Please avoid these Halloween costumes AT ALL COSTS.
There's hardly anything you can say to criticize Halloween and the holiday season in general. Dressing up in fanciful costumes, eating surplus amounts of sugary treats, having fun with friends and family over pumpkin carvings, and trick-or-treating is pretty much what the idea of fun is all about. However, while you are in the process of brainstorming for your ideal Halloween costume, you might want to remember that there are several options that may actually be considered inappropriate, offensive, and even straight-out harmful.
Let us give you an example of such instances. According to GoodHouseKeeping, a man once showed up in blackface to a costume party and that created high levels of discomfort to many of the guests in attendance. Of course, there may have been someone who confronted this person, but the fact is, we must take it upon ourselves to avoid such potentially insensitive costumes. This goes beyond racism too as there are events like mass shootings, natural disasters, and movements like #MeToo that are used as inspiration for costumes. For many victims and their families, these incidents are reminders of sheer trauma and heartaches, and making a mockery out of it is just plain cruel.
We have put together a list of some of the more offensive costumes that have been worn by people in the past. Intentionally wearing these costumes just to tick someone (or some people) off is not the spirit of Halloween and even the darkest characters in gothic or horror culture will disagree with those who choose to do so anyway.
Under any circumstances, no matter what your intention is, Blackface is NOT okay. Please understand that by making a joke out of this, people are literally mocking hundreds of years of systematical racial abuse and slavery. Reinforcing these stereotypes is never okay, and it includes people of all races and ethnicities.
So wrong & inappropriate! More than just a cosplay fail, it's foul. Cosplaying as the Twin Towers 9/11 = Disgusting pic.twitter.com/1dIphxArkX— Alex Matsuo (@TheSpookyStuff) September 5, 2016
Mocking a terrorist attack like 9/11 or a disaster like Fukushima or Chernobyl is not cool. There were many lives claimed by these events and the families of those who were affected will only find deep remorse if they see their own countrymen making it look like it was something fun.
This is actually sort of common, among pranksters and people with a very crude sense of humor. Some people like to dress up in tatters and rags on Halloween and pretend like they are homeless. Being homeless is actually one of the worst feelings one can go through in life and under no circumstances are we sensationalizing this in a comical way.
Making fun of sexual harassment is nothing short of offensive and quite frankly ought to be illegal. Sexual harassment is a crime and in most cases have been incidents of violence and abuse. For the sake of posterity, it's a request to everyone to avoid these kinds of costumes.
Guys, this really doesn't need to be explained to anyone. Those with mental health issues or physical disabilities have life hard as it is and they certainly don't need their conditions being made fun of.
Yes, we have seen people dress up as "Subway Jared" and others who have suffered eating disorders and weight issues. But come to think of it, these people aren't doing this out of gluttony or anything like that. They actually have a condition that makes it hard for them to control their appetite and emotions. This in turn leads to hormonal problems leading to excessive weight or in some cases, anorexia (the opposite). Either way, these are serious medical conditions and there are a hundred thousand positive costumes to choose from than to mock a medical condition like this.
This goes without saying really. Wearing a costume that promotes big-game hunting or merciless torture of abuse of innocent animals is not something you want to display on Halloween. Yes, the theme is to be scary but not be insensitive while doing so. There is a lot of darkness in the world that's beyond our love of horror and none of us really support animal cruelty in any form.
Sorry people, but even though Achmed the Dead Terrorist may have made you laugh, dressing up as one is not cool. Characters like Osama bin Laden, Dylan Roof, or even a random ISIS member are poor choices for a Halloween costume. Remember that terrorists have been responsible for a lot of tension, turmoil, and death, so why on earth would we be wearing their skins?
It's usually considered offensive when a person makes fun of or portrays an inaccurate and racist cultural stereotype of another race. That means if a white person were to wear a costume where his own lineage was being stereotyped, he or she isn't criticized all that much, as much as if they did it to another race or culture. However, in all fairness, it's best to avoid stereotyping in general. This does not mean you can't dress up in a way that actually honors the particular culture, like the traditional dress of a native people for instance.
Last but not least is the Covid-19 pandemic and all related references. C'mon guys, those of us who live in the U.S. especially ought to be extra sensitive to this as over 100,000 people have fallen prey to it. Of course, you can appear as a generic doctor or nurse, but to reference the pandemic itself and in a humorous way does not give the victims and families the respect they deserve.