“Does your oppression look good on me?”: It’s time to stop playing dress-up in other people’s cultures

3/4/2015, Salon

It’s been more than 50 years since the white journalist John Howard Griffin medically darkened his skin and embarked on a tour through the Deep South pretending to be black (a tale he chronicled in the book “Black Like Me“), but Griffin’s brand of immersive stunt journalism is thriving. Despite the preponderance of people writing about their own lived experiences, the media is awash with tales of privileged people conducting “social experiments” in which they adopt the trappings of a less privileged existence and pose for the camera, asking, “Does your oppression look good on me?”