Halloween Stereotypes: Why certain costumes should be reconsidered

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Halloween Stereotypes: Why certain costumes should be reconsidered

Maddie Lawson, Art and culture editor

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Thinking about breaking out the Eskimo jacket, feathered Indian head dress, or Chinese kimono for Halloween?

Maybe you should think again.

“Were a culture not a costume” is a message that originated at Ohio State University in 2011.

The idea came about after a slew of racial themed parties took place where invitees would dress as common racial stereotypes. The fact that many students from many different campuses participated was sickening to the “Students Teaching About Racism in Society” club (also known as STARS).

As a result, STARS started the campaign to bring awareness to the fact that dressing as another race is highly offensive and when you wear a costume for a single night, they must don the stereotype the rest of their lives.

The campaign broke the internet over 5 years ago and still, it’s quite common to see a Mexican taco, gypsy or refugee on Halloween night.

Other than the fact that most of the time a racist costume is offensive because it’s just that: a racist costume, they are often times inaccurate as well. For example, never in the history of the earth did a native American wear a tight strapless suede dress. That would have been the most impractical piece of clothing they could have made. It’s not good for anything. They would have constantly been pulling it up to keep it from falling off and it would have restricted movement, keeping them from doing daily activities.

May I remind you they are a culture, group of people, live human beings just like anyone reading this, never should anyone be impersonated for jest.

Please, please, please think before you dress. Take into consideration the idea you are portraying and supporting by dressing as a stereotype.

“By dressing up as [a stereotype], you’re acting like you’re superior to that race, and no one group is superior to any other” senior Casey Fitzpatrick said.

By dressing in this way, people are putting a culture, group or race into a mold; a tiny cookie cutter shape that barely any of them, if any at all, fit into.

“To dress as spider man or cat woman is one thing, to dress as an entire race is something completely different and no longer makes Halloween fun” junior Sarah Simaan said.

With Halloween fast approaching, the best way to go is to leave the hurtful, inaccurate stereotypes at home and find a more loving and positive costume for the holiday. No matter their race, sex or orientation remember to include everyone in the festivities and have a happy Halloween.

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