Adults take Halloween costumes too far

By Alexa Lago, Opinion Editor
November 5, 2013
Filed under Opinion

Finding the perfect costume for Halloween or a themed party can be fun. Being able to come up with an awesome costume idea and go all-out for it can be entertaining.

However, there is a thin line between awesome and disrespectful when it comes to costumes.

There’s no problem with girls dressing up in skimpy outfits, using makeup to complement an amazing look or making a costume realistic. But there is an issue with dressing up inappropriately or in a way that is racially
offensive.

Within the media in the past few weeks, there have been many examples of these sorts of costumes. Of course, with it being the weeks leading up to Halloween and the holiday itself, it makes sense.

But Halloween is no excuse for being insensitive to other races or to victims of tragic incidents.

 

The Boston bombing victim 

For instance, there were many people who dressed up like the bloody victims from the Boston Marathon bombing. One man even went as far as to mangle his skin and create an empty eye socket in order to emulate someone who was seriously harmed by the bombs.

How is this in any way a funny or clever costume idea?  In fact, it’s very disrespectful to those who were injured or killed in the bombing.

 

The ghost of Castro 

One man dressed up like Ariel Castro, the man who held three women captive in his Cleveland home for a decade. The man donned a Mexican sombrero, painted his face white to resemble a ghost, wore an orange jumpsuit and chained three blow-up dolls to his body.

This is in no way, shape or form a genius costume idea. Aside from the racial slur and the representation of Castro’s suicide, words can’t even express how horrible it is to make fun of the three women who were held captive in Castro’s house.

 

The Martin & Zimmerman duo 

Of course another favorite costume pairing of many Halloween party-goers was Trayvon Martin and his killer George Zimmerman. One couple dressed up in matching hoodies, the man holding Skittles and an Arizona tea to portray Martin, while the woman held a toy gun to portray Zimmerman.

An even more offensive pair of friends took the costume idea to another level. A white man covered his face in black paint and put blood stains on his hoodie, while his friend stood beside him wearing a t-shirt that said “Neighborhood Watch” on it.

These costumes were extremely offensive to Martin and his family and insensitive to the situation and case as a whole.

 

The racist individual 

These costumes also relate to a huge favorite of party-goers in the past few weeks. People covering their faces in black paint, or what is otherwise known as “blackface,” in order to portray African Americans has been very popular.

The first incident of this to hit the news this year came from a 21-year-old woman’s birthday party, who chose Africa as a theme for her party.

The highly offensive photo shows a majority of the hostess’ friends covered in black paint and making fun of African culture. Some people even went as far as to wear Ku Klux Klan outfits to the party, which is clearly meant to be racially offensive.

While the hostess’ intentions may not have been to bash Africa, its culture and its people, clearly other guests took the opportunity to do so. This was obviously a party theme gone wrong, and the racially offensive photos should’ve never made it to the internet.

Two white teenage girls covered their faces in black paint and explicitly went as African Americans for Halloween. They boasted about their “costumes” on Instagram, using a racial slur to describe them.

One of the girls took to Twitter after her “costume” choice was responded to negatively. She wrote many tweets in response to these comments, the majority of them being racist and offensive.

Finally, who doesn’t know about the costume that the  actress, dancer and singer Julianne Hough chose to wear to a party early last week.

She dressed up as “Crazy Eyes,” a character from the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” covering her body in black paint. She apologized for her controversial costume on Twitter, but is still facing media frenzy for her poor choice.

It is in no way appropriate to dress up in any way that makes fun of or is offensive to another race. It is disrespectful and demeaning to those who are a part of that race.

Halloween, or any themed party, is no excuse for anyone to make their racist tendencies or opinions known to the world.

If their intentions are to simply dress up like a character of a certain race, there is no reason for them to have to cover their bodies in paint to do so.

For instance, Miley Cyrus dressed up  as Nicki Minaj last year for Halloween, and this year dressed up as Lil’ Kim without covering her body with paint. Many people do this every year and still manage to have awesome
costumes.

It’s disappointing to have seen so many people dress in “blackface” and disrespectful costumes in the last few weeks. There is no reason for anyone to take their costumes to the level that the people mentioned in this article did.

While Halloween is fun and gives people a chance to dress up in fabulous costumes, it doesn’t give them the right or excuse to make fun of races or sensitive situations.

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