Halloween is supposed to be all about letting loose and being funny. But there can be a fine line between funny and offensive.
“People don’t know where the line should be drawn and they cross it,” registered psychologist Dr. Oren Amitay once told Global News.
“A lot of times it’s just poor judgment.”
“For other people it might be a little window into who they really are.”
Ideally, you want to be able to get through Halloween with your sense of humanity still in check. That means avoiding the following costumes, unless you want to be haunted by them for years to come (the Internet never forgets).
It shows up every year, but blackface is never okay, according to African studies and culture experts.
Blackface emerged in the mid-19th century, representing a combination of mockery, fear and morbid fascination with black culture, according to American studies professor Eric Lott at New York’s City University.
“It’s never something very simple, and if you’re going to don a costume and put on a black face there’s no possibility of nuance there,” she said. “It doesn’t matter [if it’s] a character from a TV show,” added Marita Sturken, professor of media, culture and communication at New York University.
Unless you’re four and your favourite Disney character is Pocahontas, you probably shouldn’t pretend to be her. Especially if your interpretation is a “Pocahottie.”
“As a native woman, I am ten times more likely to be raped and murdered than any other woman,” said Amy Willier from the Moonstone Creation Native Art Gallery said earlier this month.
“That’s a scary fact. The fact that people dress like we’re pornography, it instills in somebody else that it’s okay.”
Willier and others were upset at a Calgary costume store for selling native headdress.
Anorexia survivor Jessi Davin will be the first to tell you that trying to embody a potentially fatal mental illness isn’t funny. She shared her strong opinions on the costume in a blog post that first went viral a couple of years ago, and made the rounds again this week as stores continue to sell it.
“Anorexia is nothing to party about or laugh at. It’s real, it’s deadly, and should not be marketed as a slutty outfit. Want to dress as ‘Anna Rexia’? Just go as a Vampire, or a Zombie. Because 1/3 of us are dead.”
This bloody “Lion Killer Dentist” Halloween costume caused uproar this summer on social media. A petition for it to be removed from an online costume store has reached over 125,000 signatures to date.
The store has jacked up its price twice (to now $139.99) for the costume, “due to overwhelming demand.”
This also sparked an online petition, calling on a different costume retailer “to stop exploiting Caitlyn Jenner with a transphobic costume.”
It generated a lot of angry tweets including this one from Gigi Hudson: “If you dress up as Caitlyn Jenner for Halloween I’m setting your costume on fire whether you’re still in it or not.”
She later deleted the tweet.
You can do better than this.
You’re not likely to win over any self-respecting women when you wear a costume like this. Just trust us: these costumes aren’t as funny as you think they are.
WATCH: Marijuana baby, cigarette baby, sexy bin Laden, sexy Ebola nurse…do any of these costumes go too far? The Morning Show team rates them yay or nay.Follow @TrishKozicka
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