The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Society’s insensitivity is shown in Halloween costumes

October 20, 2016

The month of October is a month-long celebration leading up to Halloween. People join the festivities by watching horror films, visiting haunted houses, eating candy and strategically planning their costumes, but lately it seems as if the costume craze has become insensitive and over sexualized.

There seems to be a need to have a sexualized version of every costume. Most female costumes usually fall victim to this trend, although there are some male costumes that are sexualized too. If you Google male doctor costumes, you get your average lab coat and stethoscope. If you search for female doctor costumes, you get images of women in revealing, skin-tight “lab coats.”

There’s nothing wrong with revealing, skin-tight clothing if that’s how you like to dress, but this trend gives the impression that women can’t be taken seriously. Costume companies should promote women costumes in their original version instead of the sexualized one.

Some costumes don’t amp up on the “sexiness” but aim to cause fear in others.

Feel free to dress up as a clown, but once you start harassing and terrifying others, the problem begins. As much as many people would like the world to be, it isn’t violence free, and people running around as “killer” clowns doesn’t help the situation.

Other costumes try to degrade a race or culture, and costumes with offensive stereotypes are unnecessary. A man with a mustache on a donkey does not represent Mexicans, a man with a beard and a turban is not a terrorist and sticking a couple of feathers in your hair and wearing moccasins doesn’t make you a Native American.

There’s a way for people to appreciate culture without buying into the stereotypes. There’s no need to paint your face black, yellow or red to represent another race. Stereotypes don’t represent all of the people from that culture.

Some stereotypical costumes target groups that have felt great pain. In 2015, a woman from South Africa dressed as a Syrian refugee. She wore a pink dress and head scarf with a baby tied around her body. That isn’t a Halloween costume, but the reality for many Syrian mothers.

Celebrity costumes are quite popular. People usually dress up as their favorite singer or athlete, but there are times when people want to mock a celebrity.

Many people aren’t supporters of the Kardashian/Jenner lifestyle, but people shouldn’t amplify their choices and unfortunate circumstances through tasteless costumes.

Caitlyn Jenner’s transition was very personal. People transitioning have a hard time with the process, not because they’re unsure of their choice, but because the people around them have a hard time accepting the change. A male Caitlyn Jenner costume mocks the struggles and fears many transgender individuals encounter.

Kim Kardashian, on the other hand, was recently robbed at gunpoint while she was in Paris. A company planned on making profit on the misfortune of Kim Kardashian. It’s definitely not humorous to be robbed at gunpoint; a costume that portrays that is not amusing. Mocking Kim Kardashian’s robbery takes a jab at all the victims who have ever endured something similar. It’s no longer just a costume.

It’s understandable that Halloween costumes are meant to be fun, but that doesn’t mean people have to lose their ethics or morals. Halloween is a time to dress up as someone else, not an attempt to upset a group or person. It’s time people placed themselves in others’ shoes.

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