Beware of These 5 Halloween Costumes
BY: TIFFANY TRANG
As Halloween approaches, everyone is searching for the perfect costume to wear. From iconic TV characters to funny puns, the options for Halloween costumes are seemingly endless. However, there are some costumes that should just be avoided. Here are some costumes trick-or-treaters and party-goers everywhere should stay away from.
Content warning: mental illness, terrorism, racism
Blackface is extremely racist and offensive. Blackface was—and still is—used to mock Black people. Avoid stereotypes about Black people and if you want to dress up as your favorite Black character, leave the brown makeup at home. If your costume is good enough, you won’t need to change the color of your skin for people to get it.
Wearing a Native American costume is not “boho” or “earthy" — it’s offensive. By wearing a feathered headdress as a costume, you choose to ignore centuries of war and genocide the United States has waged against Native Americans. Wearing traditional clothing for fun and “aesthetics” shows a blatant disrespect for indigenous cultures.
Asians and Mexicans
While on the topic of racial and ethnic minorities, it's also a good idea to avoid stereotypes about Asians and Mexicans—not just on Halloween but every day of the year. America's tradition of oversexualizing Asian women takes form in "Sexy Geisha" and "Hot Dragon Lady" costumes every year.
The stereotype of the "lazy Mexican" is just as harmful. And contrary to what many believe, dressing up as a Día de Muertos skull isn't any better. Día de Muertos is a Mexican holiday, and a for time families to come together to celebrate and honor their deceased loved ones. Dressing up as a skeleton completely disrespects the holiday and its meaning.
Dressing up as an event is a creative idea, but dressing up as a controversial event, like the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, is another story. From the slaying of Cecil the Lion to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, wearing a costume that represents an event that was horrific or caused chaos is insensitive to survivors.
Costumes like the "Insane Asylum Patient" perpetuate the stigma that already surrounds mental illness. Mental illness is not a costume, and treating it as such dehumanizes people who actually deal with it.
Now that you know what not to wear, here are some costume ideas that are cool, funny and not at all offensive.