Here We Go Again: Our Annual Post About Cinco de Mayo Fail Moments

May 1, 2014
5:34 PM

It must be May, just days before Cinco de Mayo, because several companies and organizations have got it going on big time in the Stereotype Department this year. What follows are just four examples people shared with us today via our social networks. (Safe to say there are many more.)

First off, let’s look at some of these year’s collection of tragically awful Party City costumes (including some of the “spicy” copy that goes with it).

Accessories take an outfit from ordinary to ¡olé!
There are dozens of ways to make a margarita, but there are a million ways to mix up amagnifico Cinco de Mayo outfit! Browse this gallery for fun fiesta looks that are sure to spice up the festival. Get everyone fired up as a Spicy Senorita in red-hot pieces like layered tutus and orange suspenders over a fiesta T-shirt. Give it more sizzle with a vibrant roja wig and novelty chili pepper glasses, matching necklaces and a headband!


Steal hearts as a Bandida Beauty!
Put a sexy spin on your Cinco de Mayo outfit as a Bandida Beauty in a mix of fiesta accessories, a corset and tutu. Wrap a serape – a traditional woven poncho – around the front of a fiery red corset for a bandolier-style accessory. A sombrero with colorful trim, south-of-the-border body jewelry and a shot glass necklace add fun fiesta touches. For a dash of mystery, add a mask or pair of black gloves – or both!

Please stop.


But wait! There’s more!

Let’s leave Party City and go to Seattle, where a Change.Org petition is calling out the Fiesta 5K Olé! event on May 3. This is a screen grab of the event’s main page:


This is what part of the petition is saying:

The event’s theme, imagery, pictures posted on the website, among other things are incredibly offensive. They depict Latin@, specifically Mexican@, communities and culture in incredibly superficial and appropriative ways. Mexican culture and imagery are much more than “sombreros” and “tacos” and in fact has a rich cultural history that these superficial and stereotypical images and imagery fail to understand and represent AND not like I want my culture appropriated in any ways at all! Anything that reduces an entire people and their cultural heritage to such simplistic levels are demeaning and objectifying. It also reduces what may have been significant things, to comedic levels for people’s amusement and consumption to believe they have ownership over it and do with them what they want.

People can’t simply “put on” or “take off” their cultural heritage, experiences, and upbringings. To have an event with a theme such as this one, says that people can simply do this and I can’t. And if I had the option, I wouldn’t.

Events like these are not new. They are objectifying and oppressive. Events like these equate and reduce tradition, and communities to nothing but simplistic images. We are not here for your amusement, for your drunken escapades, your appropriation, or a filler for you “cultureless” life.

The folks who are participating are not inherently bad evil or horrible yet their actions and lack of consciousness are incredibly racist and fueled and centered on white supremacist logic. Culture is not for sale, for appropriation, for tokenization, for consumption. Trauma, power/powerlessness and oppression are woven into white supremacist logic and behavior and choices such as these.

We’re not done yet! Sticking to Seattle, someone actually tweeted us this as a serious invite:


No, seriously, we were asked to promote this. We really were.

Finally, from Boston: DRINKO DE MAYO!


We are just going to go into a cave and not come out until Seis de Mayo.