By Casey DiBari & Claire Crittendon – 1851 Contributor & Editor in Chief
Halloween is in full swing once again this year, especially on campus. After a year filled with quarantining, tests and vaccinations, we know students are excited to have a night of fun, whether you’re going out with friends or staying on campus. However, we want to remember this year that along with making sure you’re being careful, make sure that your costumes aren’t going to offend other people in our community.
With the rise of cosplay since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen more people dressing up as their favorite characters in media, including manga or anime. Now with Squid Game out and as popular as it is, we may see people choose to make easy and cheap costumes inspired by the show for Halloween. All of this should be encouraged, as we all can dress up like these characters we love. However, no matter your ethnic background, be sure that cute costume doesn’t become something offensive.
This is not to say all characters outside of your race are out of the question, just be mindful about how you go about dressing up. Wigs reflective of protective styles such as box braids or dreads, for example, are a no-go. It goes without saying that altering your skin tone to a natural color other than your own is not it. Turn yourself green or purple all you want, but to physically alter your skin makes it clear you view the subject of your costume as just that.
The reason we need to keep this in mind is because for a lot of people, this isn’t a one-night silly costume idea. A lot of people can and have been stereotyped due to the color of their skin, and often find themselves either denied certain things we take for granted, or in extreme cases, find themselves in danger. This past year and a half has seen a lot of anger and pain toward asian and black people, so it’s not as funny as you may think it is to try and make yourself look more like them for one night.
If you have partaken in an insensitive get up before, this isn’t a call to feel guilt or shame. Instead, view this as an opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes and to educate yourself and the people in your circle.
In conclusion, if you’re not sure if something is okay to do, it probably isn’t. That said, there is nothing wrong with asking reasonable questions. Now go out and enjoy a fun, safe and respectful halloween!