Halloween costumes: racist and sexist?

Even though Halloween isn’t for another month and a half, costume shops are already popping up and costume planning has begun. Among the most popular costumes are ones drenched in racial stereotypes. Some students at Ohio University are speaking out against this trend by stating that their “culture isn’t a costume.” In the campaign, you see students of varying racial backgrounds holding pictures of the people dressed in costumes of their respected race. The next year, the students re-vamped the campaign with the slogan “You wear the costume for one night; I wear the stigma for life.” What’s worse is that about half of the comments on this campaign is that the students are “taking it too far”. Not the students who dress in these costumes but the students who are saying they are inappropriate; that these costumes are meant to be funny. One comment on a discussion board reads: “I think I’ll dress up as an Ohio State student this year. All I’d need to do is attach a rigid stick to the seat of my pants.”

Another extremely popular trend in costumes is the increasingly skimpy costumes for women. While it’s one’s own prerogative to dress provocatively or not on Halloween, a woman should be able to choose without being overwhelmed by costumes with short skirts and tops with low cut necklines that reveal their midriffs. When you do a google search for women’s costumes, every one of the links contains the word “sexy” in their costume description. A female Waldo costume is a red and white striped tube top with a blue mini skirt where the original Waldo wore a turtle neck sweater and blue pants. Now, I’m not saying women shouldn’t show off their bodies if they want to because they have every right to do whatever they want. However, alternatives to the skimpy outfits should be much more easily accessible. I scrolled through THIRTEEN pages of costumes before finding a single costume that didn’t show off every curve a woman has.

Bringing both negative aspects together, we have the female versions of racist costumes. We have the “slutty geisha“, “slutty Mexican Shooter girl“, the “sexy Indian” (this one is especially bad because it’s technically a sexy Native American but not labeled as such).

So do you guys agree that these costumes are racist and sexist or do you think it’s just all in fun?

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