There are all kinds of videos on YouTube where someone dresses up as a person from a marginalized group and goes out in public to “experience for themselves” how that group is treated, but many of them just end up being offensive – a privileged person making a cultural discussion all about themselves. But I think the good people at SoulPancake have got this one figured out.
The host of SoulPancake’s series “Bita: American Girl,” who is both Middle Eastern and American, tried out two extremes of her own cultural identity by dressing in a burka and then in booty shorts, and asking women which one they would pick if they could only choose between those styles.
Instead of the simplistic “Wow, women DO get mistreated for the way they dress!” reaction that you might expect, Bita engages different women in honest conversations about why they dress the way they do, how their choices empower them and the myth that extremes in our culture can’t connect with each other. It’s one of those rare social experiments that actually challenge you and make you think.