7 Problematic Costumes That Deserve A 'Boo' This Halloween

7 Problematic Costumes That Deserve A 'Boo' This Halloween

Every Halloween, it seems like people are getting more and more creative — and not for the right reasons.

Every Halloween, people get more and more creative, but not necessarily in a good way. If you're looking for some Halloween costume ideas, here are seven costumes I suggest you do NOT to wear.

1. Anything discriminating African Americans

Painting your face black to look like an African American person is rude and discriminatory. If you want to dress up as a celebrity, this is not the way. If you want to honor an African American historical figure, this is not the way. Instead, go on Pinterest or Google and search up nonoffensive costumes. And you do NOT have to paint your skin to prove you're an African American historical figure! As long as you put effort into dressing up as they looked, you should be fine.

2. Geisha Costumes

If you ever travel back in Japanese history to the time when geishas were prominent, you'll find zero pics of them wearing chopsticks in their hair, zero of them wearing a low-cut, chest-baring tight polyester dress and zero of them flaunting around looking like the cover of Playboy magazines. Geishas were actually people from both genders who specialized in arts and entertainment (and rarely of the sexual kind either).

3. Native American Costumes

Despite all the stereotypes about Native Americans, not all of them wear leather clothes or sport two braids. The culture of Native Americans vary widely across the nation and cannot be combined into one costume. And don't claim that it isn't cultural appropriation, because chances are (even if you are "part Cherokee") you're dressing up as someone whose ancestors were probably raped by yours.

4. Mexican Costumes

Most "Mexican costumes" portray the Mexican culture as lazy or too wild. But like all cultures, the Mexican culture is diverse and cannot be summarized in exaggerations like these. And using traditional holidays like Cinco de Mayo for monetary gains, well, what can I say?

5. Costumes making fun of eating disorders

Eating disorders are nothing to make fun of. About 30 million people in the United States suffer from various eating disorders per year. They are a common thing, and you probably know someone who suffers from them. Think of it like this – would you make a Halloween costume out of depression? Or anxiety? Probably not.

6. Homophobic Costumes

Dressing up as Caitlyn Jenner isn't just transphobic, it's homophobic. Again, this is giving a whole community one stereotype, and as we've established before, that isn't right. Everyone is different and unique, and we shouldn't let a Halloween costume define us.

7. Middle Eastern Costumes

Like all the aforementioned costumes, cultural appropriation. Sorry to inform you, but not all Middle Eastern people wear satin palazzo pants with a linen shirt and a tiny vest to go with it, along with a silk turban. Don't mix the diverse culture of one culture into one stereotype.

Obviously there are many more costumes than these that are offensive, but this is meant to serve as a guide to us hopefully being less ignorant and rude. Avoid political costumes, racial costumes, sexist costumes or costumes that may potentially offend a culture or group of people. In fact, if you think someone is going to be offended by your costume, don't wear it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Valentine's Day Shouldn't Be a Celebration

Reflections on the social obligations of Valentine's Day.

I think that Valentine's Day is a little too much. Don't get me wrong, V-Day is amazing for couples who are in happy and healthy relationships, but it adds an unnecessary pressure to conform to societal standards. This is mostly why I decided to wear a headband with the words "Girls Rule" on the top, in which people thought was a tiara. I mostly decided to hang out with gal friends and had an amazing day nonetheless. Valentine's day is a pretty dreaded day for people who aren't creative with it, and although it can be a great way of spreading love awareness, what I want to touch base with is this: why it has become so sensationalized today.

Some people really hate Valentines day--maybe because they have had bad relationships, horrible memories, are perpetually single, or even, because they feel an obligation or pressure to conform to the societal construct of the day.

The history of this loving day starts with the legend of St. Valentine. "Valentine’s Day, in fact, originated as a liturgical feast to celebrate the decapitation of a third-century Christian martyr," as stated from the Smithsonian. During his time period, marriage was arranged, not out of love. The priest (and many others after him) married couples who were in love in secret through the church. St. Valentine and his reputation since then has always been of spreading love through faith.

In modern day, this sense of traditional love is lost. Just like any other holiday in the U.S., the advertisements for Valentine's Day start staggeringly early. You roam the halls of the drug store in mid-January and find aisles loaded with flower bouquets and chocolate boxes. No matter how early or late it is, this is a visual reminder of the day, or your perpetual singleness, or anything you affiliate with it, no matter how hard you try and tell yourself that it isn't. Even if you are in a relationship, it puts an unwanted weight on your shoulders, and you think: What should I get for my partner? Will the gift be too much or too little?

Let's compare Valentines Day to other celebrations, such as Christmas, or Birthdays. Obviously, these are all substantially different in many ways, but one thing persists: presents. Gifts have been the main way of displaying affection. Our ways of gift-giving has been sensationalized by the media, and constant stimulation of gift-giving in the media.

Of course, it is nice to be given a gift, but there are other ways of displaying affection as opposed to gift-giving, which I think is not emphasized enough in our culture. For example, taking someone to do an activity instead of giving them a materialistic gift. Giving someone you care about the gift of an amazing memory with you. Or, displaying our feelings for each other in our daily lives in the little smiles and jokes with them.

If everyone expresses love and appreciation for people they care about in their lives every day, Valentine's day will no longer be the only day you express love, but an added bonus.

For me, I expressed my thorough love for chocolate and gal pals, and couldn't be happier.

Cover Image Credit: Original Photo

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Why I Am Taking Lent Seriously This Year

I epically failed last year, but this year I will do better.

So February is here before I even knew it, which means my favorite month of the year is here! As many of you know, Valentine's Day is February 14th but so is Ash Wednesday, marking the start of Lent. Last year, I was less than careful when it came to Lent and ended up giving up halfway through. I started Lent on a bad note last year when I decided that I was too busy to go to church for Ash Wednesday. The streak continued as I was terrible at not eating meat and fasting on Fridays and gave up quickly on my decision to give up soda. This year I'm deciding to do better; I need to do better this year. So this is how I'm going to take Lent seriously this year.

Lent was always a time that I dreaded as a kid. I hated the idea of having to give something that I enjoyed up, but now that I've gotten older I recognize the importance of Lent. I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and they ingrained into us the fact that Lent is supposed to mirror Jesus' sacrifice spending 40 days in the desert, but I honestly think that it is more than that. I definitely think that last year being my first year being away from the hold of Catholic school, I rebelled a little bit with my new found freedom of not being forced to participate in Lent. I didn't handle it in the right way, and so this year, I am seeing Lent as an opportunity for growth and to challenge my self-control a little. I am thinking about challenging myself and going vegetarian for Lent to try to better my health as well as trying to do more acts of service and to build upon my New Year's Resolution of positivity.

So this year I am definitely going to take Lent seriously to further and strengthen my faith. I know that I will probably stumble and make mistakes throughout, but I am confident that it will be a beneficial experience.

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