How to Not Appropriate this Halloween!

Halloween is around the corner and that means costumes!! YAY!! But that also means being mindful and respectful of what costumes we choose to wear. We sat down with Bridgette Petzold, an avid rave girl who is notorious for her elaborate costumes and makeup. She has been very outspoken about costume culture and how to stay respectful while still being creative and fun. She gave us some tips on how to be respectful this Halloween.

  1. Listen to what others are saying

Many people have been speaking out about appropriation and what that means to them – just google “my culture is not your costume.” Listen to them. They most likely know more about their culture than you do. Things like face gems, face paint and malas may seem like just beautiful accessories to you, but they inherently hold meaning and are often sacred.

2. Stay away from costumes that are not yours

It’s not appropriate or respectful to use traditional dress/attire that is used for cultural ceremony or celebration, as your “fun” Halloween costume. As an alternative, Bridgette suggested to choose a movie or a pop culture figure to be – Just stay away from ceremonial themes.

3. Do your research

If you were being Abraham Lincoln you would know what he did, who he was and what he represents. When picking your costume ask yourself – what did this person do? Is this something my beliefs align with?

And most importantly, have fun!! Halloween is time to celebrate the inner child in all of us. And it’s ok to make mistakes. I know in the past I had costumes that were a bit questionable. However, don’t be afraid of ask questions and do research to make sure that you are not being offensive!

Here are some examples of fun, appropriate costumes:

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