8 Racist Halloween Costumes White People Need to Stop Wearing

Updated on June 20, 2016

Cultural Appropriation 101


"picking and choosing elements of a culture by a member of another culture without permission. This includes traditional knowledge, religious symbols, artifacts or any other unauthorized use of cultural practice or ideation." [x]


1. Geisha

Geishas are part of a subculture in Japan with strict rules and protocols. Being a geisha is a highly respected profession, so throwing on a $40 mass-produced kimono and painting your face white isn't honouring them, it's a slap in the face. Are you familiar with the process of becoming a geisha? Do you know how much effort is involved, how much time it takes, how much is sacrificed?

Check out the documentary below for a glimpse of what it's like to apprentice as a geisha. It'll definitely make you think twice about putting on a kimono and shuffling around come Halloween.

INSTEAD of a Geisha: mime; pin-up; queen.

Watch: BBC's "Geisha Girl" (2005)

Not cute.
Not cute.
This is serious.
This is serious. | Source

2. Native Princess/Chieftain

NO. This is particularly awful in Canada, where 1181 Indigenous women and girls have been murdered or missing between 1980 and 2012, and half (49%) of women murdered in Canada are Aboriginal.

Still, any white person dressing up as Native is being horrendously offensive. I don't care if you have a deep appreciation for a specific Native culture; I don't care if you've been to a reservation before and bought authentic moccasins; I don't care if you're 1/6th Cree. It's just not acceptable.

INSTEAD: European king/queen or princess/prince; Disney's Jane or Tarzan; Chuck Noland (Cast Away).

There is no difference between this and the modern-day costume. Both are examples of  blackface.
There is no difference between this and the modern-day costume. Both are examples of blackface. | Source

3. Any black celebrity/stereotype

No afro wigs, brown face paint, or dressing up as famous black people if you are not black. DON'T DO IT. White people dressing up as caricatures of black people has a long and racist history, called blackface and minstrelsy. White people would don blackface and travel in singing and dancing groups, the entire point of which was to mock black people. Click here to learn more about the history of blackface.

There are thousands of famous white people you could dress up as, so no, Braydon Campbell, there is absolutely no reason on earth that you need to dress up as Tupac Shakur.

INSTEAD: Literally any white celebrity, dead or alive. There are a tonne of them.

White fantasy.
White fantasy.
Reality. | Source

4. G**sy

The word itself is often considered a slur, so you can imagine how insensitive dressing up as a Roma person is. Roma people have been systemically persecuted for hundreds of years; in World War II alone, the Germans and their allies killed 25% of all European Roma. Sadly, their persecution persists TO THIS DAY.

So don't wrap your hair in a bandana, slap on some bangles and wander around barefoot going on about how much you want to travel the world in a caravan. You are mocking the very real pain of an entire group of people, not just channelling your wanderlust.

INSTEAD: Explorer; backpacker; tourist; pirate.

"Sex workers wearing skeleton masks gather in Mexico city for a procession to remember their deceased colleagues." This is serious stuff.
"Sex workers wearing skeleton masks gather in Mexico city for a procession to remember their deceased colleagues." This is serious stuff. | Source

5. Sugar Skull

I've noticed that this seems to be a big trend this year for some reason. My mom almost bought one of these costumes herself without realizing it was offensive, so I understand how white people buy and wear some of the costumes on this list with good intentions.

However, Day of the Dead, or Día de Los Muertos, is an important holiday in Mexico. It is a time for reflection, prayer, and honouring the deceased. It is a spiritual and culturally-specific holiday, so sugar skulls are not just pretty make-up for every white girl to paint her face with. They mean a lot more than that.

INSTEAD: Skeleton. Just a normal skeleton. You can even put some make-up on and be a glam skeleton. Done.


6. Mexican anything

While we're talking about Mexico, this is your friendly reminder NOT to don a sombrero, poncho, and adhesive moustache and shriek "Areeeeeeba!" Areeeeeeba!" at the top of your lungs. Considering the current debate about "illegal immigrants" from Mexico going on in the United States, including the two million plus people who have been deported from America in the past five years, this is particularly distasteful.

Are you Mexican? No. Have you ever even been to Mexico? Probably not. Even if you have, you still look like an asshole.

