North Texas Daily

Cultural appropriation and how to not be a jerk this Halloween

Cultural appropriation and how to not be a jerk this Halloween

Cultural appropriation and how to not be a jerk this Halloween
October 22
12:46 2015

The Editorial Board

Halloween is an exciting time for the college crowd. Let’s face it, we’re all bit childish at heart. Costume parties have replaced trick-or-treating, and the night holds as much a promise of fun as it did in earlier years.

As one gets older, ideas for costumes shift from superheroes and animated favorites like SpongeBob Squarepants to more adult themes, like adding the word “sexy” to an inanimate object.

Sorry, but sexy microwave is not exactly a costume.

In saying this, it may come as a surprise to some that a costume doesn’t have to be offensive or worn at the expense of others in order to be awesome.

Yes, a taco costume is funny, albeit unoriginal, but throwing a sombrero or maracas in the mix treads on potentially polarizing ground. Plus, it’s just disrespectful.

Instead of poking the bear named cultural appropriation this Halloween, how about considering something that will promote laughter and set the stage for Instagram photos rather than raise eyebrows?

While the fake mustache and poncho getup might grab a few chuckles here and there, the exchange student from Mexico City probably won’t appreciate having his culture inaccurately depicted by the dude passed out on the couch.

So please, reconsider before leaving the house dressed as a snake charmer next Saturday. Any second guesses should be considered red flags, and if you’re still unsure, get a second opinion. Blackface is not okay, ever, and the Fez is overdone and in poor taste.

Need some ideas? Jon Snow. Katniss Everdeen. The Snapchat ghost. That’s three without breaking a sweat, and all would be appreciated by at least a few. Don’t like those? Put that college brain to use and freaking Google it.


Hey, you could always go as this creepy dude.

The resounding point is this: middle ground exists. Find a costume that can be memorable without being offensive. The reason entire cultures find offense to crude depictions of their respective heritages has nothing to do with sensitivity but rather with the inaccuracies and stereotypes they encourage.

So this Halloween, be safe, have fun, and leave the Native American headdress at home. It’s not hip.

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