Many blogs have devoted posts on how not to offend on Halloween, so I'm just going to support their message by saying: Please don't dress up in racist costumes! As a general rule of thumb, if you are dressing up as another race/ethnicity/culture - the costume is racist. If you are dressing up as another race/ethnicity/culture that has been marginalized, colonized, or mass murdered by anyone in the Western World - that costume is especially racist. That means, for example, that no one should be dressing up as a: Mexican, Asian, Black Person, Arab, any woman wearing any sort of Muslim head covering, Indian, or (a costume I find particularly offensive) Native American. That's right folks! If you are a white person living in the United States, it is not ok to dress up as a Native American Princess, Pocahontas, Native American chief, or warrior. Our ancestors and our government have historically - and are still currently - trying to eradicate their culture, so it is not a good idea to dress up in a form of their cultural dress as a form of cultural parody.
Ohio University's Students*Teaching*About*Racism*in Society group has organized a fantastic campaign with these posters:
I would also argue that dressing up as any sort of marginalized group is offensive; that means no dressing up as a welfare queen or "ghetto" African American. Poverty isn't funny. And it isn't a costume.
Now for an issue I find slightly more complicated - should we dress up as sluts on Halloween?
I admit I am guilty of this. My Halloween costumes have always been on the sluttier side - except for last year when I dressed up in my mom's old flight attendant uniform. If that costume is considered slutty, it isn't my fault, it is the airline industry of the '70s.
|Mom's old uniform! An ode to powder blue and orange polyester.|
|I've never had a nurse dressed like this|
|Alice in Wonderland was a tramp|
|In real life, a cop would arrest this woman for prostitution|