North Texas Daily

Stay safe for Halloween and do not culturally appropriate

Stay safe for Halloween and do not culturally appropriate

Stay safe for Halloween and do not culturally appropriate
October 31
11:00 2020

Halloween is a tricky time of the year when deciding what to choose as one’s costume. But inevitably, someone will ruin the mood with an insensitive or straight-up racist costume.

There are the “Mexican” costumes: wide sombreros, ponchos, handlebar mustaches. There are the people who darken their skin to pose as a black or brown person, although many people now understand the degrading and dehumanizing history of blackface now. And every year, there is always the generic “Native American” costume of the woman or man wearing fringe, fake suede, feathers and braids.

Costumes should not become opportunities to turn a person’s identity into a stereotyped image.

Halloween has evolved into a celebration of our collective cultural reality and our costumes reflect that. At least sometimes they do. But, other times they are not designed in good faith. They are not clever caricatures designed to satirize societal tropes. They exist to be attention-grabbing, or to be a punchline or to be sexy.

And that’s fine, but we should realize that it’s not always cool to do that to something important to someone else for your own gain. Imagine the feeling of a Native American who knows her family had worn an outfit into battle, just to see it bastardized to make a sorority girl feel sexy.

Intent doesn’t matter. As adults, we need to realize that not everyone has the same point of view in life, and we should figure out how to have a fun night without hurting others. There are hundreds of costumes to wear that won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s not that hard.

Something that’s also not hard to do is not go out this year. As we all know, there’s a once-in-a-generation virus ripping through the world right now, and the last thing anyone should do is a party. This year is scary enough already, don’t make it worse. This might be the only Halloween in a while where we’re begging everyone to wear a mask if you go out.

Still, should you find yourselves out and about this weekend, we at the North Texas Daily have a few ideas on how you should roam these spooky streets. In fact, this is the perfect time to give timely updates on old costume favorites. The world needs Jason Vorhees wearing an M95 over his iconic hockey mask. It is also high time for Michael Myers to ditch the kitchen knife and help vaccinate the general public during this unprecedented time. If that sounds ridiculous, you clearly haven’t seen any of the “Halloween” films.

Should you make the practical choice and stay home, however, there is no shortage to make this Halloween a success. Maybe invite a trusted friend over to watch scary movies or indulge yourself with some candy alone.

2020 has been the year of a lot of things, but it has especially been the year of streaming services. While select movie theaters are open, there is hardly anything in the way of new theatrical releases. Streaming services have no shortage of horror content and some platforms like Prime Video and Disney+ have entire sections dedicated to this time of the year. You’ve likely binged your way through this year, so why stop now?

Whether you do go out, stay home or decide to partake in the homecoming festivities, we ask you to practice social distancing and stay safe. We are still far from a state of normalcy and given the weather change and impending flu season, now is not the time to let our guard down. Stay strong and stay safe.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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