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Let’s Not Appropriate This Halloween

Written by Ariah Hills


It is that time of year again. Everyone is looking for the perfect costume. While you are out there looking for that one costume that could make or break your Halloween let’s just remember a few rules:

First off, any animal is game. It’s the easiest costume, all you need is some ears and a few whiskers and you’re good. Second, DIY costumes are a must. Especially if you waited last minute to get a costume, Pinterest will become your best friend. Lastly, the most important rule of all: please don’t dress up as someone else’s culture. This rule should never be broken. For some of you I know that may be hard. This Native American costume is just too cute to pass. Or this sari is calling my name and I have to have it on me. But, you really don’t. Let me explain to you why you can get through this Halloween weekend without dressing up as another culture.

Let’s go back to old black and white Hollywood. Back in those days many people of color were not picked to play characters who were people of color. They usually ended up hiring a caucasian actor to play this character. They would then put them in this ridiculous stereotypical makeup. For Asians it was usually a terrible accent, African Americans a black painted face with huge lips and Native Americans usually shown running off to attack someone. Very few people actually said anything about it because to most people it didn’t matter. There was nothing wrong with it, mostly because it wasn’t their culture. That is the problem right there. No one would speak up unless they felt like they were getting attacked. But that is changing now.

More and more people are no longer allowing their culture to be mocked. With the power of social media, people are getting called out for it. Many of the clothing people where as a costume is seen as sacred to that group and should only be worn by that group. By someone dressing up in that clothing you are being disrespectful. There is no excuse you can use that can make it okay. And no, the whole “I’m 1/16th Native American” argument will not work. These people are already mocked enough and for you to mock them some more on a holiday that has become so commercialized in America is even worse. Try to see it from their point of view: whenever they act or dress in this clothing, that has become stereotypical, people complain. So how is it okay for you to do it?

So this Halloween put down your black face paint. Delete that sari from your shopping cart on Amazon. Before you go out and purchase that costume think to yourself “Is this costume appropriate. Will this costume cause backlash? Am I doing this to spite another race?” If you answer yes to any of these questions or questions similar to this find a new costume. Happy Halloween everyone and try to remember to not appropriate someone’s culture this weekend.

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