‘cute Anne Frank’ is insensitive and disrespectful, but I see no harm in wanting to be just like her. As long as she is done justice, her legacy treated with respect and the costume used wisely – there is no reason why children shouldn’t celebrate her bravery and memory by dressing up as Anne Frank.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed belong to our diverse range of talented writers, and don’t represent the views of Wessex Scene as a whole.