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Don’t Appropriate This Halloween

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year: Halloween season! With this fun holiday also comes some fun precautions to take. Here a few ways to avoid appropriating someone else’s culture.

If you’re not a Muslim

Any costumes that incorporate traditional clothing or religious garments that are intentionally being used as a joke should definitely be avoided. The most common items of clothing that are appropriated are the hijab, burqa, and thobe. If your intent is to be malicious and make fun of a religion or culture, try being yourself for Halloween since you’re a joke!

If you’re not Native American

This by far is probably the most appropriated culture in history. The traditional headdresses, the makeup, the “sexy” Pocahontas: it has got to stop. Most of you who try to create some artsy Native American makeup aren’t even good, so just stop. I feel like people forget that Pocahontas was a real person and only remember the Disney portrayal of her. Also, it’s October. It’s cold in most places, so you look absolutely ridiculous in the skimpy Pocahontas dress. Don’t be a jerk!

If you’re not Black

Black-face has been a part of American culture for what seems like our whole history. Our country has used racist advertisements for all sorts of products. The most common black-face costume that is used in today’s society deals with celebrities. I have seen too many rappers, actors/actresses, and athletes being portrayed by people who are not black and it’s very disturbing that people think it’s okay to paint themselves brown or black for a costume. Black people already have enough injustices they have to face and they don’t need to be seeing people use them as a joke.

If you’re not Mexican

I’m very tired of seeing the poncho, sombrero, and thick mustache costume. So tired. Actual Mexican people do not dress like that and most don’t have mustaches. Enough with the maracas too. I don’t think I’ve seen someone that’s Mexican rattle those things around. Most of the Mexican styled dresses that people use for costumes aren’t even cute enough to compare them to traditional Mexican dresses. Also, do not do sugar skull makeup. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday where we honor and remember those who have passed. Don’t try and gentrify one of our beautiful holidays!


These are just a few cultures that you should stray away from for Halloween costumes, and there are plenty more too. Halloween is all about having fun with your friends and getting to eat an unspeakable amount of candy, but also be aware of the people who you see on campus, and remember that their culture is not your costume.

Have a spooky Halloween!



She is a sophomore in college who is a nursing major. Eating tortas, reading, knitting, and hanging out with friends are some of the things she enjoys doing. If she's not studying at Waterfield Library, she's for sure sleeping at home with her dogs.
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