It is that time of year, we need to start thinking about what to wear on All Hallows’ Eve. It is very important to stay safe on Halloween by taking care of your friends, not drinking too much and making sure you plan your night ahead of time, but it is crucial that you have a creative and non-offensive Halloween costume.
Each year the issue of cultural appropriation arises. No one wants to be that guy or girl who shows up in a hurtful costume, not even realizing the problems with it. To be clear, cultural appropriation means enactment of a minority’s culture by a dominant culture, not out of recognition or respect. Here are 10 Halloween costumes that are original, fun and don’t impair anyone’s good time on Halloween.
- An animal. Women always get shamed for dressing up as animals for Halloween, but this is a safe and easy way to get creative. There are so many possibilities, and you have a great amount of creative rein on your outfit choice and makeup design.
- Your favorite character from the TV show or movie you love. Picking a character from a movie or tv show that you love is a great option for fun and lighthearted costumes. Whether you choose to be Dwight from “The Office” with some glasses and a yellow dress shirt, or Detective Jake Peralta from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” with a leather jacket and police badge, there are so many options you can do.
- A Disney supervillain. Main characters from Disney movies are overdone. Try instead a fun twist on the Disney universe by dressing up as an evil villain. Whether you are an Yzma or more of a Gaston, there are many fun and non-offensive options for you to choose from.
- A lighthearted pun. Some of the funniest costumes are ridiculous puns. This costume suggestion includes such puns as holy guacamole (which consists of an avocado-themed outfit and angelic halo), smart cookie (which consists of a graduation gown covered in chocolate chip cookies) or the spice girls (which requires a few friends and shirts labeled with spices such as cinnamon, tarragon, etc.).
- A University of Maine icon. As UMaine students, this should be an easy one. There are several iconic figures from the University of Maine, so you have many different avenues to take. For example, you could throw on a UMaine jersey, make some paws and ears, give yourself a pink nose and some threatening teeth and you’re Bananas the Bear. Or on a different route, you could go as a UMaine hockey player, your favorite UMaine president (respectfully of course) or the ever familiar “Lot Full” sign.
- Your favorite athlete. This is for those of you who like to wait until the last minute to come up with a costume idea. You probably already have the jersey of your favorite athlete, so throw it on with your least used pair of gym shorts and you’ve got a quick and relevant costume.
- Decades. There are many things about the past that you should not make a costume out of, however, there are so many fun things about the past that we can celebrate. Sport some bell bottoms and a tye-dye halter top with some big, curly hair for the ‘70s, or acid-washed jeans and neon spandex tops with a mock perm from the ‘80s. Not sure you want to go that far back? Throw on a white tank top, some bedazzled jeans, spike your hair and grab a few friends to be a boy band from the ‘90s.
- Food. Everyone has a favorite food, so why not dress up as yours? Bonus points if you bring some of the food that you are dressed up as to share with your fellow partygoers.
- Seasons. This one offers a lot of room for creativity. Maybe you want to represent the flowers of spring, or the sunshine of summer, the colorful leaves of fall, or a snowman (a.k.a. a UMaine student trying to get to class) for winter.
- Superheroes. 2018 has been a huge year for superheroes with the release of Marvel’s “Black Panther” and “Infinity War.” Any number of these superheroes could serve as inspiration for a fun and relatable costume. However, I must warn once again not to appropriate a character’s culture for the purposes of a costume.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with having fun on Halloween. It is just important that the way in which you have fun does not impose on anyone else’s good time. So, be safe, have fun and don’t wear a costume that you think either appropriates someone’s culture or could be harmful to others.