INSTEAD: 70s porn star/Ron Burgundy/stereotypical 70s man (if you've already bought the moustache); Victorian or Edwardian gentleman; bard.

"Illegal" - what it's like to live undocumented in America.

YES. | Source

7. Egyptian anything

Pharaohs, Cleopatra costumes, Nefertiti costumes, anks, etc. is not for white people to wear. The Ancient Egyptians were basically the only black, African civilization given any exposure or respect, and even then their blackness is systemically denied (umm, hello? Egypt is in AFRICA). And yes, there is no doubt that they really were black. Like I said before, there are so many other options available to us white people.

INSTEAD: Ancient Greek, Roman, Medieval/Gothic, or European royalty.

Perfect. | Source

8. Indian anything

If I see ONE MORE white girl wearing a bindi, I'm going to scream. Only desi and Hindu people can wear bindis and tikkas. I don't care if Gwen Stefani did it; I don't care if Selena Gomez did it; I just don't care. They were wrong for reducing the bindi to a fashion accessory, and so are you.

Read more about why this is offensive here.

INSTEAD: European royalty or historical dress; faery/mermaid/fantasy character (you can stick gems on plenty of other places on your face!).


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    • profile image

      Aces 5 weeks ago

      Privateers, or “ P^rates”, as you cruely designate them, were not only instrumental to the American Revolution, but were important in spreading cultural appreciation from port to port. Jerk Chicken, Falafel, Watermelon, and Halal meats were all introduced to North America via Privateer. Furthermore, Privateer vessels were famously color blind, with Caucasians, africans, arabs, and latinos often serving on the same ship. Most were educated, genteel, and um, HAD BOTH their eyes. As a proud descendant of Privateer culture, please respect my traditions this Halloween. If you wish to dress as Privateer, authentic period garments made before 1850 are acceptable, but only if they are made if the finest linens, complete with whalebone buttons. Additionally, you may carry around a ships wheel a prop, but ONLY if it has been authenticated by a repected nautical historian or your local Navy Admiral. Dont go buying a 30 dollar one at Pier One. That shits not okay. If you are going ad a MODERN Privateer, a Calvin Klein cream colored suit is preferred.

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      SWD313 2 months ago

      You’re completely wrong about Ancient Egyptians being black. Genetic testing was done on mummies spanning a 1300 year period and the findings were published. Please stop spreading misinformation.



      “Researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, both in Germany, have decoded the genome of ancient Egyptians for the first time, with unexpected results.

      Publishing its findings in Nature Communications, the study concluded that preserved remains found in Abusir-el Meleq, Middle Egypt, were closest genetic relatives of Neolithic and Bronze Age populations from the Near East, Anatolia and Eastern Mediterranean Europeans.“

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      Daria 4 months ago

      You say, that is is OK to dress like a greek. But it is a cultural appropriation, like mexican, or arab. Greek culture has been appropriated by romans, europeans and turks, but the greeks as people were always disrespected.

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      Sarah 4 months ago

      As an actual Egyptian I find this so insulting. Ancient Egyptians were not black. I have no doubt some of them were but studies and gene research (your article reference was about heart disease not race??) have shown that Egypt is actually darker and more black than it’s historically ever been thanks to immigration. Egyptians are not white or black. They’re Arabs. It’s really ironic that you would write an article detailing how cultural appropriation is wrong but then appropriate Arab culture into black culture. Arabs get so little recognition as it is, we’re not even on the US census, even though the majority of us are neither white or black but the ethnic in between. Blacks have had so many great cultures historically which people need to start mentioning and talking about instead of trying to appropriate ancient Egyptian culture. And Egypt is in North Africa not Central Africa which accounts for the fact that we are not black, a part of Egypt is even in Asia so that’s an inaccurate statement to explain your point. Egyptian culture isn’t for white people to wear and it isn’t for black people to wear, it’s for Egyptians to wear. By your wording your encouraging cultural appropriation of Egyptian culture by black people. The two are not synonymous. Stop acting like it is

    • ms_independent profile image

      Celine 6 months ago from Canada

      Hey Ethan,

      From what I understand, it's totally fine to dress up as black characters or celebrities as long as you don't paint your face black/brown.

