Today marks the first of October, meaning the Halloween season has commenced. Halloween is an enjoyable holiday and a pleasant time of year, as it presents the opportunity for persons to delve into their creative notions and dress up as other persons or things. However, Halloween also prompts the wearing of inappropriate and controversial costumes, and it is essential to generate some awareness as to what costumes are offensive and what costumes are acceptable.
One costume that seems to be donned every year yet is highly offensive is that of a Native American individual, or in politically incorrect terms, an Indian. If you were to look up ‘Indian’ costumes online, chances are you will come across many that have been altered to be ‘sexy’ or ‘promiscuous’, which is simply wrong on infinite levels. Aboriginal culture is of great significance to Canada, and when persons dress as a ‘sexy Indian’ it is highly disrespectful to the culture and heritage that is applicable to a vast amount of persons within Canada. The Indigenous population of Canada has undergone numerous hardships and struggles, and it is simply unacceptable to dress as a sexualized symbol of their culture.
Another costume that is offensive when represented without understanding its meaning is using a makeup to draw a sugar skull on one’s face. A sugar skill is an incredibly intrinsic and beautiful symbol of Mexican and Latin American culture, however choosing to wear the symbol without comprehending its cultural meaning is insensitive. A sugar skull represents Dia de los Muertos, more commonly knows as Day of the Dead, a vastly celebrated holiday in Mexico. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 2nd, not October 31st, and it is a celebration to remember and respect persons who have passed away. Choosing to wear a sugar skull without knowing its authentic meaning is disrespectful, making it offensive to many persons when it is worn as a Halloween costume.
Halloween is a fantastic holiday, yet it is crucial to be informed about what costumes represent or communicate to others.