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September 29, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

How to not be a jerk when picking a Halloween costume

Halloween is supposed to be the time of year where you can take a break from the normal and be something completely out of the ordinary. 

You could be anything from a serial killer from your favorite scary movie to something as cheesy as a bar of soap. But what you should never do is dress in a costume that would insult or appropriate someone else’s culture. 

Here are five tips to avoid offensive costumes this Halloween.

  1. Black/brown face is unacceptable.

Black/brown face has never been and never will be a Halloween costume. For those of you who don’t know the history, it’s completely racist and offensive to people of color. It doesn’t matter if you wanted to dress up as your favorite rapper; if you are not that race, do not alter your skin to look like that race. No exceptions! 

  1. Respect other people’s traditions.

People’s traditions are not your costume. Do not paint your face and dress up as a Native American or put fake jewels on your face and dress as someone from an Indian culture; it’s extremely offensive and disrespectful. Many of these things are symbolic and have a history behind why they are done, so don’t disrespect other people’s traditions because you thought it looked cool. If you want to learn more about different cultures, read a book or do some research, but don’t dress up like them for sport.

  1. Respect other people’s religion.

A religion is not a costume, even if it’s your own religion. Dressing up as a priest, pastor, Muslim or even a nun is not OK. Many of these titles hold respect in each religion, and you disrespect them when you imitate them for your own personal enjoyment. Even if you are a Christian, dressing as a pastor can be offensive to other Christians. Just because it doesn’t bother you doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother someone else.

  1. Respect other people’s sexual orientation.

Exaggerating someone’s sexual orientation for laughs is not OK. A straight person imitating anyone from the LGBTQ community is offensive. Someone’s personality or appearance should not be stereotyped by their sexual orientation, especially through a Halloween costume. Being ridiculed on a regular basis from a homophobic society is already a lot to handle without it being a holiday “trend.”

  1. Be absolutely ANYTHING that doesn’t fall under the above offensive categories.

Now I know some of you are wondering, “Well, what CAN I be for Halloween then?” Let me give you a few ideas. You could be something scary, such as a skeleton, vampire, werewolf, Freddie, Jason or just about any famous movie serial killer. You could be something sweet, such as an angel, fairy, a princess or a prince. You could be something realistic, such as a doctor, lawyer, police officer or firefighter. You could even be something crazy and weird, such as a slice of pizza, a monkey or even a tube of toothpaste. Honestly, the choices are endless; just make the right one.


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