By: Iain Burhoe

It’s that time of year when the leaves start to fall and the days get progressively colder. People go out in flocks to get their sought-after pumpkin spiced lattes, visit corn mazes, and just take in the time that is fall. A lot of people are gearing up for Halloween when all the young ones get dressed up to go collect candy, and the older generation gets dressed to get drunk. While it’s fun to dress up and enjoy yourself with your friends in your costumes, you need to think smart about what you should be. Make one wrong choice and the whole world will know that you are lacking in the social etiquette department. If you are still deciding whether or not your costume will offend most of the general public, here are some guarantees for something you should not dress as.

Culturally Insensitive

You’ve seen the costumes, the ones where you can become an Indian, Mexican, Chinese, or any visible minority. All these costumes are in bad taste and are meant to portray these cultures in a humorous and comical way. It may seem fun to put on that sombrero, or even wear a hijab, but think of how many people live the life that you are mocking. Every day these people face scrutiny for their culture and your mocking of what is considered normal to them is not helping their case. We are all trying to be more proactive in this day and age, so let’s make an attempt at ending these hateful stereotypes.

Too Extreme

Every now and again, you get these costumes that scream hatred, that makes every step for change and equality fall short. The best way to derail the holiday spirit is to dress in something controversial. People honestly don’t want to see that. To make fun of events such as the Holocaust by dressing as Hitler or Anne Frank is extremely offensive to the survivors that went through that. Making light of disorders such as self-harm or anorexia makes these serious mental conditions seemingly unimportant, and portrays them as a joke. Think before you decide to dress as the Twin Towers or find yourself putting on black face.  


If you haven’t been looking at the news or have been living under a rock for a while, there has been numerous sightings of people dressing up as clowns to scare people. This has been seen all across the United States and in parts of Canada. Not only would seeing a clown freak most people, but many clowns have been recorded chasing their unsuspecting victims. Although the numbers fluctuate, there are reports of clowns either getting killed or clowns killing individuals. With all these different rumors and the dangers that have arisen with the sightings, it’s best for your safety to not dawn the wig, red nose, and overalls this year.

Oversexualized Costumes

Now do not take this the wrong way, which is that a male is telling a female what she can and cannot wear. To think of only the pros and not looking at the cons is not taking into consideration an entirely different perspective, one that you may not have been aware of. Now that every costume has to have a “sexy” version, these could have harmful repercussions. Feeling as though you have to wear some low cut fabric to impress people when you’d rather dress as a pumpkin could affect your self-esteem. Some people, perhaps nurses or military personnel, also don’t take too kindly to having their job considered sexy.