Culture is Not a Costume

Halloween has finally approached after such a long and excruciating wait. Now, we’re adults and we are forced to move onto more mature festivities; it’s not “acceptable” to trick or treat for whatever reason. Anyways, regardless of what your plans are, you’re probably thinking of potential costumes as you read this. However, don’t make the mistake of choosing an offensive one.

    Cultural appropriation occurs heavily around this time of the year. For those who aren’t familiar, cultural appropriation is the use of a custom or something sacred of one's culture without acknowledging the importance of it or the culture it comes from. Many celebrities have been spotted in the act: Katy Perry dressed as a geisha, Kylie Jenner with cornrows, and even designer Marc Jacobs who dressed the white models in dreadlocks.


One or more of these looks have oppressed the people of the culture they belong to yet others are benefiting from it. Most of the time, someone who is appropriating a culture isn’t even aware that they’re doing it. This is why education is important. 

    The topic at hand ranges from beliefs to fashion and these are often taken advantage of because it’s “trendy” or “cute”. However, take a step back and assess the situation before you go through with your costume purchase. Ask yourself: “Does this costume portray a cultural/ethnic/racial group?” or “How might this costume offend someone?”.


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If the answer to these questions result some form of ‘yes’, then maybe it’s best to choose a cute angel or football player. This goes for any time of the year: any costume party, themed party, or music festival. Native American headdresses are no longer the wave! Try something a little different, and less offensive.