Appropriated costumes show lack of respect

Culturally appropriated Halloween costumes still common, offensive


Ruby Stillman

Day of the Dead costumes on display at Party City.

Racquel Fhima

Cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes has continued to be extremely prevalent in today’s society. While we have gotten better, costumes such as the “adult Geisha” costume, “adult seniorita mariachi” costume and “adult bollywood diva” costume still exist. These costumes have sparked backlash as a result of their controversial designs and names.

In an already tense political climate, portraying stereotypes through Halloween costumes further perpetuates the issues of offensive appropriation currently at hand. These costumes being shown have proven to be offensive toward many people. According to The Atlantic,

There is a fine line between appropriating culture and appreciating culture. A main component of appreciating a culture is respect. Portraying stereotypes through a costume or festival outfit is a clear example of disrespect. These actions also show no knowledge of the culture or anything it encompasses.

By knowing the difference between appropriation and appreciation, it is very possible to be fair and considerate and not offensive. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, appropriation is the act of taking something in an unfair way. This definition holds true to when the topic of halloween comes up. One can dress up in perfectly good costumes, without having it be offensive towards a culture.

Appreciation, entails being knowledgeable about the culture being represented and the values and history behind it. By not being knowledgeable about the culture you are representing it is crossing the line to appropriating that culture. If you have not learned about the culture that you are representing in your costume and are simply wearing it because it looks cool, that is offensive and considered appropriation.

The halloween costumes being presented show a clear lack of knowledge and respect for the cultures being portrayed. Simply trying to be a part of halloween and dressing up as someone in a culture you aren’t apart of , is still offensive to many people.

While dressing up on Halloween and creating costumes, be conscious as to what you are wearing and what message it sends.