What Not to Wear ... for Halloween

6 years ago

Halloween is right around the corner (!), and it’s time for the cute little kiddies to put on their cute little piglet, bumblebee and witchy-poo costumes and go door to door with family and friends for that age old tradition of Trick-or-Treat.  Fa la la. 

I absolutely love it when they come to my front door.  All of the costumes are always so cute!  You can tell how seriously some of the parents take the costumes too.  And while some parents will grab a sheet, cut out a few holes for eyes and a place to breathe for a simple ghost ensemble, other parents will have gone all out, spending hours, days and even months (!) sewing and creating original costumes that are sure to delight even the most cynical of holiday bah-humbuggers .... um ... or maybe not.

Have you seen the child (!) dressed up like an Arab suicide bomber?

What about the baby boy dressed like Adolph Hitler?   

The parents of these children are each playing up stereotypes while being overtly and without question insensitive ... and with their own children no less.  My guess is that they think it’s funny.   I just think it’s ridiculous.  In a nutshell, they are being culturally inappropriate at the expense of their impressionable children.  And as a blogger that celebrates the glory of culture on my blog day in and day out and as the owner of a travel camp program that empowers kids with cultural appreciation, it is my belief that costumes that are culturally inappropriate (including the people who wear them) should be called out and blasted on across the Web.  After all, they’ve put themselves out there, right?  And if they can’t stand the heat, then get rid of the costume.  I swear.  There really oughta be a law.  SMH.

But Halloween, as you know, is not just a holiday for kids.  Adults too will don their own cute little bumblebee and witchy poo costumes ... um ... or maybe not.  Without even tapping into all of the overtly  and overly sexualized Halloween costumes on the market, here’s a look at some of the culturally inappropriate costumes that are (unfortunately) certain to pop up this Halloween and, in my opinion, should be taken off the market entirely.  Forgive me for this, but I’m about to put the scary in Halloween.

The Ku Klux Klan

This Ku Klux Klan Halloween photo is one I found on SandraRose.com.  There are plenty more that are more recent, but this one simply takes the cakeSeriously.  Is this funny or am I missing something?  And someone smack the chick in the middle for me, please.

Native American Indians


If you have ever been to a real live pow-wow (and I have), you would know that it is disrespectful to dress up as a Native American in attire that isn’t authentic.  And don’t get me started on how skimpy the costume is.  Great skirt length for a nightclub, but not if you're really trying to accurately represent America's indigenous peoples.  Totally un-cool.

The Illegal Alien

I just want to slap whoever thought of this.  Really hard, too.

The Mexican Bandito

Even Frito-Lay (finally) put an end to their Frito Bandito campaign.  Thinking we should too.  I’m just sayin’.

The "Ghetto Fab" Wig

Lordy, lordy, lordy.  California Costume Collections, Inc. has lost its mind and came out with a “Ghetto Fab” wig for Halloween that is nothing more than an afro wig.  Hmmm ... not so sure what’s ghetto about an afro.  And just when everyone else in the world with an afro is singing about how much they love their hair.   And I’m not even that sensitive, either.  Jeez.

Lovely (?) Lolita

Hmmm.  Another gem from California Costume Collections.  They call this costume Lovely Lolita (not to be mistaken with the Japanese Lolita fashion craze that depicts fashion from the Victorian era).  Maybe I'm missing something?  Is she supposed to be Japanese?  I have an authentic Japanese kimono that doesn't look anything like this.  Grrrrrr.

The Whole Black Face Thing

This Dallas Cowboys cheerleader (who is not African-American) is dressed up as Lil' Wayne, an African-American rapper.  She couldn’t think of anything else to be for Halloween?  Just Don't. Do. Blackface.  It’s irritating and, again, disrespectful.  (And I'm not even a Lil Wayne fan.)  Check out the 2009 CBS News story here.

Rabbi and Rabbi Dog


This dog picture bugs me, and I don’t even get it.  It’s just plain rude.  And why dress up as a Rabbi (or any other clergy) anyway?  Seems kinda sacrilegious to me.

White Trash

These are so funny I forgot to laugh.  Gag me ... please.

It is unfortunate, but I know there are even more Halloween costumes like this out there in the Land of the Culturally Inappropriate.  But posting more would make me return my lunch to its plate, and I don’t feel like cleaning up the mess.  (Sorry.) 

It is also unfortunate that folks who share my point of view can’t just sign a “No More Cultural Inappropriateness” petition making it all go away.  It appears that we just don’t have much, if any, control over the folks who either create these cultural Halloween masterpieces (insert sarcasm here) and/or think it’s funny to wear them, although a number of Black Girl with Long Hair blog readers did manage to call out big business and got Kohl’s to pull the Ghetto Fab wig from its Web site.  Good job. 

So before I blow this popsicle stand, I just want it to be clear that I sincerely believe that everyone has a right to express themselves freely.  However ... and please, read my lips ... from an ethical perspective, it should not be at the expense of exploiting stereotypes and hurting people.  Simply put, it’s just plain ugly and these culturally inappropriate costumes should not even exist.  Hey.  Maybe I’m way off base here ... or just maybe I’m not.  

Thoughts?  I’m all ears.


This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from entertainment