Sunday, December 20, 2009

Playing Dead: A Look at the "Grayface" Phenomenon

We're a culture, not a costume, and this is not OK.

Zombie walks. Zombie face painting. Zombie-themed nights at bowling alleys and bars. All in good fun, right?

Not so fast, kemo sabe.

There are many in the living impaired rights movement, myself included, who feel that the phenomenon of living people making themselves up as "zombies" and pretending to be living impaired is highly offensive. The "grayface" fad is one of many factors which continue to make the LI feel as if they are objects of scorn and ridicule in modern day society. You living hold all the power in the world, and yet you continue to blithely make fun of those who are essentially powerless. Simply put, THIS MUST STOP!

If this is offensive:
Al Jolson in blackface.

Then so is this:

Some dude in "grayface."

ONE LAST PLEA: If you living insist on wearing the "grayface" makeup and masquerading as so-called "zombies," please try to conduct yourselves with a modicum of dignity and intelligence. In other words, not like this:


  1. You must think me a terrible person for how I flaunt my involvement in "zombie walks." As an organizer of an upcoming walk, what do you think I could do to be more respectful to the LI community?

  2. I feel somehow ashamed because the "Turtle Boy" is ALSO from Portland, OR.