I came across this ad campaign called “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” highlighting a need to not wear racially and culturally stereotypical costumes for Halloween. The ads covered many racial stereotypes that are abound in Halloween costumes and admonishes those who would choose such costumes. This ad campaign made by Ohio University has since been turned into hilarious parodies as an internet meme including one about an insulted T-Rex holding up a Barney costume with the slogan, “This is Not Who I Am, and This is Not Okay”, for an example. Others mock figures and TV characters in popular culture as well as subvert the message by creating a new stereotype! I got inspired to make some historical themed ones, as history has tons of stereotypes and misconceptions, from vikings with horned helmets, to pilgrims with buckles on their hat! Check out some of History Is Interesting’s silly memes:
People from the 17th century, even pilgrims and puritans did not dress in all black with belt buckles! That is a common misconception planted by the Victorians to make them look more quaint and “old timey”. Black was too expensive to wear for every day wear, and many dressed in all sorts of colors! Also, they did not wear buckles on their hats or shoes either. Real 17th century people usually wore a doublet and puffy britches with stockings. Many had funky hats too, with odd shapes and big feathers, and some had more normal shaped hats too.
Vikings in real life did not wear horns or “World of Warcraft” outfits! The real ones usually wore knee length tunics with occasional chain mail and medieval hose. Their helmets did not have horns as it would be very impractical! Vikings are often associated with raiding, but many other groups raided too, and were more into agricultural life. Vikings were also well known for trading as well as pillaging who they conquered. The vikings did not call themselves vikings, and were mostly individual groups.
Roman soldiers are often depicted in stereotypical gladiator armor, but in reality they wore what is in this picture. Also, the standard Roman soldier outfit wasn’t the norm forever. In the later years of Rome, the armor looked much more like early medieval chain mail, with more medieval looking tunics. Also, the shields and weaponry changed as well and looked more “barbarian”.
Many women throughout the Middle Ages dressed more like Muslim women today than many people think! Anglo Saxon women wore a wimple, a type of veil and a long dress. Married women often wore head coverings after Christianity was introduced. Many wore a sleeveless outer tunic over their dress and had a belt with items such as keys on them. Some viking women had an outer dress held up by broaches at the shoulders. Probably, many Medieval women would find what we think they wore quite immodest!
This one I didn’t make myself, but I thought it was historically themed enough to throw in there! :)