Day of the Dead-ify your Fotos!

Like many other people out there, I’ve come to love using the online image editor PicMonkey to edit my photos. It has every awesome feature you could want, plus some – and it’s free. I didn’t think I could love PicMonkey more than I already do, but I just came upon a super chévere seasonal addition. Not only have Halloween features been added, but there is now a Día de los Muertos theme!

This screen capture doesn’t even show all the features. Go check it out!

Although I’ve never had a desire to paint my face like a sugar skull before, PicMonkey made this idea very tempting. Carlos came into the room while I was in the middle of creating this.

Carlos asked me, first, what in the world I was doing, and second, “I thought you said you were busy writing?”

(Thanks a lot, PicMonkey, for distracting me and getting me into trouble!) … I’ll go back to writing now, the rest of you, go have fun!

7 thoughts on “Day of the Dead-ify your Fotos!

  1. Have you heard of blackface? This is racist for the same reasons. I understand that your immersion in Latin culture is far more than superficial, but there are some things that should be respected and not appropriated. The commercial and costume aspects of this post fetishizes instead of celebrates Dia de los Muertos. I think you honored the tradition well with Carlos’ father’s altar, but this, not so much.

    See: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/costume-cultural-appropriation

    • Hi Carmen, thanks for your comment and for sharing your opinion in a respectful manner. I appreciate your thoughts and I’m aware of the campaign you linked to – I think it’s a great effort. That being said, I do not feel that painting my face, (either in real life or digitally), for Día de los Muertos can be compared to something as offensive as blackface.

      Perhaps this argument would have more validity if I was completely clueless of the culture and/or even making fun of it – but as you know, that is not the case. Not only am I respectful and passionately in love with the culture, but I consider myself a part of it, just as much as an immigrant from anywhere in the world might come to the United States and begin to have 4th of July BBQs, sing “Happy Birthday” in English for their American born children, and dress up in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots to go country line dancing.

      I have adopted the culture and the culture has adopted me – it isn’t an optional hobby or some trendy thing I’m doing to impress hipsters on Instagram. I am ethnically Latina, regardless of my heritage. Perhaps I’ll never be able to trace my roots to Latin America like you, but hey, neither can the Spanish language, adobo, sofrito, flan, platanos, fútbol, Frida Kahlo’s father, the African beat found in so many types of Latin music, bullfighting, animals such as horses, (can you imagine a Pedro Infante movie or charros without horses?), and a million other things which are an integral part of the culture. A person’s history is important, but it isn’t their everything.

    • Carmen, I can’t help but wonder if you’ve heard of blackface. Because if you did – if you truly knew the history and understood the malice, degradation and ridicule of blackface – you would never suggest that Tracy’s post/photo is racist or disrespectful.

      So many people paint their face to celebrate Dia de los Muertos – I can’t tell you how many painted faces I saw on instagram. And for a quick second I thought about painting my face too. But then, I thought. I have to buy all the make up. Carve out a chunk of time to paint my face – hope it comes out well – and then have all that paint on my face for the remainder of the day. That’s a pretty big commitment. (For me, anyway.)

      I think Tracy did a beautiful job celebrating Dia de los Muertos with her photo. In fact, seeing hers inspired me to create one of my own on pic monkey. (Though mine didn’t come out as great as Tracy’s.)

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