I know fall has barely even started yet, but let's be honest with one another here. Most people have been thinking about what costume they are going to wear for Halloween this year since they went out for Halloween last year. Furthermore, if you are one of those people, that probably also means you go all out for Halloween every year and have already started saving up money to make your unique costume for this spooky season, not to mention some of you have probably already bought some pieces for your future creation. Whether you plan on going all out for the season of fright this year or just plan on buying the first costume you like from the costume shop, here is just a friendly reminder everyone should keep in mind.
Cultural appropriation is still not, nor will it ever be, acceptable as a "funny" Halloween costume.
This should be pretty obvious by 2019, at least you would think that it would be. And yet, every year there seems to be some company making "Tribal costumes", "sexy religious figures, and fat suits depicting famous women or celebrities in general. Newsflash, just because it is Halloween, it does not mean that we can ignore other people's cultures, experiences, and beliefs just to try to have the funniest costume when you go out drinking and partying with your friends and family. If you have to question whether a costume is considered cultural appropriation, it most likely always will be.
Think of it like this. Make a list of all the things about you. Your heritage, your culture, your beliefs, obstacles you have faced throughout your life, even things you like and enjoy. Now imagine someone taking one thing on the list of things that make up who you are and turning it into an over exaggerated stereotype that others laugh at for hours on end. Doesn't feel to good, does it? Now imagine you are the Native American that sees young white college students sexualizing your culture and beliefs, painting makeup on their faces to match your skin tone and tribal markings. This is just one example of real life cultural appropriation that takes place around Halloween every single year.
So instead of designing a costume around trying to get a laugh out of people, or make fun of a certain group of individuals, try thinking about other ideas such as your favorite tv character or the adult version of a character from your favorite childhood tv show. There are other ways to entertain people with a funny and unique costume that doesn't offend anyone else in the process.
And for those saying that people who are offended by the costumes are too sensitive, think back on the list exercise from before and tell me how you feel with the shoe put on the other foot. Halloween is supposed to be fun for everyone, not just the privileged. Happy planning and happy spooky season.