Halloween: Day of the Ambiguously Damned

Halloween is the kind of holiday that can mean different things to different generations.

To children it’s a day of candy, cute costumes, haunted houses and the occasional prank. But to those who are barely at the cusp of adulthood it means scary movies, candy highs, mild costumes and haunted house trips that end with someone peeing their pants. As for adults it’s about candy themed alcoholic beverages, costumes ranging from appropriately gorgeous to almost stripper style and wild parties, which could possibly lead to some steamier topics.

However, in this day in age where political correctness has become more prominent in the media, it’s not uncommon for certain aspects of halloween to be offensive to certain groups.

It seems very strange for halloween to now be under scrutiny for apparently offensive matters considering the fact that halloween is probably the one day a year such things don’t matter.

On Halloween there are very few people who think about a costume or halloween decorations sending the wrong message because the holiday is filled with such a large array of activity that the only concern anyone has is to get through the holiday with few regrets the next day.

If you remember a halloween party you went to, it might be safe to say that you noticed a guy or girl’s costume that you either thought was hot, funny or very creative. But would you really notice if the costume was offensive?

With that being said, there are a few costume choices that might cause one person, if not a few more people, to be outraged by the mere existence of that costume.

It might be good to know which costumes might end your crazy night a little more abruptly then you’d like.

Costumes that involve any cultural aspects such as Native American costumes, Indian costumes or Muslim costumes can be deemed offensive unless you try to plan your costume as culturally appropriate as possible. Religious costumes, slutty or not, can send the wrong message, but for whatever reason these costumes aren’t as reviled as other costumes. Also, gender bending costumes can be offensive, but in most cases if you show up to party as a different gender very few people will take it seriously.

On the other hand, it’s fair to argue that what is deemed offensive is completely ambiguous.

There are plenty of young boys and girls who wish to dress up as cowboys, Native Americans and ninjas, but as we grow older and choose these costumes we’re deemed offensive and unethical.

Halloween has always been the one night where political correctness has fallen short. So it doesn’t seem fair to just throw these standards on now.

Socially correct concepts seem to always be placed on all aspects of life these days, but it’s nice when there’s one day where you don’t have to worry about it. Costumes are chosen based on attractiveness, favorite characters and hilarity factors, while very few dress up to personally offend anyone.

Costumes can be offensive but Halloween is too full of activity for it to even matter.



Add Yours
  1. 1

    This opinion sucks. You’re saying that people shouldn’t be offended by racist halloween costumes because it’s halloween? How does that make sense? Who are you to decided what people find offensive or not? Also I like how you grade what is more offensive. This article sounds like it was written by the most privileged person. It’s as if you’re saying “Well since I don’t find this costume offensive and racist no one should have a problem with it”. I don’t know about you but I have some basic empathy and I don’t think it’s very difficult to find a non-offensive costume to wear. You really should’ve put more effort in this article, because it sounds like you put zero critical thought into it, and wrote it in 5 minutes. It’s just a bad article and I’m super surprised it’s on the front page of gcmag. Please think about this: instead of blowing off the very valid feelings minorities have about people dressing up as their culture to party in, maybe just be a basic human being and not dress up in a racist halloween costume.

  2. 2

    I’m going to give you a smidgen of leeway because this article sounds as though it is written through the eyes of an opinionated, albeit VERY sheltered white Midwestern college freshman. Eventually you will learn that just because something does not offend you does not mean that the thing is not offensive. Try writing something like this for any of your classes and see how well your more learned colleagues like it.

    On top of the clear opinions here, you have not backed your argument with anything remotely credible. You did not define political correctness. You did not even bother explaining how or even WHY religious costumes are offensive.

    My advice to you? Stop sleeping through humanities and human diversity lectures.

  3. 3

    Not even going to comment on the actual articles closed-minded thoughts, as Kaye said it brilliantly. but there’s a typo in your story. “Also, gender bending costumes can be offensive, but in most cases if you show up to party as a different generation very few people will take it seriously.” I assume ‘generation’ should be ‘gender’…?

  4. 4

    I am extremely disappointed by this piece. I cannot understand how this made it past multiple people with this message. This was lazy, and clearly written by someone who has never had to experience this holiday like some minorities have. very sad this article was posted, and honestly shocked that it hasn’t been taken down yet. You’ve lost quite a bit of respect from me, and I’ve always enjoyed your work.

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