A new survey of American parents asked, “What Halloween costumes do you find offensive?”
The top answers weren’t too surprising. Guess what? Blackface…still NOT cool. 43% of respondents cited “darkening one’s skin tone” as a definite no-no. Also, anything using the Confederate flag (38%) or poking fun at transgender people (37%) are off-limits.
Then, there’s “The Holocaust”. 45% said stay away from the kind of costume that made “Adorable Anne Frank” a Halloween controversy a few years ago.
“Cultural appropriation” was also cited (32%). I feel like we might still be a little uncertain about what is and isn’t cultural appropriation. Some respondents described it thusly: “when you take somebody else’s culture and make it your own in a disrespectful manner”. Also, “showcasing another people’s culture in a fun or mocking way”…not cool. And I’m a member of one of these oft-maligned cultures. My ancestors came to America from Transylvania and the way our culture is ridiculed is infuriating. Every Halloween, little children dress in our traditional garb (tuxedo and cape) and mock our well-known allergies to garlic and sunlight. I tell you, it’s more annoying than a crucifix dipped in holy water.
Here are a few more of MY OWN tips to avoid being offensive at Halloween.
If your costume comes with face-paint, a curly wig or a headdress you MIGHT be skating on thin ice.
If you show your costume to your grandpa and he says it’s not offensive…it’s probably VERY offensive.
If you’re worried your costume might get you hired and then fired as host of Jeopardy…trust your instincts!
If your costume involves dressing as a Raider’s coach and Michelin tires…probably crossing a line.
Going as a January 6th Insurrectionist is PROBABLY fine. But having a buddy go as “Mike Pence with a noose around his neck” is pushing it.
I know couples costumes are popular but if your couple’s costumes involve a Google image search for “Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie”…you should really rethink while you still have time!