Cultural Appropriation on Halloween


Halloween is a holiday loved by all. People can dress up as whatever and whoever they want, but with the recent passing of Halloween, society needs to discuss what costumes are seen as offensive? Costumes are often deemed offensive when they appropriate a culture that includes either race and/or ethnicity.
Referring to “,” cultural appropriation is when a person takes an aspect of a culture that is not their own and uses it only for their personal interest. Appropriating culture can include changing a person’s skin color, wearing and oversexualizing cultural clothing, and portraying harmful stereotypes of that culture. So, for future Halloweens, if you choose to dress up and think about a costume, do research and evaluate if it would offend someone. Remember to be respectful and appreciate instead.
Cultural appropriation is one of the most controversial topics with sharing one’s culture. Cultures most commonly appropriated during Halloween include Native American, Black, and Asian cultures, among many more.
Cultural appropriation refers to adopting someone’s culture as your own in a negative way and claiming something that someone else has been discriminated against for having or wearing. For example, certain hairstyles or pieces of clothing have cultural significance and may be related to negative historical experiences.
The reasoning why a person should not culturally appropriate is quite simple; culture is sacred and should not be a temporary costume, joke, or sex symbol for entertainment. A person that is not of a certain culture has not gone through the discrimination that a person of that community has experienced for simply expressing who they are. Therefore, they do not understand the significance and importance of that piece of clothing.
Additionally, changing a person’s skin color, such as blackface, dehumanizes black people and depicts the mocking of them back in the 1800s and 1900s. This shows that changing your skin color to any color that is not yours dehumanizes and mocks the past discrimination a race has faced. Portraying harmful stereotypes and sexualizing certain ethnic clothes or clothing styles plays into the fetishization of the culture and downplays the importance of that traditional clothing piece.
Instead of cultural appropriation, think of cultural appreciation. Cultural appreciation is “when someone seeks to understand and learn about another culture in an effort to broaden their perspective and connect with others cross-culturally.” According to “”, appreciating a culture is more respectful and shows that a person understands and recognizes what people of that culture have been through.
Ways to appreciate a community’s culture are by educating yourself on the people’s experiences within said community and not sexualizing or wearing cultural clothing in a non-traditional way. By doing all of these things, it will be acceptable to finally wear a costume respectfully.
Halloween is a time for everyone to have fun and dress up, but it becomes not so fun when people wear costumes that appropriate cultures and offend people. Let’s keep Halloween fun, think and research about your costume before wearing it. Keep it respectful Grizzlies!