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Friday, July 11, 2014

The Story Behind "American Idols"

The title for this story doesn’t actually come from American Idol like some readers of the story first thought. My choice for title just comes from the idea that the kids of the story idolize these modern cultural “icons” (yes, I use that word loosely). So the idea just stemmed from the fact that these are idols and they are American. The fact that it came out sounding like that piece of “entertainment” (yes, I use that word loosely) was purely coincidental. It might be time to go through my music to find a song title to name it after.

The idea for this story started with a Halloween costume. Not mine, but Julianne Hough’s. At the time she had showed up at a Halloween party dressed up as Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black. The major issue is that Julianne Hough is white and Crazy Eyes is a black character. Naturally, people screamed “Black Face” without actually understanding what true “Black Face” is. Meanwhile it gave me an idea for a story.

The main kernel of the idea was a white kid going to school as a historical black figure. I wanted to play with the perceived offensiveness of this concept, the white kid dressing up as a black character to honor them rather than to denigrate them (which is what true “Black Face” is for, to denigrate). I used depictions of children dressing as modern over the top pop stars to juxtapose the absurdity of their idols with the one that Stephanie chooses.


I will do a revision of this story, most likely giving the teacher more of a reaction to Stephanie’s appearance and to keep the action from venturing too far from the event and the classroom setting.

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