Writer Yashir Ali posted the picture -- still available on Roman's MySpace page -- of Roman wearing a white tank top, hoop earrings and fake tattoo across her chest, saying Roman was "dressed up as a Chola."
Roman was quick to respond, posting, "This is an incredibly embarrassing picture that was taken in 2008. I was 23 and living in SF, this was my 'SF inspired Amy Winehouse' costume for Halloween – it reads as culturally insensitive, and I was an idiot child who knew nothing about the world/how this would be perceived and I'm sorry."
1. A lot of debate on this tweet of mine to the left. I have deleted it while keeping it here so that it can sit next to @alisoneroman’s tweet. This is photo was sitting on Alison’s MySpace page...you can google it. She has a recent history of being called out for appropriation. pic.twitter.com/HYHNQ2vjNI
Ali then posted Roman's apology and said the New York Times food writer "has a recent history of being called out for appropriation," while arguing "Amy didn't have a tattoo in old English on her chest like that. She also didn't wear hoops like that."
Others on Twitter pressed her about the costume details as Roman responded, "TBH I'd be surprised if I even looked up a picture of Amy to put this together. I am historically lazy and bad at costumes. I'm sure it went something like 'someone give me fake tattoos and some eyeliner, this seems fine! now plz hand me the Bacardi 151!' It was/I was VERY DUMB."
While many followers were divided about the intention of the costume, Ali received backlash as some believed he was too quick to judge amid the "cancel culture."
One Twitter user wrote, "@yashar, Mexicans and Chicanos aren't even offended by this. All you're trying to do is create problems where none exist. I truly hope that @alisonroman retracts her apology because it wasn't warranted. @yashar is just trying to gain internet clout."
TBH I'd be surprised if I even looked up a picture of Amy to put this together. I am historically lazy and bad at costumes. I'm sure it went something like "someone give me fake tattoos and some eyeliner, this seems fine! now plz hand me the Bacardi 151!" It was/I was VERY DUMB
Some asked if Ali wanted to "cancel" his friend, Chrissy Teigen, as one wrote, "Since you're into calling out ppl for appropriation, here's another one for you," alongside a picture of the model dressed as a Native American with her husband, John Legend, as a cowboy.
Ali's posting comes about a month after Roman was under fire for calling Teigen and Marie Kondo "sell-outs" in an interview with The New Consumer.
"Like, what Chrissy Teigen has done is so crazy to me. She had a successful cookbook. And then it was like: Boom, line at Target. Boom, now she has an Instagram page that has over a million followers where it's just, like, people running a content farm for her."
@yashar, Mexicans and Chicanos aren't even offended by this. All you're trying to do is create problems where none exist. I truly hope that @alisoneroman retracts her apology because it wasn't warranted. @yashar is just trying to gain internet clout.
"That horrifies me and it's not something that I ever want to do," Roman continued. "I don't aspire to that."
As for the organizing guru, Roman said, "The idea that when Marie Kondo decided to capitalize on her fame and make stuff that you can buy, that is completely antithetical to everything she's ever taught you."
After social media called her out, Roman apologized, posting, "I'm a white woman who has and will continue to benefit from white privilege and I recognize that makes what I said even more inexcusable and hurtful."
"The fact that it didn't occur to me that I had singled out two Asian women is one hundred percent a function of my privilege (being blind to racial insensitivities is a discriminatory luxury)."
TooFab has reached out to Roman and Ali for comment.