Inappropropriate costumes are the scariest thing this Halloween

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Published in the October 26, 2017 issue of The Bells

Halloween is just around the corner. Many students plan on dressing up and celebrating Halloween in some way, but we should be careful when we put together a costume for the big celebration. Having poor taste in costumes can really ruin the night and cause the costume wearer some embarrassment. While most costumes would be fine to wear to a  Halloween party or while trick-or-treating, there are some costumes that should not be allowed on the streets this Halloween night. Dressing up in costumes for Halloween is a way for some to express themselves in a unique way. However, a Halloween party is not the time, nor the place, to be controversial, especially when a costume pokes fun at a national crisis. It has never been and never will be funny or practical to dress up as a Boston Marathon victim or the Twin Towers. It is considered rude to dress up as a character from a culture other than your own. We have all seen those Native American or Indian princess costumes at our local Halloween stores. Sure, it might seem like a good idea, but it’s actually very demeaning to the people who represent that culture.

It would be funny if I went as a Starbucks-obsessed teenager with UGG boots because I represent that specific culture, but it would not be funny if I dressed up as a belly dancer and paraded around in a lifestyle I know nothing about. It can be seen as racist and culturally ignorant. This also includes the use of black face. Black face is seen as racist and in poor taste.

One thing that I have never understood is why men’s costumes are so focused on genitalia and women’s on sexuality? I’ve seen so many tactless costumes that focus on these parts and completely detract from the fun and the festivities of Halloween. Another question is why are most women’s costumes so revealing? It’s usually cold on Halloween night, and it’s not practical to be walking around a neighborhood in a costume that shows too much skin. You are able to portray a nurse or vampire without being immodest (and cold).

It is also not a good idea to dress young children up as characters from shows portraying adult themes, like Walter White from the TV series Breaking Bad. I understand that this specific costume was very popular when it was airing, but it’s not a kid-friendly show and therefore, is not a kid-friendly costume. While children’s costumes are less controversial than others, parents should still be aware of the messages they are sending to their children. Halloween is supposed to be more than sexy costumes and parties. In many cultures, Halloween is a memorial for those that have passed on and is more about respect than anything else. Halloween is a fun tradition that should be safe for families and Halloween lovers all over the world. So, be smart when planning your costume and practical when you go out to celebrate the spooky holiday.

Author: Madeline Oden

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