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      Ethan 6 months ago

      What if I were a black costume but don't paint my face (because anyone with a double digit I.Q. understands this)? I really wanted to go as the black panter this year to honor the year since Captain America: Civil War came out in theatres. I don't have any black friends so no one in my group of friends were going to be black panther but me. The only hero not taken that I could be is vision but its either I wear a costume that is represented by a black person or paint my face red, and make a reduculous costume.

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      Gen 7 months ago

      I wanted to be Beyoncé for Halloween but I can't because I'm white? I wasn't gonna paint my face! I was just gonna wear a similar dress she wore and copy her eye makeup...

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      Justanoteguys 7 months ago

      *Agree with all of this with the specific exception of Cleopatra. Historically, Cleopatra was a Ptolomy, which was the family that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great's death, Cleopatra was a member of a ruling Greek family. Portrayal of other Egyptian queens such as Nefrititi could be construed as insensitive and disrespectful. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra

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      Lisa 7 months ago

      This kind of shaming is what is really wrong with society! And why are you singling out white people? that sounds racist to me. Halloween is suppose to be fun. people dress up to be who they FANTASIZE about! There are always some people who cross the line and they probably will get their butts kicked, lesson learned. Quit trying to control people and toughen up. I'd hate to hang out with you on Halloween!

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      Bel 7 months ago

      so stupid this article. Halloween is a day to live your fantasies and be any f. thing you with just for fun. In other cultures there is one day of the year where you make fun of others by dressing or making dolls and burn them at midnight. Life is too short to worry about stuff like this.

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      Tj 7 months ago

      Is this for real? Cleopatra was greek. She was a Ptolemy.

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      NV 7 months ago

      I read through most of the comments, and I'm proud of my fellow human beings. People have come together to voice their genuine disgust against separation. I am Indian, and I don't find anybody dressed as Indian offensive. Not even funny(well, depends). It's probably just a liking to another culture. I think Halloween is the only time you get to dress up as an entity, that you are not, and most probably will never be. Obviously, we have to use our discretion. But to ban ourselves to not embrace other foreign/cultural/political/human values that exist, we are ostracizing ourselves. We need to come together, not bury deep in our own cocoons.

      PS: I am going to be Cleopatra, since when am I going to be a queen?

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      WillowRavenfeather 7 months ago

      By your logic, only authentic practitioners of Witchcraft should be allowed dress up as Witches because what we wear is sacred to us, hence our black Victorian style dresses are black because the colour black represents protection and repels negativity, and that the Witch hat can only be worn by witches because it was used as an extremely negative symbol to publicly shame and humiliate women convicted of Witchcraft and we witches of today wear it to commemorate and remember those who suffered centuries ago, thus turning it into the iconic identity that is held by witches today, but also turning it into something positive.

      Of course, we Witches do not appreciate the sexualization of our image and culture, it gets enough of that without the slutty costumes. The fact is that nobody can speak for an entire culture, and even more so, other cultures. It is one thing if you know of something that only a particular people of say a religious culture are allowed to wear that thing, and

      so you give alternatives.

      Even if you're a member of a culture you don't speak for everyone in your culture. Instead of saying "don't dress up like this" and whatnot, but instead, that "if you're going to dress up as something or someone from a particular culture, do it respectively and be presentable to the point you're not going to offend people who actually belong to that culture."

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      Ashley 8 months ago

      Okay well if your going to be racist, fine, then colored people can't dress up as Vikings, Roman/Greek, German, Swedish, or any kind of Victorian styled costume like Queen Elizabeth. THATS my heritage, not a costume. Quit being a racist asshole. Your what's wrong with our society.

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      Angela 8 months ago

      This is absurd. I'm now less intelligent for reading this nonsense! Lol!

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      Maranda 9 months ago

      Really sad because I'm a white girl, but I friggen love Prince and I want to be him for Halloween because I LOVE HIM. But I can't because that would make me racist?

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      Check your self 9 months ago

      So who are you to tell me what I can and can't where for holoween. It's holoween. If I want to dress up like cleopatra I should be able to do that. Do jewish people count as Egyptians? I mean we did build pyramids. Also not everyone that lives in Africa is white. Go Wikipedia yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Jess 9 months ago

      Hi quick question, if I'm white and I want to dress up as jasmine from Aladdin for Halloween, is that cultural appropriation. I wouldn't put on darker foundation or fake tan or anything and if it is I'm sorry for even thinking of it but it's a genuine concern of mine.

