How To Avoid A Racist Halloween Costume


Dulce Paz, Staff Writer

Halloween is the one time of the year where Americans can dress up in costumes and participate in fun activities. However, it seems like every year people have found new ways to broadcast racist costumes. Some of these costumes are bestsellers at retailers like Party City.

Most of the time, these people don’t intend to be racist but they don’t realize that certain costumes fuel stereotypes and racist attitudes.

A popular costume every year is dressing up like a chief or an Indian princess. This is an example of cultural appropriation. These costumes only portray stereotypes that people have of Indians or Native Americans. They carry important cultural significance and Halloween has turned them into novelties.

There is actually 562 Native American nations and each has their own unique customs. But, this hasn’t stopped people from wearing headdresses and fringes while calling themselves “Indians” or “Native Americans.” For many people, it’s what they wear in their daily lives, and not just a costume.

Sometimes people don’t see that their costumes can be offensive to cultures. For example, some people put on a poncho, put on a mustache and throw on a sombrero to dress up as a Mexican.

This is extremely offensive to Mexicans because it’s stereotypical to think about them in this negative manner. Mexicans are very diverse and don’t necessarily wear sombreros everyday, as this costume suggests.

“I feel like that is really disrespectful, I understand they probably don’t intend for it to be offensive, but it really is.” said senior Chomphunut Mongkhonkhamchao.

There has even been a campaign called “We’re a culture, not a costume” to show others that their insensitive costume choices can be offensive.

The campaign launched posters around the Ohio University campus. This is an effort to raise awareness and to get rid of the stereotypes of cultures. The campaign has helped students on campus think twice about choosing a Halloween costume. There are a plethora of costume choices that are completely acceptable and don’t offend cultures.

Halloween is all about having fun but if it means offending cultures, you should reconsider your costume choice.