Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
/ Unsplash

Let’s Talk About Halloween and Cultural Appropriation

It’s that time of year again with costumes, candy, monsters, and celebration. Yes, that’s right, Halloween is right around the corner. People will be going out to themed parties and trick-or-treating for delicious candy, and wearing cute and fun costumes.

Costumes are the best part of Halloween because it gives people the chance to be creative and be anything they want. Even though Halloween gives people the option to wear any costumes they want; it’s important to pick or make a costume that doesn’t offend another race because of cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture and sometimes it can misrepresent people from that culture as well.   Therefore, its that time year again to talk about this issue because it happens every year during this holiday. Dressing like people from another race has to stop because their cultural clothing aren’t costumes, it’s traditional wear.

Not only is it taking something from someone else’s culture, it’s making fun of their cultural clothing and often leads to racial and cultural stereotypes, which are rude and upsetting.

Pretending to act like another race on Halloween because you are wearing their cultural clothing is offensive. It leads to stereotyping another culture because you are trying to act the way they act based on your judgment of the culture without knowing anything about that culture in the first place.

Also, traditional culture wear are not costumes, so don’t sexualise them. Sexy Native Americans, sexy Geishas, sexy Indians, etc.

The only purpose for these costumes are to offend others by sexualising their traditions.

For example, Heidi Klum dressed as a sexy Hindu goddess, Kali, for Halloween is appropriating a sacred religion which is Hinduism.

Another example of cultural appropriation in Halloween costume is dressing as a Native American.

Some people may think there isn’t anything wrong with them dressing up as sexy Pocahontas or wearing headdresses and feather regalia.

Well, sadly to tell you the truth, it is wrong because headdresses and feather regalia are not accessories to a fancy dress costume. It has a spiritual meaning and it represent the Native Americans’ culture.

Not only does it insults their heritage, but it may glorify a dark past that occurred in American History that was associated with Native American tribes and Europeans that came to America.

No one wants to remember something tragic that happened in American history on Halloween. Halloween is meant to be fun, not depressing. Also, everyone should be happy on Halloween and be united for this fun holiday.

Wearing culture as costumes is not only insensitive, but it causes division in our country because it seems like they are making fun of other people values, culture, and religion by wearing it as a costume.

People from other cultures wear cultural clothing for many reasons that is associated with their culture. It’s not ok, I repeat NOT OK to wear them as costumes. It hurts their feelings and it’s offensive to their culture because these clothing has sacred meaning behind it. Therefore, it should not be worn as costumes.

Costumes are supposed to be fun, creative, scary, or an entertaining character. There’s a difference in dressing like another race and wearing a scary costumes. One has significance to a culture and the other one is worn for the purpose to look scary.

Wearing cultural clothing may feel great and look pretty, but it’s not worn for the purpose of entertainment and fun. Few people need to realize this that there’s a difference between what is fun and what is significant.

I would be mad too, if another person is wearing Desi clothes as a Halloween costumes and acting like a Desi person. I wear Desi clothing because of my cultural values and I like to be in touch with my culture.

If I see a person, pretending to be Desi when they are not, it will hurt my feelings because they are stereotyping my people and they don’t understand my culture at all. My culture isn’t scary and silly. It’s has importance to me and my people. Wearing it as a costumes shows makes it seem like you’re making fun of us for being Desi and that is not fine.


Therefore, everyone should just stick to wearing costumes that like unicorns, princesses, career orientated, monsters, etc. They are creative or scary and it’s not insensitive towards someone else’s culture. Halloween is meant to be enjoyed, so make sure you leave cultural appropriation out of your costumes.

I study journalism at Temple University. I’m desi and the happiest person anyone could ever meet. I love writing, reading, and dancing.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️