      If anyone could let me know or help answer it would be appreciated.

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      Matthew Yarbrough 10 months ago

      I completely disagree with the parts about Egyptian. No, they were not ALL black, only during the times in which Nubia had managed to conquer Egypt and sit on it's throne. The lengths of their dynastic rule is open to just about anyone that wants to bother looking.

      Also, Cleopatra was most certainly not black, any pretty much any ruler between the time period of 300BC-50BC were not black either. Alexander conquered Egypt, and after his death, it was controlled by one of the "Successor Kings," Ptolomy, who was Macedonian/Greek. Cleopatra is a direct descendant of Ptolomy, thus making her primarily Greek, and therefore, Caucasian.

      I really can get behind not appropriating things, but at least do yourself the favor and know your history before you start making things off limits. Also, I know this is from 2 years ago, so I don't know why I am even bothering or how I stumbled on this.

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      Jose 10 months ago

      i agree in almost everything but not in the cleopatra dress, im an archeologist (im doing an effort, i dont speak english) and cleopatra was white. her roots are greeks, her ancestor conquered the egyptians and nowdays almost everybody in egypt is muslim (myself included) we dont feel related to the historical egyptians at all. we dont feel it 0ffensive as long as you know about their culture.

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      Dustin 10 months ago

      No, in my culture we share customs. We are all humans and celebrate humanity together. Halloween isn't all bout dressing up scary. It's just dressing up as anything. Princess, Ninja turtle, Greek god, nurse, teacher... etc. If you're offended by someone dressing up to represent a part of humanity on a day of dress up then you need to open your mind. We need less walls that divide us.... not More walls.

      There is a degree I think a white person dressing up as a black person with a rope around his neck to an adult party... not done as a fuck black ppl message... But that we are all human message. Your ppl weren't hung. Our ppl were. Not saying I would do this... I personally don't like that attention. But this idea is borderline wrong, I'll admit. So don't freak Out on me for saying it. We could not be there as a society.

      If all humans are related, then they are our ppl. It is our cultures. But I guess all humans aren't related if certain ppl cant take part in acknowledgments of certain cultures. I just want cultures to be open for ppl. Saying a white person cant dress as x culture is cultural segregation... I'm not about that.

      Couldn't you also take the argument toward ppl can't dress as doctors or nurses unless you are one if they find it offensive? You can't dress as plumber cause plumbers find it offensive. Let's just cancel dress up all together

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      Maria Herrera 10 months ago

      I'm sorry but this has gone too far. I am Mexican and I so nor find sugar skull costumes offensive I find the beautiful. As for poncho or stereotypical costumes I think they are quit funny. If offense is not meant by the person wearing the costume then no offense should be taken. It's sad that I live in a work where I cannot dress us as my favourite Disney princesses (Pocahontas, Mulan, Jasmine, Esmeralda) because I'm not the same race as them?! If you ask me that's much more racist and offensive. I feel you told anyone of non Europian decent that they could not be Cinderella or Belle there would be such an uproar. This is insanity. There is nothing more separating than type of thinking.

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      u-r-ethnocentric 11 months ago

      "Cleopatra costumes.... is not for white people to wear."

      --RE: Cleopatra VII Philopator was a Macedonian woman. Egypt was conquered and ruled by white people. Everyone in academia has known this and anyone who takes a post-high school history class learns this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra

      Besides her recorded family tree and the obvious historical fact that Egypt was invaded and ruled by this Macedonian family, coins from the time, which are the most accurate source, depict her as a Caucasian woman with a large nose and slightly unattractive appearance.

      "The Ancient Egyptians were basically the only black, African civilization given any exposure or respect, and even then their blackness is systemically denied (umm, hello? Egypt is in AFRICA). And yes, there is no doubt that they really were black."

      --RE: The first part is a correct and respectable statement. Sub-Saharan Africans have recently been denied respectful historical coverage due to discrimination. What you get wrong is that Egypt was not made up of one group of people. Civilizations have been mixing and mingling for thousands of years and Ancient Egypt had a diverse population. Would you accept, thousands of years from now, someone claiming today's Canada was white?

