Cultural appropriation, a continuing issue on Halloween

Najiah Osborne

Cultural appropriation is “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adaptation of the customs, practices, ideas, etc., of one or more groups a part of a society.”

In what situations is one more likely to be culturally appropriate? How does this impact our ability to interact and connect? 

Situations, where people don’t think, have been situations where people of color have been met with fury. Think about your influence on other people. We can’t connect if there are no lines of communication. 

October is one of the most interesting times of year because of Halloween. People  dress up and attend parties to celebrate this “spooky day.” What is scary about Halloween is the costume selections people choose to make. 

Dressing up is fun, however, it requires some thought. You have to care enough about other people to be culturally appropriate. 

If you have to think about whether or not your costume is offensive, it is. Don’t wear it. 

You would think people have the common sense to not dress up as another person’s race, ethnicity or even a deadly virus, however, some aren’t knowledgeable. Please avoid blackface. It is not trendy. Being Black is a part of my identity, I can’t turn it on or off. It is a part of who I am. I am proud of who I am, and I do not believe we are scary individuals. 

I find it offensive when people attempt to justify their mistakes. Take accountability when you’re in the wrong. Being homeless is terrifying, it is not a costume. It doesn’t have to be Halloween for people to be culturally appropriating. People can choose to culturally appropriate at any time of the year. People have become bored with the idea of style, and have picked up dressing habits that can be considered offensive to those of you that celebrate culture. 

Cultural appreciation is when a person expresses their love for another culture through wearing appropriate clothing. While many prefer to celebrate cultural differences, be mindful of how you continue to engage with people because how you dress is important. 

I wonder what it’s like for roles to be reversed. Has a Black person been able to culturally appropriate? 

NME states, “Nicki Minaj has faced accusations of cultural appropriation after she donned an Asian-inspired outfit for her performance on Saturday Night Live. As she debuted new single ‘Chun-Li’, the 35-year-old wore a traditional East Asian outfit that was believed to be in keeping with the ‘Street Fighter’ character that the song was named after.” 

Issues like these arise all of the time. Anyone is capable of culturally appropriating, even famous people. 

Try and select a costume that matches your personality. Try something more fictional, like a cartoon character. I promise, it’s not as bad as you may think. I have found very cute costumes that avoid stripping people of their identities. 

Enjoy your Halloween, and educate yourself on what is considered appropriate. It makes the world of a difference when you are self-aware of your mistakes and are willing to learn through someone else.