Culture, NOT costume. Join us in our pledge to not culturally appropriate this Halloween.

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Every year when Halloween comes around, we are presented with the images of culturally appropriative “costumes” by Halloween stores, as well as photos our friends and those around us post of their culturally appropriating “costumes”.

Learning the difference between appropriate versus appropriation with regard to other cultures is key in making sure your costume is not attacking or belittling the culture of someone else. Cultural appropriation is “the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity.” This can cause problems when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures. Some examples of costumes that are culturally appropriative are, but are not limited to, a costume containing sombreros, ponchos, mustaches or anything that depicts a Mexican stereotype, Native American feathers or anything depicting Native Americans, culturally significant tattoos, a bindi or things depicting Indians, box braids, dreadlocks, Fulani braids, hijab, anything used to make your skin tone darker or lighter, etc.

These “costumes” are offensive, hurtful, demeaning and harmful towards all groups and cultures that they are derived from. So, before you stock up on plastic accessories, face paint, or any other items meant to mock that of someone’s culture, let’s pledge NOT to wear culturally appropriative costumes this Halloween.