Halloween Costumes: Offensive or Offensively Scary ?

Is this costume just not it?

creative commons

Is this costume just ‘not it’?

Alejandra Dellano, Staff Writer

As we approach the end of October, Halloween is just around the corner. Every year, people get together to dress up and celebrate this spooky holiday, as it is the perfect time to embrace your interests and dress up as anything you would like. While there is no harm in that aspect of the holiday, there are also people who dress up as a different race or culture than their own. Where is the line drawn on what is appropriate and what is just appropriation? Mocking a demographic of people with offensive stereotypes should not be taken lightly, justifying your problematic outfit of the night by saying it is a joke is not an excuse for your choice of costume.

One of the costumes that are simply unacceptable are costumes insulting cultures and races, examples of this include dressing up as your favorite rapper and changing your skin tone when applying your makeup. Taking time to appreciate someone’s’ culture and traditional attire is never wrong but limits do apply as to how far you can say something is appropriate up until it turns into cultural appropriation.

Have you ever seen someone on Halloween wearing a Mexican costume with a big Sombrero and a maracas instrument? Although this could be insensitive, the way you present yourself when wearing the costume is what really causes a problem. Creating false stereotypes surrounding a group of people should not be allowed just because it is Halloween night. Certain demographics of people get a plethora of criticism on a daily basis as it is, they can not just take off their costume when the night ends.

“It baffles me how others think it is simply okay to dress up as real people who face oppression to this day. Those who do so should reevaluate themselves,” senior Ashley Reyes said.

Wearing what you feel comfortable in is never an issue if it makes you feel confident, but where should you draw the line at showing too much skin for a certain outfit? Offensively provocative costumes like dressing up as a nun in an alluring way can come off as offensive, considering it goes directly against some of their definitive beliefs.

There is a world of choices when planning for your costume. You can choose to be a monster, zombie, vampire or even team up with your friends for a group or duo costume. Having empathy for those around you is a known thing to prioritize so why throw that away for one night?

“The scary part about this all is that some people do not even think that what they are doing is wrong,” sophomore Parker D’alebrate said.

Costumes can be fun and creative and should not have a direct dress code, but making sure you are not insulting someone else in your night of fun should be on your checklist when purchasing a costume. One step we can take in an effort to end these offensive costumes is to find the base of the problem- the stores that sell these types of attires.

Stores that manufacture the costumes themselves like Party City and Spirit Halloween can start by limiting these costumes overall so that people do not even have the option to easily purchase them. By eliminating this issue, people would have to go out of their way to create an offensive costume, which most would not take the time to do.

Before you decide to choose a costume that might be offensive, think about the consequences. Putting your best foot forward and doing your own research on society’s injustices can make a big difference in impacting minorities and everyone else’s everyday life for the better.