      "Are you familiar with the process of becoming a geisha? Do you know how much effort is involved, how much time it takes, how much is sacrificed?"

      --RE: Are you familiar with Japan? Have you been there? Modern day geisha exist as a tribute to the past. Foreigners visiting Japan are encouraged to try classic Japanese customs as tourist experiences and some of the most popular are renting kimonos or geisha outfits and walking the streets of traditional areas. This is a quintessential activity encouraged in Japan. It is analogous to Japanese businessmen dressing up like cowboys for historical photos in Vegas. They are not disrespecting the American cowboy's immense skill, difficult 100+ hour work week and dangerous lifestyle. They are paying tribute to it.

      This Article: Sure, wearing blackface or misrepresenting Native American women is offensive. But this article is not about that. Along with being highly inaccurate, it seems to me that this writer's article is calling for an act of cultural separation. I live in an extremely ethnically diverse city and kids of every kind wear Halloween costumes as tribute to their heroes. I saw Arab Superman, Japanese Harley Quinn, an African evil leprechaun, and a German samurai. Unilaterally banning "white" people from wearing anything but that of European royalty or likewise is disgustingly ethnocentric and nationalist.

      Discrimination: Separation

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      Spencer 11 months ago

      Wasn't Cleopatra Greek rather than Egyptian royalty?

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      Flaminia 13 months ago

      Regardless of general opinion about appropriation, I must give you props for offering alternatives. Few articles know the importance of that. People feel disoriented if they don't know what else they can do. I liked some little tidbits, like the "glam skeleton" part and the "you can stick gems to other spots on your faces". It showed that there's a genuine helpfulness.

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      NoName 14 months ago

      1.Don't speak for other cultures, you're "white", so you can't stand up for other cultures, if you don't even know how they feel about it.

      2.Stop saying White, Black, and Asian.Stop grouping people together by skin color.You can be white and be born in japan, skin colors don't define nationality, racism is taught, not innate.

      3.Romani , are nomads, people that move all over Europe and the Americas, moving place to place without a real home, its not a race it's a way of life. Anyone can be a nomad especially what you define as 'white", authentic Romani clothing, were one of the many things they traveled land and seas to sell a piece of their cultures to us and you want to say wearing it would be racist.

      4.Native Indians, what gives you the right to say i can't dress up as a Native Indian(Hate being called Americain), just because we decided to marry other cultures.If you know anything about Cherokee culture you would know the only way we, and other tribes survived plagues, wars ect, was interracial marriage.My great grandmother, moon dance walked the trail of tears at 4yrs old, and you want to strip that from my heritage.If i want to wear bright colors and long story telling patterns i will, you can't take that away from me just because i'm mixed.

      5.What actually is racist, Telling someone they can't appreciate, wear and celebrate other cultures because of their color of their skin, shorting or slutting up religious related costumes, nun sand sugar skulls.Over the top not even close to looking authentic costumes , like mexican outfits, pimps, etc. Or Costumes that bring up bad times , slutifying native american outfits because many women were raped by settlers.Geisha costumes aren't necessary racist at it is depressing because they forced into female prostitution in the past, even though their are some today, and Blackface is offensive because it was used only for racist purposes.

      But other then that halloween is about dressing up as someone different for an harvest festival, you shouldn't be restrict to dress up as someone you look up to like gandhi, because you're mexican, or lincoln because you're "African American (*seriously americans can dress up as americans*), or as peace loving Bob Marley because you're white. In the end we all come from the same place (whatever place you're religion or nonreligion believes).

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      Random person 16 months ago

      Is dressing up as a cannibal racists?

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      Amy L. 19 months ago

      Hello. I read this article and agree with SOME of it. So say you are white and grew up in a town that celebrated Day Of The Dead often. Technically, that means it would be part of your culture, so that would be okay to dress up as. It would also be okay if you were invited to celebrate that holiday by someone from that culture. The only other time I can think of it being okay is if you are dressing up in, say, a sugar skull for Halloween to honor the Mexican holiday, not just because it "looks cool". This applies to almost anything else.

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      Rebecca 20 months ago

      Sooo can a black guy wear a kilt for Halloween?

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 20 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

      Amen to this ... Bravo.... Celine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Harriffan Conshertini 22 months ago

      Cleopatra was Macedonian-Greek, for anyone who didn't know.

