Halloween: A time of fun and spook, not cultural spoof

Halloween is definitely one of my favorite make-shift holidays.

My theory is that Halloween is a chance to shake free the stress and nerves that have built up from the semester. Everyone wants to feel like a different person – even if it’s for a day – which is why we as colleges students hold Halloween so high on our list of favorite holidays. To be honest, I love Halloween for the fact that we all get to become something we normally aren’t and be crazy while having no one question it.

Most people dress up as ghouls and goblins, witches and wizards or cops and robbers while gathering together to have fun and celebrate. There’s nothing wrong with partying, however there is something wrong with costume choice that offend, discriminate or make fun of others.

Some females wear costumes of ‘mystical’ creatures, like fairies and genies, while others, perhaps trying to be creative, smack dead into the dreaded ‘Indian costume.’ This probably wouldn’t be too bad – that is, if the costume wasn’t portraying an actual group of people.

Think about it this way: American Indians were once called savages by English settlers who destroyed their characters and culture. American Indians already had their land and property wrongfully seized from them, so why add further insult to injury by also stealing their identity by dressing as an Indian for Halloween.

Another costume favorite goes back to the 1920’s – and possibly earlier – Black face. In the days of minstrel shows, only white individuals were embraced actors. This became a problem when movies and shows started to make roles for more sinister or dimwitted roles that were deemed more suited for black people. Society solved this problem by painting white actors face with black polish and whitening their lips to portray the black culture. Even though it’s not as popular as it was in the ’20s, blackface is still a trendy look for many party goers who go for looks that will gain them more laughs for creativity, not realizing the history behind it.

In the height of the ‘Jersey Shore ‘ craze, there were countless ‘Jersey shore parties,’ and many students rushed from store to store to find the perfect outfit to transform them into ‘guidos and guidettes.’ Clearly not many people stopped to think about what their costumes portrayed.

The terms ‘guidos’ and ‘guedettes’ refer to the Italian culture and is are terms mostly used for younger individuals of Italian decent. Apparently, only a few people paid attention to the word ‘culture’ and decided not to don it while others piled on the spray tans,  “Snooki-poofed” or “Paul-D’ed” their hair all in the name of Jersey Shore.

The thing to remember when selecting your daring and crazy costumes is that you should stray away from the ones that are used to make fun of someone’s history, background and bloodline. No one wants to be mocked about their culture and treated as though they’re a joke. Halloween is a time of fun and spook, not culture spoofs.