Should we worry about cultural appropriation this Halloween?

Other | Wednesday 25th October 2017 | Claudia

Halloween is coming up soon and it's that time of year when people seem happy enough to offend their neighbors.

The holiday which was originally created to ward off evil spirits has now turned into a day where it wouldn't be surprising to see a giant tampon simultaneously trying to cut shapes and down a bottle of tequila. 


As outlandish as some outfits maybe some people have also opted to dress up as one another. This is where things get complicated, and why the term "cultural appropriation" pops up time to time in October apart from the occasional scare. 

I mean why are minorities who experience prejudice on a daily basis, so offended when they see the same privileged people who discriminate against them (intentionally or not) dress up in their native garments? It's truly baffling, right? 



So what is the line between experiencing someone's culture in a positive way and disrespecting it? (Scratches head sarcastically).

Well, Cultural appreciation is what Scafidi calls "good borrowing" (Attempting to make a good curry on the weekend whilst discreetly dabbing the sweat off your face) is acceptable. Cultural appropriation can be offensive, an unacceptable example would be to black up and host a cotton picking competition. 



The difference is slightly noticeable, But why do some people still seem to not get the memo? Maybe their wifi is down or they’ve been living amongst Mormons, whatever it may be we're here to help you puzzled souls dress to impress without the hefty burden of offending others in the process. 

So whats ok?

Basically, politicians, public figures, even celebrities are fair game.Your traditional skeletons and demons are also fine. Hey, you can go crazy why not dress up as an inanimate object. The possibilities are endless. A big no no would be to start dressing up in your neighbour's hijab or sari, that's where the line becomes firmly crossed. 


Guide: do’s and don'ts 

A list of costumes you can pretty much always avoid

A list of costumes that are acceptable 


 Bottom line is if we lived in a perfect world, we could go crazy dressing up as one another without offending others but there are historical realities and ongoing social issues that blur the line between fun and offensive, so maybe think twice before splashing out on a £2.00  Native American headdress this Halloween.