      (P.S. in that previous comment, I meant to say, 'article', not 'afticle'.

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      Melony Harper 2 years ago

      Is it okay if I dress up as Michonne from The Walking Dead? I'm white, and I love her character so I wanted to dress as her for halloween. I wasn't going to do black face or anything like that, but some of my friends have said I shouldn't dress up as her because she's black and i'm white so it's racist. I don't think it is, but I am now worried that it may come across that way.

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      Jean 3 years ago

      You might want to talk to Egyptians about what they consider offensive. I read a post by an Egyptian telling people to STOP telling others not to dress like Cleopatra. Tourism is a boost to their economy and the poster wanted westerners to dress as Cleopatra (in a respectful manner).

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      confused... 3 years ago

      I feel this is subjective. My indian friend, requested her caucasian friends to dress in a sari for her birthday. She even provided them. She honestly feels honored when a friend wants to borrow a sari from her for a party. Is this still considered disgraceful? Or now that I have permission from an indian, it's perfectly fine for the rest of my life?

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      Linny 3 years ago

      You recommended white people to dress as ancient Greek people? Why is this different to the other cultural appropriation mentioned in this article?

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      Imogen 3 years ago

      Agree with all... except Geisha. It's a performing art, and although it is a part of Japanese culture, it's not a religious or spiritual practice -it's something non-Japanese people can enter into, just like white people can train to be Noh or Butoh actors. The only point made in the text is that people dressing up as Geishas haven't undergone Geisha training -and if you think that's a genuine grievance, I guess you should stop people dressing up as nurses and doctors. Plenty of places in Japan happily dress tourists up in full Geisha makeup and clothing. I think a properly executed, mostly accurate Geisha costume isn't offensive, but people wearing a short Chinese silk dressing gown and calling themselves a Geisha is. All the other examples are people dressing as a race -dressing as a Geisha isn't. That being said, I'm not Japanese, my understanding of Japanese culture is limited. I'd like to hear a Japanese person's perspective on this one, maybe I'm missing something.

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      MJ 3 years ago

      Okay, so I am on board with this movement and am very against black face (or any color "face") costumes, and trying to sexify or appropriate any culture. But what if say I wanted to be Beyonce for halloween and didn't do black face? I am white, but I would just wear something that resembles one of her most famous outfits. Not attempting to change my skin color in any way. I feel like that is okay because I am not being offensive. But I want to hear if there are differing opinions.

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      timetobrushuponhistory 3 years ago

      Cleopatra was egyptian....

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      Melissa 3 years ago

      I agree with a lot of this, but there are ways in which I think it goes too far. I don't see someone dressing up as Cleopatra, Barak Obama, Scheherazade, or Anne Boleyn as a problem because it's not stereotyping or disrespecting an entire culture, it's portraying a specific individual - which actually requires at least some level of cultural context and understanding. If my (white) niece wants to dress as a Disney Princess and chooses Pocahontas or Jasmine from Alladin, is that okay? If I want to dress as Pope Francis, is that okay because I was raised Catholic as a child? But then, what if I wanted to dress as a nun, or a pre-Tudor English monk? Would that be okay, or is that stereo-typing the Catholic faith? What if I wanted to dress as the Dalai Lama? How about a generic Tibetan monk?

      Is this about cultural appropriation in general, or stereotyping, or imitating a culture that has been (or is being) oppressed by Western society? I don't think that includes the ancient Egyptians, but maybe I'm wrong. But it DOES seem to apply to "witches," which is probably the most cliched costume ever, and yet actually has a HORRIBLE historical legacy. When is a costume truly offensive, and when is it just tacky and in questionable taste? And why? And to whom?

      Personally, I find the trend in women's costumes of being a "sexy" anything kind of gross. If you want to be a doctor or a cop, great. Do you need to be a SEXY doctor or a NAUGHTY cop? Is that offensive to the profession? Or sexist? Or just tacky?

      I guess my point is that this is really a grey area, and offensiveness is sometimes in the eye of the beholder and has little to do with the intent of the person (or parents of the person) in costume. I think it's valuable to hear this viewpoint, but it's not that cut and dry. And neither is culture, and neither are we. I think everyone would be better served by having a thoughtful conversation about this, rather than throwing around shame, blame, and accusations.

