Halloween is my favourite day of the year. Seriously – nothing fills me with joy quite like a flickering pumpkin and the not-so-faint smell of face paint. And eating all the trick or treat sweets before anyone’s even knocked on the door, obvs. Every year, I come up with the best costume ideas, and opt to host my own parties whenever I can.
On the costume front, it’s my personal preference to be totally original and slightly slutty. That’s my criteria every year. And that’s my choice. Providing you don’t opt for fancy dress that could harm or offend anyone else, you’re on to a winner.
I might be slightly late to the party (this is a pun, because I am NEVER later, for anything) and I know a load of you celebrated Hallow’s Eve last weekend, but ensure you take this advice on board for next weekend, next year and the rest of your lives. Dressing up is fun. Mocking and/or sexualising other cultures/religions/heritages not. It is racist and wrong.
Cultural Appropriation is the adoption of certain elements from another culture without the consent of people who belong to said culture. As in, people of Caucasian descent wearing their hair in cornrows or your white neighbour Karen dressing as a Geisha. Halloween, in particular, is the holiday where you are encouraged to dress up as something scary or not real. Using culture in your costume marginalizes that culture to somewhat less than human. Teen Vogue’s video explains this perfectly.
As always, try and be sensitive to how your costume might make others feels. And if you’re unsure? Don’t do it. Mocking someone else’s culture isn’t cute, sexy or funny – it’s just racist.
USA Today has answered any and almost all questions here.