Everyone has a friend who tends to raise an eyebrow with his or her costume creativity around Halloween.
In a day and age where political correctness is climbing to the top of everyone’s agenda, some costumes might cross the line. However, Halloween should be the one night of the year where being politically correct is excusable. If people try to be politically correct, they might as well be all or nothing.
That means no cop, firefighter or nurse costumes because it mocks someone’s profession. No Native American, geisha, samurai or cowboy costumes because it pokes fun at someone’s culture. And heaven would literally forbid Jesus, nun or LDS church missionary costumes.
That basically leaves us with animal costumes, but people better watch out for members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals getting upset because they are making fun of animals.
Perhaps the best policy to follow if you are thinking about dressing up as a Native American, Inuit or religious figure is to respect the background.
“It really depends on what their intention is with the costume,” said Braxton Thornly, a sophomore English major from Taylorsville. “If they are just dressing up for fun, it’s different than dressing up to attack a culture or religion.”
I just don’t see the problem dressing up as another culture if it’s in good taste. For example, I’m Norwegian and German. I think it’s great when people like my culture enough to dress up as part of it for Halloween. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be offended, but perhaps a different perspective could change being offended into being flattered.
However, there is a huge difference between dressing up as a Native American vs. dressing up as a Native American with a knife through his or her head.
An article on woub.org reads, “An Arab bomber costume feeds a particularly ugly stereotype, and could actually get you arrested.”
Purposefully offending or poking fun at a culture through costumes is where the line should be drawn. Millenials are definitely a more sensitive generation, but if we lose our sense of humor or get offended by everything, Halloween, along with everything else fun, will be ruined. I think keeping a light-hearted sense of humor will desensitize this problem.
“Dressing up as a missionary is different than dressing up as a missionary with demonic makeup,” Hornly said. “It all comes down to consideration to other cultures. If you think they might get offended, probably don’t do it.”
There will always be controversy over Halloween. If you are dying to dress up as a Persian princess or Native American, keep it in good taste. If someone gets mad at you, express to them your love for the culture. If that doesn’t work, unfriend them on Facebook.