This Halloween remember to Pick a Costume, Not A Culture.
Be thoughtful in selecting your Halloween costume and respectful of peoples’ cultures.
“Culture Appropriation – almost always involves members of the dominant culture (or those who identify with it) “borrowing” from the cultures of minority groups.”
You may select a costume with harmless intentions, but keep in mind that costumes can still perpetuate harmful stereotypes and stigmas. So ask this:
1. Is your costume racially, ethically, or culturally based?
If it is, then it’s probably offensive. Ask yourself, why are you choosing to dress as another race, ethnicity, or culture? What message are you trying to send?
If you “don’t see race” — check your privilege.
2. Do you belong to the group you are trying to wear?
If the answer is no, remember that you can’t just borrow a culture for a day. You may be able to take off the stereotype and stigmas that come with the costume at the end of the day. But be respectful of those that can’t.
It may be a costume for you, but its an everyday life for others.
3. Would you wear that costume around that group of people?
Be sensitive and respectful of others. You may not have to experience the stereotype and stigma associated with it, but others do.
Learn about other people’s cultures, instead of wearing them for a day because its sexy or funny. This isn’t to say don’t have fun this Halloween, but be respectful and kind and think about the message you are sending.
It takes more than just saying you are not racist, your actions have to reflect that as well.