Please Don’t Appropriate Culture This Halloween
Start writing a post

Please Don’t Appropriate Culture This Halloween

Sometimes costumes aren't just costumes.

Please Don’t Appropriate Culture This Halloween

For Halloween this year there are a couple costumes that I know are going to be great: Wonder Woman and Pennywise just to name a few (clowns scare me and I hate horror movies, but you do you).

But you know what’s not going to be fun? The cultural appropriation that’s going to happen. There’s always someone who does blackface or dresses as a Native American. It’s not ok, people. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Halloween or not. Blackface is never appropriate. Telling people, “I’m dressing up as someone else, lighten up!” means you clearly don’t understand racism.

It is possible to dress as someone of a different race, have a ton of fun on Halloween, and not appropriate culture. Say you wanna dress like Black Panther? Here’s a novel idea: just wear the costume. No need to do blackface, everyone will get it thanks to the costume, I promise.

Now as a child I dressed up as a Native American. I thought it was a lot of fun—I could be Pocahontas or a generic Native American. My parents never saw a problem with it. But looking back with the knowledge I have now, I can say that what I did was wrong. The story of Pocahontas is deeply inaccurate, and dressing up as another culture isn’t okay.

But it’s fun to dress up in a luau costume, you argue. But what about the fact that the luau was a significant tradition to Hawaiian people and you know literally nothing about their culture.

What’s the harm in letting a kid dress as an Indian?

Everything, because that sends messages that Native Americans as a people are other, separate, and a group of the past to be mystified instead of real people who suffered greatly during American colonization. Feathers designate important statuses in their society, and throwing them in your braids and running around with plastic tomahawks is degrading.

Appreciating culture is totally different. If you are well-informed about Japanese culture and know how to dress to acknowledge that love without demeaning it, then show your skills with pride. The big problem with Halloween is that culture appropriation is happening, and has been happening for a while, but people don’t acknowledge it.

We live in a beautifully diverse world and I hope to be able to travel all over it someday. Halloween is a night for fun costumes and free candy—not appropriation of underrepresented cultures. Go dress up as a superhero or princess. But don’t be afraid to point out racism when it happens. As a child I never would have thought my costume was racist, but if I had had a friend to point it out to me, I could have learned. That continues now as adults.

Happy Halloween y’all. Try not to get punched in the face if you dress like a clown. Don’t appropriate culture. Have fun, stay safe, and get some free candy.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

illustration of the fibonacci sequence

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments