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Culture or Costume

Halloween is right around the corner and even though it seems childish, finding a costume for each day of the weekend is always a must. If you’re anything like me, not only are you trying to have a great costume, you’re also trying to be as socially conscious as you can in what you choose to wear. Each year there is always someone who thinks its okay to appropriate another culture and wear it as a costume. Don't let this be you!  Culture appropriation isn’t cute and lets face it, there are ways to appreciate someone’s cultural dress and a time and place to do so. Halloween, a day for costumes and laughs is not the time.  It can be confusing to understand which costumes are appropriate to wear if you’re trying to not only avoid appropriation but also offend any of your friends or people you may run. Here are some tips to avoid this situation.

Disney is usually a safe route to go, however there are some exceptions to this theme. Any Disney princess that wears garments exclusive to her culture are off the table. Feel free to dress as the character just don't add any traditional dress. Princess Tiana is even a safe way to go, as long as you don’t paint your face black in the process.

Wearing a sombrero, poncho and carrying around maracas is indeed cultural appropriation. Also wearing dreads, an afro, cornrows or any other wig that is part black culture are things to stay away from.

This also goes for wearing any type of Indian cultural dress such as sarees or other traditional clothing. And just because the Kardashians think its fine to wear the hijab and post pics on instagram its actually not.

However, Halloween is still should be a fun for everyone, and despite what people think you can still have a great costume without appropriating someone else culture.

Here are some fun ideas.

If you’re anything like my roommate Meghan and I, Bob’s Burgers is a staple in your home. Dressing like Louise and Tina is not only an easy costume but also really funny.

Your favorite superhero is also a great idea and who doesn’t wanna be seen sporting a super cute super woman costume.

If you're ballin’ on a budget like me, dressing as a snap chat filter is very affordable and also very clever.

Media Studies Major
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