Halloween is time of celebration of all things spooky. People get dressed up, kids go trick-or-treating and houses get painted with co-webs. However, this festive holiday is becoming wrapped in social issues as people are beginning to speak out against insensitive or disrespectful costumes. Celebs, this year, took to Twitter to voice their opinions on cultural appropriation in this years Halloween get ups.
Cultural appropriation is where one culture borrows elements of another in a disrespectful manner. This becomes a huge issue around October 31st as Halloween is a time of dressing up and many people, including children, dress up as people from others cultures or backgrounds. Gianna Collier-Pitts in an interview with Teen Vogue. told how wearing the Afro wig is not simply a fun hairpiece to wear and discard as it has underlying tones of disrespect that are really hurtful. “Our hair is stigmatized as being untidy and this costume is incredibly insensitive to the real struggles African-Americans have wearing their natural hair.”
This concept is becoming more prevalent as people are becoming more aware of this issue. This year, Sachi Feris, a parent blogger, slammed the Moana costume, saying it appears to “make fun of someone else’s culture” in parodying Polynesian culture. She urged people to be considerate when dressing up on Halloween making sure “we are doing it in a way that is respectful”.
Celebrities have taken to the social media platform Twitter to give fuel to this fire. Australian model Emily Sears tweeted, “Halloween is so awesome but ruined by the fact people are still doing appropriative & insensitive costumes.” Nabela Noor, a Muslim-American YouTube star, tweeted, “cultural appropriation & cultural appreciation ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!” urging people to focus on real cases of appropriation and not get swept up in the nitty gritty ignoring the real problem.
Halloween is so awesome but ruined by the fact people are still doing shitty, appropriative & insensitive costumes.
Fuck just wear cat ears.
— Emily Sears (@emilysears) October 29, 2017
This message is targeted mostly at white people who take on other cultures, ignoring their struggles. Nayuka Gorrie, a queer and feminist Indigenous writer, tweeted, “My Halloween advice: white people go as yourselves”. Continuing with a thread that depicted racial elements in society that are often ignored. “Go as the teacher who tells you Captain Cook discovered this continent”, and “Go as that white boy that shouts sings the N word at a Kendrick concert”.
My Halloween advice: white people go as yourselves
— Nayuka voted yeshomo (@IndigenousX) October 29, 2017
Some people believe policing Halloween costumes have gone to far, but for the most part, it’s giving a voice to an issue often ignored in society.