IC posters demote cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes

“Wear a costume, not a culture”

Dress up as a cat, a witch, a donut, or a skeleton — not a culture. In the month of October, halloween costumes and cultural appropriation have been heavily discussed topics. The Intercultural Club (IC) has made an effort to prevent cultural appropriation in students’ Halloween costumes. Several signs have been posted in the hallways that read “wear a costume, not a culture,” designed by IC members.

A classic and clear example of cultural appropriation is a Native American costume, featuring loincloths, feather headdresses and spears. In a costume being sold online, the distributor states in the description “we don’t recommend it for historical accuracy, but as a deluxe costume, it has a very detailed appearance that is sure to appease costume consumers far and wide.”

Wear a costume, not a culture.

— Intercultural Club

The debate becomes more unclear when taking into consideration the costumes of characters belonging to a particular culture, such as the new Disney Princess, Moana. Activists have suggested that Caucasian children stay out of the Moana outfit, as they consider it offensive. Disney also faced criticism for producing a Maui costume with a shirt and pants meant to match the character’s complexion in the movie, seemingly promoting brownface.

Despite this, IC’s intentions are clear: anything that emulates a culture should be avoided within and outside of school.