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The Daily Dish How to Holiday

Padma Lakshmi Weighs in on Racially Insensitive Halloween Costumes: "It's a No from Me"

The Bravo's Top Chef judge and social justice advocate shared her thoughts on racial appropriation, and even revealed the one costume she will never wear again.

By Jenny Berg
Luann De Lesseps’ Controversial Diana Ross Costume

Padma Lakshmi has some thoughts on Halloween costumes and racial appropriation. After all, sometimes even well-intended costumes can strike the wrong chord and come off as racially insensitive.

How to Watch

Watch Top Chef Season 21 Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

There was the time Kim Kardashian West drew backlash for dressing up as the black singer Aaliyah, for example. And in the Bravo universe, Luann de Lesseps was accused of wearing blackface when she appeared at Dorinda Medley's 2017 Halloween party dressed as Diana Ross. (The Countess later explained her costume in the clip above.) So here's how Padma feels about this topic: 

Sharing a photo of herself with a facial expression that basically said, nope, the Bravo's Top Chef judge wrote: "When you see a white person on Halloween with an Afro wig and bronzer saying they're Colin Kaepernick." She added in the caption, "It's a no from me." 

In the comments section, one follower confessed to feeling the same when people dress up as Pocahontas for Halloween. This is when Padma weighed in with a heartfelt, measured response: 

"You know what? In the past I have been guilty of being Pocahontas for Halloween," Padma wrote. "I obviously didn’t need makeup but I don’t think I would do it today. That’s been my learning curve. I wish I could, but out of respect I don’t think I can knowing now how it makes others feel. I’ve worn headdresses that have been just copies of what I thought were extremely beautiful pieces but today I would really be hard pressed to do it again. Life evolves, and maybe put points of view will too but for now I think better to just have the discussion before we hurt others even if we don’t mean to."

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