Cultures Are Not Costumes

Miranda Martinez, Cactus Writer

Halloween is a holiday about glorifying all things spooky and scary, a day to dress up in a costume for the sake of having fun. Unfortunately, sometimes the “fun” comes at the expense of others, and the scariest thing is the racism seen on Halloween. If you’re anything like me, then you go to your nearest Halloween store and innocently pick out a costume, never with the foul intention of hurting anyone. But regardless of whether your costume selection was done with innocent intentions or not, your costume can still perpetuate harmful stereotypes, which then welcomes more aggressive racist attitudes.

When most people think of racist Halloween costumes they usually think of “sexy” Native American outfits or “black face”, yet many cultures are being affected by this racism. Over the years many new costumes from many different cultures have been made and many are made for kids. This is causing a lot of anger in different groups who are seeing their race and culture displayed so stereotypically, incorrectly or offensively. With costumes meant to look like suicide bombers, people killed in mass shooting or even murders, and even just completely incorrect stereotypes of communities. There are even groups that are trying to ban wearing Dia de los Muertos make up being it is not Halloween but a day meant to honor the deaths of loved ones.

With so many cultures all over the world more than just a handful are being taken advantage of during what is meant to be a fun holiday. Most people do not understand the difficulties behind all of this. We are stereotyping cultures and glorifying the sexualizing of children. Kids are being exposed to this at such a young age, causing their views on cultures, to become clouded by these racist outfits and ideas they show of the cultural groups. We need to rethink what we wear and how we go about showing different groups. It may seem like all fun and games, but it can cause a lot of hate in the long run.