Falling temperatures and increasing workloads signify the end of October and with that comes Halloween.
As the holiday looms closer, people are making final decisions on their costumes. Every year brings more creative ideas, as everyone tries to choose something that 12 other people won’t also be wearing.
With all these new costume ideas, however, brings about more opportunities for people to wear inconsiderate costumes. At what point should the line be drawn on less-than-respectful attire? Whether it’s racially insensitive, not politically correct or just plain offensive, people can sometimes go a little too far when it comes to Halloween costumes.
The most recent objectionable costume on the market is a children’s Anne Frank ensemble, according to The Washington Post. Originally sold by Halloweencostumes.com, the costume includes a blue dress, cross-body bag, green beret and a “tag” pinned to the collar. This costume has received national attention, and many people have called out its offensive nature.
“We learn from Anne Frank’s life and death to honor her & prevent future atrocity. We don’t exploit her,” the St. Louis Anti-Defamation League said in a tweet on Oct. 16, according to The Washington Post.
After the negative reactions began, the company removed the item from its website and spokesman Ross Walker Smith apologized. In his statement, Smith emphasized that the company meant no disrespect from the costume.
Since the outcry, however, other online retailers—including Amazon—have continued to sell the Anne Frank costume.
One costume that earned a spot on The Daily Beast’s “Most Offensive Political Costumes of 2017” list is a full body suit that has a brick pattern and says, “Mexico Will Pay!” The outfit references President Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the United States’ southern border with Mexico.
Another costume earning scrutiny is a—blatantly—full Nazi uniform. Considering the recent surge in white nationalist displays throughout the U.S., this is particularly unacceptable.
While not new, another commonly disputed Halloween costume is “Native American.” Many Native Americans—who consider the appropriations racist and disrespectful—have spoken out about how offensive these costumes really are and have even decried them red-face. This costume is particularly problematic when women dress as “sexy Indians,” which not only epitomizes racism but also sexualizes an entire culture, according to Scary Mommy.
Freedom of speech protects people’s right to dress however they want for Halloween. If you’re planning on wearing a questionably offensive costume, however, you might want to rethink your options.
Halloween is a fun and exciting time for all ages. It gives adults a reason to dress in costume and feel like a child again, and it gives children the excuse to get sick from eating too much candy. Everyone wants to have fun, but—for this Halloween—let’s try not to offend entire cultures or groups of people.