So you think your Halloween costume is racist: A modern teen’s guide

October 30, 2014 at 9:37 am (Top Ten) ()

You want to dress up for Halloween, but you don’t know if you’ll be mistaken for a horrible, horrible bigot? Well, here’s a handy guide to help you figure out is your costume racist or not.

1. You’re going as a sexy Indian. That’s, yeah, kind of racist.

Somehow it's even worse when it's blondes.

Somehow it’s even worse when it’s blondes.

2. You’re going in a sheet with eyeholes cut out. There’s two kinds of sheets with eyeholes cut out.

The good kind.

The good kind….

... And the bad kind.

… And the bad kind.

Choose the good kind.

3. You’re going in blackface. Please don’t go in blackface. It doesn’t matter how you intend it, blackface has a terrible, terrible history, and you’ll be wearing all that history on your face.

If you really don't see the problem with this, please never visit my blog again.

If you really don’t see the problem with this, please never visit my blog again.

4. You’re going as a sexy Geisha. I’ll admit I love Geisha costumes, because real kimono are just too hard for me to put on properly. But is it racist? Let’s just say it’s appropriating another culture. Do it with respect.

Ugh, it's probably totally racist, but I'm such a sucker for kimono-style sleeves!

Ugh, it’s probably totally racist, but I’m such a sucker for kimono-style sleeves!

5. You’re going as a superhero. Probably not racist, but it kind of depends on the superhero.

Superman? Yeah. So racist.

Superman? Yeah. So racist.

6. You’re going as a sexy gangster. Gangsters weren’t really that sexy. They had all sorts of dental problems, and didn’t shower much from being on the run. That said? Not so racist.

Unless you mean "Mafioso" gangster, not "Dillinger gang" gangster. Then you're perpetuating Italian-American stereotypes.

Unless you mean “Mafioso” gangster, not “Dillinger gang” gangster. Then you’re perpetuating Italian-American stereotypes.

7. You’re going in a sombrero. I guess I understand if you have a sombrero just hanging around the house and you’re like, what else am I going to do with it, but for God’s sake, don’t go all-out stereotype, and you should be okay.

This is ... not okay.

This is … not okay.

8. You’re going to wear a turban. Why would you do that? You’re terrible.

This is you, being terrible.

This is you, being terrible.

9. You’re going as Elsa from Frozen. Not racist, but maybe pick something else, because there are already millions of 5-year-old girls wearing your costume.

Holy cow, this little girl looks like she's made of porcelain.

Holy cow, this little girl looks like she’s made of porcelain.

10. You’re going as Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street. Not racist, but you’re dressed up as a pedophile serial killer so, you know, there’s that.

Did you know they make Freddy Krueger costumes for children? Why would they do that?

Did you know they make Freddy Krueger costumes for children? Why would they do that?

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4 Comments

  1. Frank Schulaner said,

    I was looking around for the right “Leave a Reply” box wherein to enter some praise for “Little Bohemia” (two everydayfiction(dot)com hits in a row, better than most of us) when I came across that photo of (must be) Al Jolson–

    And remembered a line of his (the irony likely escaping him) from “The Jazz Singer.” He’s at the makeup table applying his ebony persona — (I do what I can to avoid the show business term) — troubled by having to perform on Yom Kippur, of all nights. His skin-prep complete, he faces the camera and cries: “How can I be true to my race!” (Dear me.)

    • Frank Schulaner said,

      The exclamation point doesn’t do it justice. And the cry is more like a whine.

      • lokifire said,

        Heh. I believe it. I need to watch The Jazz Singer — after I finish my Lon Chaney collection that I’m getting for Christmas!!

    • lokifire said,

      Thanks, Frank! (And I’m pretty sure that is Al Jolson — I can’t remember where I grabbed the photo from now.)

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