7 Offensive Halloween Costumes That Will Never Be Funny
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Here's the thing: I'm not trying to be the costume police, but you can find funny or one-of-a-kind costume without being offensive or hurtful. In fact, it's probably a heck of a lot easier to find a Halloween costume that isn't offensive than to pick out one that is. When on the search for your perfect Halloween garb, here are seven halloween costumes that will never be funny that you should stay far, far away from.
Basically, bigotry is never funny. You can celebrate Halloween in style without belittling, mocking, or imitating communities that already face prejudice. Better yet, your costume will 100 percent be better off for it.
Every year, without fail, some college students somewhere take Halloween as an opportunity to wear something breathtakingly offensive, including students at Yale who wore blackface in 2007. So, this year, Yale's Intercultural Affairs Committee sent an email urging students to consider whether their "funny" costumes might not be so funny:
"Let me be unambiguous, I am fully in support" of the email urging students to avoid offensive costumes, he wrote: "We need always to be dedicated to fashioning a community that is mindful of the many traditions that make us who we are."
As if the #MeToo movement was not a give-away, the R. Kelly trial should have serve as a huge red stop sign, but this is still worth mentioning. Sexual harassment jokes are not funny. Someone exposing themselves to non-consenting viewers isn't comical; it's a very real and traumatic form of sexual harassment. These kinds of costumes are not only offensive; they can trigger those who have dealt with harassment themselves.
If your outfit makes fun of a marginalized group of people, it needs to stay on the shelf. Take this "tranny granny" costume, for example. It got pulled from Walmart after consumers pointed out that not only does it mock transgender women, but also uses a transphobic slur in the name. Dressing up as a gender presentation other than your own is not a great idea. Trans people aren't a joke, and these costumes aren't funny.
For decades, dressing up as a "hobo" was considered a harmless outfit. As a child, I remember it being the go-to costume for children when all else failed. But it turns out that the costume in and of itself is a major fail and is offensive. In the U.S. alone, thousands of people are unhoused every day. It's a lived reality for many, not a funny or convenient outfit idea.
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, I have seen countless articles circling the internet calling out a wide variety of tasteless, offensive, and even hateful costume ideas that are sold and worn throughout the country. It may seem obvious what is harmful, and what is in good fun, but do people really understand the damage caused by these costumes that mock entire groups of people At what point do offensive costumes become oppressive
The people who don these costumes may think that they are being funny or even just honoring a culture different from their own, but the danger lies in their misconception of cultural appropriation and of the difference between offensive and oppressive.
"Lion-killing dentist"Halloween costume sites usually get pretty creative with the naming of their costumes so they don't infringe on any copyright, so we shouldn't need to point out that a dentist holding a lion's head (with some blood spray, nice touch) is the guy who killed Cecil the Lion. Animal abuse is... not funny. Straight up. Don't wear this, guys.
There you have it, folks. While there are definitely way more costumes out there that people should avoid, let's hope more of us will use some better judgement this year and aim to acknowledge that there's a plethora of things to dress up as that won't get anyone upset.
Varathan offers some insightful guidelines for avoiding offensive costumes. The first, dress as the character, not the race. Hence, dressing as Moana is one thing but dressing as a Hawaiian is quite another (note that this also r