Halloween 2017 Cultural Appropriation

Halloween 2017 Cultural Appropriation


Healthusnews.com states in the article, “Is Your Child’s Halloween Costume an Example of Cultural Appropriation?” that cultural appropriation is “when one wears or uses culturally significant aspects of another culture, without respect or reverence for what this might mean to the culture from which it has been “appropriated” or taken.”

Many costumes have been threatened and viewed as ‘offensive’ and considered as cultural appropriation according to the Baltimore Sun article called, “What makes a Halloween costume offensive? In Baltimore, debate rages on.”Halloween is one of the busiest times for high schoolers and college students, as most of them dress up. However, this year, anyone dressing up needs to be careful of who he/she decides to be.


As USA Today mentions in the article “Is it OK for a white kid to dress up as Moana for Halloween? And other cultural appropriation questions,”when people start to dress up as individuals from other cultures, people from those other cultures can feel as though they’re being degraded and dehumanized.

The article also states that, when people start to dress up as individuals from certain cultures, people from those other cultures can essentially feel as though they’re being degraded and dehumanized.

Cultural appropriation is not always an easy thing to avoid. For example, this year especially, costumes such as Moana from the movie Moana are seen as offensive to some people. According to “Huffington Post”, after less than a week, Disney got rid of the costume due to outrage for allegedly promoting “brownface,” also known as “blackface.”As well as the Moana costume, Disney also pulled the halloween costume and pajama set for the “demigod Maui,” another popular character in the movie, for the same reason.

Yet some may disagree with this; According to the “Dailywire.com” article, Sorry, Cosmopolitan. Dressing As Moana For Halloween Isn’t Offensive, letting children watch the movie but saying it is not okay to dress up and act like her can send a message of inequality and that one culture is more important than the other.

Another costume that went viral and causes controversy on the internet, was the “Call Me Caitlyn Unisex Adult Costume”. Some argue that this costume is perpetuating the large stereotype that transgender people are just a man or woman dressed up in drag, according to “Washington Post”, at one point, a website called Change.org created a petition asking for certain retailers to stop selling costumes like this. The article Petition Launched Against “Transphobic” Caitlyn Jenner Halloween Costume states that the petition read: “To make a costume out of a marginalized identity reduces that person and community to a stereotype for privileged people to abuse.”


Oppositely, some people see nothing wrong with this costume, according to Washingtonpost. They believe that Halloween is for “breaking boundaries and outrageous costumes.” The retailer “Spirit Halloween”, who is one of the many that carry this costume, claims that Jenner is the most important hero of the year. They also state that they are proud to carry a costume that celebrates her.


Dressing up as Native Americans or a tribal figure is also found as offensive. Recently, Hilary Duff and her boyfriend showed up to a halloween party dressed as a Pilgrim and a Native American. Soon after pictures were let out, many people shamed them. Some were upset because they believed that Duff was being ignorant and that people’s culture is not a halloween costume. However, according to “USA Today”, Duff and her boyfriend stated that they had no intention of offending anyone and they apologized for their poorly thought out costume.

Although some wish they could dress up as

another without being offensive, there are historical

realities and social issues that are apart of America today, that some people believe should be respected. However, some presume that Halloween is a time for elaborate and outrageous costumes.