Today we are celebrating all of the scariness and sweetness that comes with Halloween. As the festivities approach, though, it is important to be mindful with the way we are dressing.
You may be familiar with the concept of cultural appropriation, which is discussed a lot around Halloween, but is certainly not limited to costumes. When you appropriate, you are taking ideas or concepts from a culture that you do not identify with. This is problematic and dangerous, particularly when a dominant culture is taking from a minority or marginalized group.
That being said, before you dress up, be mindful! Don’t wear it if it is misrepresenting someone’s culture, heritage, religion or identity. If we can stop appropriation when we see it, we can help deconstruct stereotypes and the limitations of cultural identities.
The University of Oklahoma does a great job of addressing this issue every year, but it’s up to everyone to prevent it. Below is the campaign from Residence Life at OU!
Image via OU Residence Life
Have a fun and safe Halloween!