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The Centurion

Avoiding Costume Catastrophe

Sindy Colindres, Centurion Staff

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Halloween is a fan favorite holiday. Time Magazine stated that “American trick-or-treaters will spend $8.4 billion on candy and costumes this Halloween.”

With that being said, there should be some guidelines for what is appropriate and what is not. Blackface is an example of something that’s not appropriate for Halloween. In the 19th century, white performers would paint their face black in order to play slaves or any other black character. These white performers would portray black people as illiterate savages. Black people were left to suffer in the stereotypes that white
performers created.

Now, if someone wants to dress up as Kanye West or Barack Obama or any other black character that is perfectly acceptable. But they should not purposefully change the color of their skin to match them.

It’s just wrong. Stereotyped cultural costumes, is acceptable in that there is nothing wrong with wanting to learn about culture and wanting to embrace it. There is something wrong if you just wear these culture inspired clothes because it just looks “cool” or “funny.”

You shouldn’t throw on a poncho, wear a sombrero, and draw a mustache on and call themselves a “Mexican.” It’s insulting and makes whoever is wearing the costume seem arrogant.

Another example would be, the love of wearing a headdress which a number of people wear at festivals. Headdress were worn by Native Americans who earned a high level of respect in their tribe. Not for someone to look “cool” when he or she is taking a picture. With oversexualized costumes, why would someone need to dress up as a sexy “firefighter” or a sexy “Cinderella” or even a sexy “girl scout?”

It is understandable that women want to feel and look good, but they don’t have to oversexualize themselves in these costumes to do so. There is nothing wrong with costumes that look appealing but individuals are capable of looking better than this.

Mental Illness is a serious issue and should not be made as a joke. The Huffington Post claims that “over 8.3 million Americans – suffers from a serious mental health issue.” It’s safe to say that generations are paying more attention to mental illness and have started to take it more seriously than before. Dressing up in a straight jacket because you are pretending to be a “crazy person” is not funny.

Sexual Harassment is another serious issue that should not be turned into a joke. Do we really need to explain why an adult flasher costume is bad? It’s just plain gross and disturbing. Don’t get us wrong, we are not trying to ruin the party by saying what is good and what is not allowed. We just want to get the message out there to be careful with what you wear.

Have a happy, safe Halloween!

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The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College
Avoiding Costume Catastrophe