It’s the time of year again, a time to dress up in something that wouldn’t be considered “normal” any other time of year except for one day, Halloween. But as you are writing down ideas for costumes or going through several Pinterest boards to figure out what to be, please be considerate in choosing because even on Halloween, some costumes are not culturally appropriate.
Some say that imitating someone is the finest form of flattery, but when someone thinks it is okay to paint themselves in blackface and wear a stereotypical costume, that isn’t flattering at all. Wearing a war bonnet and thinking that it’s honoring a tribe or just because it’s “fashionably cool”, doesn’t make you cool, it just makes you culturally insensitive to a culture. You are using a culture and their sacred relics to be something that is everyday, something that isn’t special or significant. So before you go out to a costume store and pick up a “Sexy Native American Warrior”, consider what a REAL Native American would think of that costume.
Some people will say “but it’s just a holiday and for fun”, well tell that to the child of “illegal aliens” who wouldn’t appreciate that you are wearing a costume of what society’s image is of immigrants. The child doesn’t see his/her parents as “extra-terrestrials”, that child sees them as HUMAN BEINGS, not someone to be used as a butt of any cultural joke. This child knows the hard work and obstacles that his/her parents went through to reach this country and it would hurt anyone to see all that they sacrificed is being made fun of.
We are in a celebrity obsessed society nowadays so you would think that celebrities would know better when they were choosing their costume knowing that everyone will end up seeing it. Actress Julianne Hough recently dressed in blackface to portray a character on the show “Orange is the New Black” who is played by an African-American actress. It is assumed that the decision to dress up as that character was because Hough and friends were all going as one character from the show as a group costume theme. The desire to be accurate with the characters is not an excuse to do something of this nature. It would have had the same effect if she would have just worn an orange jumpsuit and not done blackface. Everyone would have understood the concept of the group costume theme.
Zombies are the rage, from shows to a warehouse store for the “preparation of the Zombie Apocalypse”. It can be assumed that zombie costumes are going to be definitely something to look for this Halloween. The living dead is definitely something creative to do for Halloween. You can be a zombie bride or a zombie doctor, but be aware that there are, of course, some people that take it too far.
These three men decided to be the zombie versions of the three flight attendants from the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crashed in San Francisco International Airport. They also had nametags of inappropriate Asian names just to add to their inappropriate costumes. Three people died in that crash, so thinking that a costume based on that tragedy would be a “great” costume to wear is so insensitive. Just adding fire by using “Asian names” that were just three different stereotypical words is making you look as if a tragedy is just another funny joke. Choose an APPROPRIATE zombie costume, not one that is a joke of a tragic event.
Another tragic event that is being used for the humor of Halloween is the Trayvon Martin tragedy.
This picture just shows how nothing is sacred, not even the shooting of a teenager. It is amazing that there are people that think that it is okay to dress up as someone that was murdered and dress up in fun of something that those parents of the murdered teen is probably still crying about. The theme of “accuracy” is again being seen as the person dressed in blackface to portray the late Trayvon Martin and a bloody hoodie. Some people need to realize that yes we live in a world that is open now but there are still things that should be left alone and not brought up and used for comedic relief.
If the costume is of a sensitive topic, DON’T choose it! Choose to be a werewolf or a superhero, anything other than something that is either a joke on a culture, “sexy” version of a culture or a tragic event. Creativity is best on Halloween and not cultural misappropriation!