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Halloween Costumes and The Ever Present Shamers

First of all, let me start by informing you that Halloween is my favorite Holiday and Fall is my absolute most loved Season. Ok, I feel better now.

To the shamers and the haters, this one is for you. If you are making fun of people, fat-shaming, slut-shaming, degrading any gender/identity/sexuality, choosing “humor” over racially, ethnically, and culturally based costumes, or are just in general, shaming anyone or finding a way to be negative and hateful, check yo’self this year and each year after.

We can and should all be doing better. It is disappointing to see social media posts making fun of and hating on people for expressing themselves on any given day, Halloween costumes are no exception to the rules. Do better. If you find the need to leave a comment or drop your opinions on a photo someone posts (typically from a vulnerable place), do so in a positive way. Leave a compliment or an encouraging few words. Go back to that old golden rule, “treat others as you wish to be treated” and remember what your mentors say “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all”. For example, if the costume fits a little too tight in your opinion, let that thought go. The person wearing it is obviously confident enough to do so and that is beautiful. If an age-appropriate person is wearing a skimpy little costume or has sexified a character, let them. Maybe they are flaunting a fetish or fantasy they are not comfortable expressing on any other day of the year and this is their one chance. If it doesn’t affect you or harm you, embrace it and be kind.

We use clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, tattoos, eyewear, etc. as expressions of who we are throughout our daily lives. On Halloween or other Holidays, we get to play dress-up, we should either be having fun or respectfully representing someone we admire. If I were to do the latter, I would rock an RBG costume. Sure, sometimes we choose the slutty version of a cartoon character, healthcare professional, etc. but somehow we identify with that costume in one way or another, otherwise, we wouldn’t have been drawn to the idea of wearing it in the first place. And, if feeling sexy is the expression we are going for, so be it! As long as we are not hurting anyone else, being offensive, or at all disrespectful to any race, gender, sexuality, culture, ethnicity, etc. at the end of it, we are all just having fun and should celebrate each other in doing so.

So, what’s your costume this year? I would LOVE to get photos flooding my email or in the comments on this post on my Social Media outlets of you in costume. I legit LOVE HALLOWEEN!

I will admit, shamefully, that I have done it all. I have learned from past costume mistakes that at the time I was unaware of being a potential violator of my own newer and wiser rules of costumes. I was having fun, I just didn’t realize then that it may have been at the expense of others. I apologize to those that know me and have experienced some of my past costumes. I was wrong in wearing them and have since learned the lesson and am now doing my best to help others to see that same need for change. We all make mistakes. I ask for you to take my ideas and suggestions into consideration and be sure you think things through before stepping out or posting photos, or wearing a costume at all. Can it hurt someone? If so, reconsider. Remember that not everyone sees humor the same way that you might. A few questions to ask yourself before dressing up yourself, your child, or anyone else:

  1. Is the costume racially, ethnically, or culturally based? Examples would be Geisha, Native, Amigo, Foreigner, etc. If you are planning on dressing as a member of any type of race or culture, be sure to ask yourself if you belong in that group. If the answer is no, then take into consideration that you might make people that do belong feel unsafe, disrespected, or made fun of for being who they are. That’s not at all cool, nor is it acceptable. Do better. Be better.

  2. If you find a costume to be funny, ask yourself what about this strikes me as funny? If your answer is based on any indication of the costume making light of any group of people, whether ethnically, racially, or culturally, you will most likely cause hurt to someone and should change your plan. Do better. Be better.

Basically, use that old golden rule I referred to earlier. If you were in the home of a Japanese family, would you feel it appropriate to wear a Kimono or dress as a Geisha? If you are LatinX and invite your friends over and they are dressed up as Border Patrol because they think it is funny, are you going to laugh along with them? Most likely not. Put yourself in the shoes of the group of people being represented in your costume and make your decision with love and respect. Do better. Be better.

Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to be an active part of making your family, friends, and community feel safe. Even in the magic of dressing up, Do better. Be better. Cultures are not costumes and should never be disrespected.

Now, I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween. Stay as socially distant as possible, don’t eat all the candy at once, and be sure to wear a face-covering if your face is exposed during this Pandemic Halloween.




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