North Texas Daily

There should be no gentrifying cultures and ethnicities this Halloween

There should be no gentrifying cultures and ethnicities this Halloween

There should be no gentrifying cultures and ethnicities this Halloween
October 31
11:41 2019

Written By: Rose Schacherer

This spooky season will be full of lots of chocolate treats, dairy-free chocolate for those vegans and responsible lactose intolerants, among other assorted candies and sweets. It will also have lots of parties, drinks, good food and laughs with friends.

What is not acceptable during this time however, is the appropriation of anyone’s culture for the benefit of your costume.

We have seen this almost every year when someone puts a feather headdress on, pairing it with thigh highs, heels and a dress, then goes on to refer to themselves as Pocahontas. People also like to wear traditional Japanese attire, paint their face a very pale white color and call themselves a geisha.

Or what about when someone dresses up as a Roma person, thinking they look original, quirky and cute?

These are just a few examples of this because there are a number of other offensive costumes that can be found just about anywhere.

The bottom line is that this is someone’s culture. This may make up your neighbors’ ancestry, your coworkers’ family, your friends’ traditions or your peers’ practices. It is honestly a slap in the face to anyone’s culture or background, and these traditions should be respected, appreciated and not exploited for a Halloween costume.

Cultural appropriation is a phrase that has been generally popularized in recent years, but not enough people seem to really understand it. Cultural appropriation is the exploitation of someone’s culture by another culture, and is even worse when it is being exploited by a societally dominant culture.

It is worth taking the time to comprehend this because you of course would not want to get caught offending millions of people and their ancestors, but you should also want to learn to appreciate a different culture’s history and background.

Whether it is Latinx, Japanese, Korean or Native American culture, it is not yours to take and try to make your own for a costume to wear for one day. There are plenty of non-offensive costume ideas ready for the taking this year.

Halloween can be an absolute joyous occasion, filled with candy, booze and spooky themed decorations everywhere. But this Halloween, we should all be cautious and look out for our friends and peers of different kinds of nationalities and ethnicities, because everyone deserves respect no matter the holiday.

Featured Illustration: Kylie Phillips

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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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