Here's the thing.
There are hundreds of fun and creative Halloween costumes out there, so I am really not sure as to why people continue to choose the most insensitive, disrespectful and racist ones. It is like our legal version of The Purse, where for one night you can be an asshole and let the whole neighborhood know exactly how you think. Then again, maybe some people just weren't raised right and really don't know better.
Well, if the latter is the case, here is a list of Halloween costumes you should be advised to stay away from.
1. Anything that involves "Black face."
Dancer Julianne Hough arriving to a Halloween party in Black Face.
Which seems like an obvious, but every year we seem to come across a group of white people that "didn't know it was offensive," or better yet, didn't know they were going to get posted all over social media.
Originally Blackface was a form of theatrical makeup used by non-black people in order to portray stereotypical characters of black people. There is nothing funny or entertaining about the treatment of Black people in this country, and if you really don't agree with that, you know exactly what you are. The "actors" who covered their faces in black paint in the 19th century were racists, and Becky from 2018, you're a racist too.
2. A Native American.
Hillary Duff and Jason Walsh dressed as a Pilgram and Native American at a Halloween party.
Again, you shouldn't have to be told how inappropriate it is to dress up like a race of people that your people raped and murdered to the point of near extinction. In 2018, nearly 200 years after The Trail of Tears, Native American tribes still only make up 2% of the U.S population. Their communities suffer largely from illiteracy, alcoholism, and poverty as a direct result of being raped, pillaged and murdered, so how's about we don't mock their culture, by wearing it.
3. A "Mexican" or "The Wall."
President Cheeto-face's proposal to build a wall separating the U.S from Mexico in order to stop "murderers and rapists" from crossing over their border *eye roll* has literally culminated in sticking many American born children of Mexican descent in cages...
Let's stay away from the stereotypical sombreros and ponchos.
4. A Geisha.
Actress Amanda Seyfried dressed as a Geisha.
Geishas are Japanese hostesses trained to entertain. This profession is a highly respected Japanese subculture, but you wouldn't know that from the West's portrayal. The Wests stereotypical interpretation of Geishas is that Japanese women, (or even Asian women in general) are meek and passive women willing to take any abuse a man can offer. Which I am sure is why is why middle-aged white men tend to have fetishes for Asian mail order brides.
Simply put. It's disrespectful af.
5. Adolf Hitler or A Nazi.
Roseanne Barr dressed as Hitler
*face palm* Just don't dress up as a damn Nazi. The Holocaust (which did happen) killed millions of people in WWI, and neo-nazis are still calling for ethnic cleansing and the extermination of everyone who isn't a part of their "master race." But if you're evil
6. The homeless.
Political correctness isn't about not offending people, it's about not being an asshole. Can you not imagine what it would be like to not have a home to walk into at the end of the day? Food to eat? A bed to rest your head? Have you not seen the feet of a homeless person, cracked and sometimes blooded from walking day in and day out barefoot on the hot pavement? What if you had to sleep alone under a freeway in a storm or on a park bench in 30-degree weather. What if the only bit of food you had, you couldn't eat because you had to give it to your child. Homeless people are not a costume. They are people who don't deserve to be mocked for their life circumstances.
7. A sexual perpetrator or victim.
High school teens dress as rape victims.
Now, there is no "rape victim" look as anyone can be raped at any time, wearing anything. However, I was shocked to see a photo of two teens wearing ripped clothing and fake blood. According to their snap chat, they were dressed as "rape victims://" Aside from this being wildly insensitive, and cruel, it plays into the narrative that defense attorneys like to use in court and that is that there is a singular way a woman who has truly been sexually assaulted "should look."
8. A terrorist
Child dressed as Middle Eastern suicide bomber.
While I'll be the first to say that a "terrorist" can look like anyone one and be anyone, Stephen Paddock, for example, the western worlds' idea of a terrorist is anyone who even remotely looks like they could have the last name, "Bin Laden" Again, this goes into the whole racist thing previously mentioned. That being said, dressing up in middle eastern garb and strapping a fake bomb to your waist, might earn you points with your frat-boy friends, but you're going to be incredibly embarrassed and swiftly apologetic if your crappy costume goes viral, so maybe you should think twice.
Let us not ignore the fact that since 911 countless Muslims and even Sikh's (or anyone who even looks like they may be from the Middle East, regardless of their religion) have been harassed, attacked and even killed for what ignorant people THINK their religions signify.
9. A voodoo priest/priestess, a Rasta or anything having to do with religion
Woman dressed as voodoo priestess
There is not a single "voodoo" religion, but of course, many people wouldn't be curious enough to look that up. The term may refer to various religions including Hoodoo or Vodou where West African Vodun was masked in Catholicism during the slave trade to allow slaves to practice their religions in secret.
Racist portrayals of "voodoo" in the media paint the religions as evil or "devil worship," which I guess makes it prime Halloween costume material.
Rastafarianism is a religion culminated in the 1930's in Jamaica. Its ideology interprets the Bible through an Afrocentric lens. If you are not part of the African diaspora, please leave the dashiki's alone, and understand that their dreadlocks are part of a sacred covenant with God.
10. Egyptian Goddess or pharaoh
Anne Hathaway as an Egyptian Queen
Ancient Egyptians are basically the only group of black people given any sort of respect or positive exposure. That being said, while most elements of black or African culture have been exploited, ghettoized and demonized, you can leave this one piece alone.
11. A G*psy
Actress Garcelle Beauvais dressed as a g*psy.
First of all, "g*psy" is a derogatory term in of itself. Historically it has been used to stereotypically describe the Romani people. The Romani people are a nomadic ethnic group that has faced centuries of persecution. This persecution led to the Romani genocide by the Nazis during WWII.
Part of the justification for their genocide was the idea that the Romani people were inbred, lazy thieves. And many to this day get harassed by law enforcement for crimes they didn't commit.
12. The Sugar Skull
Actress Ashley Tisdale as a Mexican Sugar Skull
Dia de la Muertos is a spiritual and culturally-specific Mexican holiday. It is a day for prayer, reflection and honoring the dead. The sugar skull or Calavera is a symbol of eternal life, death, and rebirth. It is not a janky Halloween costume.
Moral of the story, it will never be okay to wear someone else's culture as a costume, nor mock a race or religion. There are thousands of creative costumes out there to be worn, the 12 previously mentioned aren't one of them.