From my article last week, it might seem I am a Halloween Debbie Downer. OK, fine. I might be just a little bit. I am not the biggest fan of getting scared and I would love if someone could just tell me what to be instead of having to think about it the whole month of October. Don’t get me wrong, though. I still do enjoy the holiday, and if it’s the one day of the year I can dress up like my girl Miley Cyrus and get away with it, even though I look absolutely nothing like her, then why not?
However, there has been much controversy about the Halloween costumes people choose to wear.
Students at Ohio University created the campaign “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” in order to raise awareness about racial Halloween costumes. The campaign had people standing next to pictures that depicted a stereotypical version of their race. For example, there is a picture of a Hispanic girl next to another girl dressed as a Hispanic for Halloween who is smoking and pregnant. There is also a picture of an Asian student next to a picture of an Asian with a stack of books and glasses who seems a bit too excited to study.
This campaign has been spreading and is now becoming well known at the University of Colorado.
According to the Daily Camera, the local news source for Boulder, Colo., sophomore Robert DeMata explained that Halloween is a good time to be respectful of campus diversity.
“As the presence of underrepresented students becomes more prevalent on campus, it’s important to realize they have a lot to contribute and that where they come from might be different from a traditional college student on campus,” DeMata explained.
Not only do students wear offensive costumes, but so do grown adults. “Dancing with the Stars” dancer, as well as actress and singer, Julianne Hough painted her face black for her Halloween costume this year because she wanted to be her favorite character from “Orange is the New Black,” Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren.
She has been hearing a ton of criticism about this and she even came out and apologized for it. They spoke about this on one of my favorite talk shows, “The View,” a couple days ago and one of the women, Sherri Shepherd, explained that Hough was likely not trying to do this to be offensive but she probably just did not understand the meaning of blackface and how it was used to criticize the looks of black people back in the 19th century.
I do agree that Halloween costumes should not be used for racial reasons, especially if it is intentionally ridiculing someone’s race. But, sometimes we ask how far is too far? Let’s take Hough for example. Yes, she dressed up as Crazy Eyes from her favorite TV show and painted her face black. But, she was not making fun of her race; she simply wanted to be her character.
However, as one of the pictures from the campaign showed, dressing up as a Mexican while wearing a sombrero and sitting on a donkey does not seem right since it is making fun of a culture who lives a lifestyle that not everyone understands. It is not right to criticize them for that.
So, remember ISU, if you are dressing up this Halloween, keep it fun. Don’t try being offensive and wearing costumes that could potentially hurt others.
Christina Danno is a senior English and philosophy major as well as a columnist and copyeditor for The Vidette. Questions or comments can be sent to: email@example.com.