Everyone says that Halloween is the one day of the year when you can wear whatever you want. And yeah, that’s true, but that’s not without consequences. What kind of consequences? Well, getting called out for wearing an offensive costume.
Halloween isn’t an excuse to be a jerk and parade around perpetuating stereotypes. I don’t know about you, but on Halloween I like to have fun, not feel uncomfortable after seeing somebody wearing blackface or cringe at somebody’s attempt to dress up as a sexy Native American. Vlogger Chescaleigh made a great video all about offensive Halloween costumes that sums this up pretty well:
Sure, not everybody is going to be offended, even people who represent the group being parodied in costume. But why risk offending anybody at all? There are a ton of costumes that can be seen as offensive, from dressing as a redneck to a gypsy and everything in between; way too many to include in a single post. But here’s a roundup of 7 offensive Halloween costumes that I always see girls rocking year after year. Avoid these costumes at all costs!
Native American PrincessThere are a lot of amazing resources about how problematic it is to "play Indian." Native Americans aren't mythical creatures to dress up as. Not only are Native Americans living, breathing people, but they're also a group that has been systematically oppressed for centuries. To have all of the different Native American ethnic groups condensed to ugly fringe and plastic features is beyond offensive. Check out Native Appropriations if you want more information. Source: SpiritHalloween.com
GeishaGeisha costumes can reinforce sexist and racist stereotypes about Asian women being submissive and sexually gratifying. Also, I'm pretty sure that most people who dress up as geishas don't even know what a geisha really is. Source: Halloweencostumes.com
Gangsta/HoodratLet's be real: When people decide to dress hood, that is code for, "Haha, I'm going to dress up as a black person on welfare! Isn't that funny?" No, it's not. Don't do it. Source: Deadspin
A MexicanPeople seem to love dressing up as "Mexicans" for costume parties. I've seen everything from stereotypical mustaches to sorority girls playing "Mexican" and holding signs about mowing lawns. Not to mention those awful "illegal alien" costumes! There's nothing cute about making fun of undocumented immigrants or acting like being Mexican and being an undocumented immigrant are interchangeable in the first place. Source: Funworld.com
Ambiguous Arab Woman With A VeilI've seen costumes in which women wear full burquas and pretend to be Muslim women for Halloween. Bonus points for having a fake bomb as a prop! I don't know what possesses anybody to think that that is even remotely okay, but please don't be that person. Source: AliExpress.com
Mental PatientI've seen this costume gain popularity recently and it is so cringe worthy. Mental health status isn't a joke. Given the stigma that the mentally ill have, it's in pretty poor taste to contribute to crappy stereotypes. Source: Shutterstock
Blackface/Brownface/Yellowface In GeneralRemember when actor Colton Haynes dressed up in blackface and brownface on two separate occasions and had the audacity to post the photos to Twitter? Yeah, there was a pretty big backlash but it proves that people seem to think that it's okay to do this. Newsflash: It's not. Putting on face paint in an attempt to act like another race has a long history of being used to mock and deride. Don't continue that legacy. Source: Twitter
What offensive costumes have you seen people wear? Would you ever call out a friend who wants to wear a costume that could be considered insensitive? Tell us in the comments!