It’s almost Halloween, one of the few holidays I celebrate that doesn’t involve spending the day bleary-eyed and following the labored requests of my parents as they strive to make this the “best holiday ever.”
But the bad news is that some of us still don’t know how to properly celebrate this holiday without being, for lack of a better word, total douchebags.
ENTER: Me, the “Political Correctness Police,” honing in on an otherwise unregulated holiday to remind you that just because Halloween is supposed to be fun, doesn’t mean you should be having fun at the expense of others.
Exhibit A: Slut-shaming.
It’s clear that the costume industry has taken it upon themselves to offer costumes to women that are often ridiculously promiscuous. Sexy nuns. Sexy corn. Sexy lobsters. I think we’ve all been to enough pop-up Halloween stores to know how extensive this list could become.
While these costumes are absurd, let’s not point at the woman in the sexy corn costume this Halloween and call her something demeaning. Instead, let’s point our fingers at the Halloween costume industry and call them out for being the ones who over-sexualize women and holy figures, and corn and large crustaceans.
And if someone does choose to wear something sexy on Halloween, that’s obviously acceptable. Looking sexy on Halloween can be a lot of fun if you’re doing it because you want to, not because you feel obligated to because of the lack of costumes that tell women they can be anything else.
Exhibit B: Racist costumes.
I can’t believe it’s 2015, we’re 20-something-years-old, and some of us still don’t understand this very simple point: just because the Halloween store offers the “Rising Sun Indian Princess” costume, doesn’t mean you should buy it. Seriously, don’t buy it. Those costumes are offensive to Native Americans, who feel that such outfits are poking fun at their history, their struggles and the symbolism that these costumes misrepresent.
Do not paint your face black this Halloween. Do not be the fool wearing a “Sexy Chinese Geisha” costume. Geishas aren’t even Chinese. And to the white guy at the bar: please, we beg you, take off that sombrero.
Use this Halloween as an opportunity to express something about yourself, not an identity that you don’t understand well enough to respect. If you want to honor an identity, consider one that doesn’t still exist today – like the Greek gods, the Ancient Romans, the Vikings.
Instead of being the most insensitive person at a Halloween party, be creative. Honor the characters from your favorite books, movies, television shows and musicals. Be your hero.Your inner demons. Your first grade teacher. A mythical creature. Hell, put on that sexy lobster costume if you want to.
This Halloween, the rules are pretty simple.
It’s not that hard to be a decent human being.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of static.pexels.com.
Daphne Pellegrino is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.