Question about Halloween costumes and cultural appropriation

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Is my costume idea cultural appropriation?
    Yes : (11 votes)
    18 %
    No : (49 votes)
    82 %
  • Post # 2
    5758 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2018

    Trevor.Philips :  Can white people not wear gold dresses? 

    Post # 3
    924 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    Unless you were planning on heavily applying bronzer to look more “ethnic,” I think you’re fine. Generally, I think costumes are okay so long as you aren’t changing your skin color or essentially mocking a minority group (think feather headdresses). 

    Post # 5
    4241 posts
    Honey bee

    I think that if you’re dressing up as s specific person, it’s fine. It’s only offensive when you dress up like a generic representation of a group of people. I was Frida Kahlo for Halloween a few years ago- to me that’s different that just dressing up like a “Mexican”. 

    Post # 6
    9130 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    I agree that as long as you’re not doing any kind of blackface / brownface, and you’re dressing up as a specific character/person and not “a Latina”, it’s just fine.  Props to you for thinking about it.  

    Post # 7
    29 posts

    I agree that you just stay away from altering your skin color and it should be fine.

    ClaudiaKishi :  Also agree with this that you are dressing up as a specific person and not a race. I am east Indian and remember the year a friend was “an east Indian person” for Halloween, I thought it was really inconsiderate. But in this case you have a specific person in mind that you are dressing up as.

    Post # 9
    438 posts
    Helper bee

    I think there is something to be said for intent, there is a huge difference in putting on a giant hat and serape and running around like Speedy Gonzales and dressing as a specific person or character. One is intended to mock and then other isn’t. 

    I also think it is important to avoid religious/cultural symbols if you don’t understand them (like feather headdresses, or Bindi etc) as costumes.

    But I think dressing up as someone from a music video isn’t a problem. 


    Post # 10
    78 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    Dressing up as a specific person is never a problem, so long as you don’t try to darken your skin tone or do something that is obviously sterotypical or offensive.

    Also, ditto on what PP said about intent.

    Post # 11
    3630 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

    Trevor.Philips :  Nope! As others have said, as long as you’re not doing blackface to make yourself look like another race (this comes off as mocking dark skin) then I’m sure you’ll be fine. I just don’t know if everyone will get the reference. I myself know the song but haven’t seen the music video. I’m black and hubby’s white and if we do dress up, we’ll be Morticia and Gomez Addams. I don’t plan on painting my face white or anything, but between the wig and outfits, I’m sure people would be able to guess. 

    Post # 12
    995 posts
    Busy bee

    Cultural appropriation has more to do with dressing up as either a very general different race from yours (think the “Mexican” costumes which are very racist, with the big mustaches and sombreros); or if you a putting on a costume that has a lot of cultural significance that is universally regarded as offensive if someone else uses it inapporpriately (from example, many Mexicans do not like people dressing up as Calaveras for Halloween, because they are to be respected as part of a lreigious holiday, and viewed as happy and fun, as opposed to scary). For the most part, if your costume does not fit into those categories, than it is probably safe. 

    Post # 13
    6298 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2016

    The PC culture these days- also known as being considerate of others and doing your best not to be disrespectful- seems like a pretty kind and thoughtful way to live life.

    Post # 14
    3778 posts
    Honey bee

    This is so interesting to me, as I agree with other PP’s that dressing up like a specific person isn’t appropriation. However, I recently looked up Moana costumes for my son and found that Disney had to pull their Moana and Maui costumes, because people cried appropriation. I was floored…they were costumes of the specific characters….for kids….

    Post # 15
    9820 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    whitums :  I thought it was just the maui one.  And I think it’s because the costume included his skin…like literally putting on his skin tone and tattoos.  I believe just the skirt would be acceptable with necklace/oar.  I have not seen the moana costume being pulled.  Dressing up as the person is okay but the skin stuff isn’t.  Like, the skin IS the costume.  Plus it offended polynesian people.  If someone tells you it is offensive, the correct thing to do is remove it/don’t do it so that is what Disney did.

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