A Quick Guide on What NOT to Wear on Halloween

5:27 PM

By Cameron Price, politics editor

1. “Native American Princess”

Not only is this creating a caricature of a culture, but it sexualizes Native American women. According to a study by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), Native Americans are at the highest risk of sexual violence.

2. Anything involving blackface 

Look familiar?

Well, it should.

Minstrel shows involved a white actor performing comedic routines and songs in full blackface. In the early 19th century, these shows gained popularity. This performance became a nationwide hit, continuing for over a century-- before Black people even had civil rights.

3. Kimono or “Asian Princess” 

Just one google search of how Asians have been portrayed in film will show you the ugly history of white actors dressing as racist stereotypes.

Even to this day, white actors get away with it (Hint: Scarlett Johansson). A white person dressing up in this costume does not only perpetuate this, but it grossly misunderstands the rich history and culture behind traditional Asian clothing.

4. “Arab Costume” 

Not only did Muslims face 24.5% of total religious hate crimes in 2016, but reports of incidents have spiked in the past year. Additionally, the US Department of Justice estimates that over half of hate crimes go unreported. (Sexualizing a Burqa or Hijab should also be an obvious no-no.)

5. Mexican

According to a study by CBS, hate crimes against Latinx folks rose 176% immediately following the 2016 presidential election. Google “Mexican Halloween Costume” and you will see how each one makes fun of Mexican culture, rather than celebrate it. Similarly to number 3 of this list, costumes such as the photo above completely mistake Mexican culture.

6. Nazi 

(The picture above is of Xenia Vorotova, aka Doe Deere. She is the creator of Lime Crime, a popular makeup brand.)

In case you’re unaware, the Nazi party was responsible for the murder of up to 20 million people in World War II, including the hate campaign and genocide of Jewish people. Since the election, proud and open nazism has been on the rise. In August of 2017, the “Unite the Right” rally was held in Charlottesville, VA. It began the evening of August 11, with protestors adorned in Nazi memorabilia and Confederate flags marching through the University of Virginia campus. Some of their chants included the following: “Jews will not replace us.”, “Blood and Soil.”, “White lives matter.” and more. The riot continued to the next day, where a counter protestor was brutally murdered by a man mowing her down with his car. Nazism is not a joke and should be a completely blatant bad idea for a Halloween costume...

7. “Psycho” 

Not only has calling someone a psycho or psychopath been deemed ableist, but dressing up as someone with a mental illness demonizes them and furthers a stigma that those with mental illnesses are inherently dangerous. John Lawlor, chief executive of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS foundation trust, said people would never wear a “cancer patient” Halloween outfit, and so they should not treat mental patients any differently.

8. Homeless Person 

Is there a better way to show one’s wealth privilege than dressing up as someone facing homelessness? According to the LA Homeless Services Authority, an estimated 50,000-60,000 people may be homeless on any given night. Additionally, LGBT individuals make up 40% of the homeless population, as do Black individuals. So next time you think this costume might be a fun idea, think about who it’s hurting.

9. A different race 

This one is not only an umbrella for many of the aforementioned costumes, but so much more. If you are white and feel the need to dress as Mulan, Jasmine, Pocahontas, or other characters of color, you are making the wrong decision and greatly misunderstanding the importance of one’s race in relation to these characters.

This list does not at all cover every offensive costume that you should not dress up as. Quick tip: if you are dressing up as a marginalized group that is not part of your identity, pick another costume!

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