Tag: acid attacks

Dressing up as a monster of some kind – zombie, witch or the stuff of nightmares – may be foreign, but the trend has been adopted by Bangladeshis, and not even particularly those who are necessarily affluent, or who have had more exposure to foreign cultures. I’m not necessarily referring to Halloween costumes, by the way. I have come across Bangladeshi SFX or special effects artists who have the ability to metamorphose into grotesque monsters that would even trump any Kafka-esque creature, or be a perfect candidate for a Tim Burton film. I have seen boys fascinated with the character of the mentally deranged super-villain The Joker, so much so that at any Comicon, you’ll not just see one, but multiple Jokers – in gaudy purple suits, green hair and a chalky-white face that, through makeup, appears to have a “Glasgow smile” (a wound caused by making a cut from the corners of the mouth up to the ears, leaving a scar in the shape of a smile). I could give more examples, but you get the idea.

Unfortunately, certain non-fictitious groups of people in our Bangladeshi society are perceived to have monstrous appearances and are thereby othered by the masses. These include members of the hijra community and victims of acid attacks. While it would be belittling for one to dress up as a member of the hijra community, because no one wants to be mocked at for pretending to have a non-conforming gender identity of “half-ladies” (transphobia and/or intersex phobia are a topic for another day), never could I have imagined that a day would come when I would have to witness a youngster dressing up as an acid attack victim for a dress-as-you-like competition at an educational institution in Dhaka.

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