Halloween is one of the year’s most exciting holidays. Unfortunately, insensitivity and intolerance have been clouding the joyous occasion in the form of offensive Halloween costumes for decades. In 2017, more and more people are waking up to the hatred on constant display every October 31st. Momentum is heading in the direction of social justice and equality.
Before you select your Halloween costume this year, have a look at the following list of common costumes that promote hatred and bigotry, so you can be sure to find a more inclusive Halloween costume idea:
Vampires are often associated with the Romanian region of Transylvania. Dressing up as a vampire for Halloween perpetuates the stereotypes that all Romanians drink blood and have no reflection. This is not true of all Romanians.
Dressing up as a zombie may seem innocent, but it’s actually insensitive to groups whose ancestors suffered through the Bubonic Plague and other pandemic diseases (ex: Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, the Americas). Illness is not something to be made light of.
Thinking of going with a simple ghost costume? Think again. Many people have had a friend or family member pass away within the past quarter century, and a ghost costume could trigger unwanted memories. This applies to angel and devil costumes (for deceased Democrats and Republicans, respectively) as well.
It should be obvious that pirate costumes are out of the question as plundering is not something to be celebrated. Plunder is just plain wrong.
Bunny rabbit costumes may have been socially acceptable before 1953. But since the launch of Playboy Magazine, bunny rabbits have come to represent mass exploitation and objectification of women. Women who dress as bunny rabbits are kowtowing to the patriarchy whether they like it or not.
Princess costumes encourage harmful gender roles and stereotypes. The misogynistic “ess” assures that princes will aways come before princesses alphabetically, an oft-overlooked reinforcement of male superiority that remains deeply ingrained within our society.
Firefighter, Police Officer, etc.
Firefighter, police officer, soldier, professional athlete, cowboy, and superhero costumes are a gross embodiment of hyper-toxic masculinity. These costumes should be avoided at all costs.
There are children starving in Africa. Get it? Got it? Good.
Dressing up as a witch may remind some people of Hillary Clinton. This could cause seizures and even strokes among those of us living under the reign of a Nazi, fascist, white supremacist, rapist, Russian agent named Donald Drumpf.
A Better Alternative
Instead of causing offense by wearing one of the aforementioned costumes, why not celebrate our rich diversity by dressing as a Native American, a Vietnamese rice farmer, a Geisha, a mariachi performer, a Hasidic Jew, Princess Moana, a German Nazi, a Radical Islamic Terrorist, Caitlyn Jenner, or a minstrel show dancer.
Let’s make cultural sensitivity the name of the game this Halloween!