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      Aimee 3 years ago

      I'm just curious how far this goes.

      For example, is it 'inappropriate' to wear a Japanese schoolgirl uniform for Halloween if you happen to love the style of those school uniforms or are a fan of a character that wears such a thing such as Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4 or Sakura Kasugano from Street Fighter?

      Personally, as an avid fan of Cosplay, I don't believe one's race should limit what costumes they can or can't wear..the very idea of it is just insulting and actually is rather racist itself..it would be like telling a black girl she has to be Sheva Alomar instead of Jill Valentine (both from Resident Evil).

      That said, I do agree with some of this, since some Halloween costumes I've seen were kind of racist or even very racist..but others I feel people may be overly sensitive of.

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      Beatrice 3 years ago

      I totally don't believe in wearing offensive costumes that mock a race or culture. I don't think that putting on a tasteful geisha costume is doig either of those things. I was gifted with an authentic Japanese kimono when I was a child, the kind given to geisha in training. I was fascinated with the customs and rituals. I DID study them, and I don't think it was offensive to wear the costume. I'm open to hearing other opinions, but I just disagree.

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      brian 3 years ago

      Black skin will make you look stronger.

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      Half white alright! 3 years ago

      LOL a white person who gets offended for being called "white." If white people are not white why do you call Africans black, Asians yellow or Natives red? I haven't seen a person change more in colour than an emotionally charged white person.


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      Mike 3 years ago from Harrisburg Pa

      Also, I make my own costumes instead of spending $5o plus for a store bought costume. The economic and recycling advantages are pluses. I mainly wonder if the store bought ones are made in sweatshops. Supporting that is also racist in itself wether from my own or another culture. A child should be in school and playing with their friends, not making money for greedy people.

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      Mike 3 years ago from Harrisburg Pa

      I have also learned that if I don't understand something about another's culture, ASK someone of that culture. Usually clothing or regalia from that culture has been handed down from many generations and has meaning. Often the person I ask apreciates they they were asked and the truth is out instead of assumptions, wrong comments, etc.

    • ms_independent profile image

      Celine 3 years ago from Canada


      Exactly! It's just a simple matter of understanding+respecting other cultures. There are plenty of ways to appreciate another culture; dressing up in some mass-produced knock-off of their traditional garb is not one of them. It's great that you already are informed about this+avoid these costumes!

    • profile image

      Mike 3 years ago from Harrisburg Pa

      I do agree that most people that do this are white. A little understanding and respect of other cultures are a plus. Halloween store for a so called Native American costume? I won't wear that. I know enough that feathers come from real birds and there is a protocol to this. The same holds true to Asian and African cultures.

    • ms_independent profile image

      Celine 3 years ago from Canada

      @Karen Ray

      It's not about "political correctness," it's just about respecting the wishes of cultures different from ours. The thing is everyone from the groups I've mentioned in this article has said that these costumes are disrespectful to them, so it's just as simple as respecting that. This article IS mainly aimed at white people, because it's usually white people I see wearing these costumes! However, several of these are vague and just say "don't wear this if you are not this race/ethnicity," and do not mention white people at all. Thank you for keeping an open mind and giving me a rating after reading though, I appreciate it :)

    • Karen Ray profile image

      Karen Ray 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Politically correct seems to creep on over to everything these days. I totally "get" your message regarding not wearing offensive costumes, but it seems only directed at whites. I would like to see all people enjoy their holiday in the spirit that is intended and not focus so much on seeing everything as a slight. I would like to say your article is well written, well set up and covers a lot of material on your chosen subject. I would find a poll on the subject interesting. Voting your hub as interesting.

    • profile image

      Mike 3 years ago from Harrisburg Pa

      My rule is don't wear other cultures clothing. But being part Irish myself if I see someone wearing St Patty's costumes I'll probably laugh at it.

    • ms_independent profile image

      Celine 3 years ago from Canada

      Thank you! Not many of my other hubs are like this one, but I'll be posting similar ones in the future! Thanks for the support

    • Kay Sunshine profile image

      Kristen Strobak 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      So happy to see information like this outside of tumblr. You've got me reading all of your other hubs now, you can consider me your newest fan!


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