Sometime in the last few years, Halloween trickled its way into Arab societies across the map. While trick or treating is still pretty exclusive the North American societies, disguising has made its way over—and unfortunately with it came the rise of offensive costumes.
You’d think that with the magnitude of the current conversation surrounding cultural appropriation that everyone would have a better understanding of what not to do, but unfortunately that’s not how things played out.
Year after year ill-informed, and outright offensive costumes are regular appearances at parties—so much so that the holiday turned into a battleground where those whose cultures are reduced to costumes are crying out for an end to the disparagement that comes with it.
And despite having been reduced to ‘Arab Sheikh’ costumes themselves, many Arabs insensitively caricaturize other cultures by donning cultural garb to mark the occasion—and that needs to stop.
So, if you’re still in a bind trying to figure out what to wear this year, we’ve put together a few things to avoid that will keep you from offending anyone with your Halloween costume.
Native American Headdresses
It’s never okay. Here’s why.
Few things are worse than internalized racism.
Day of the Dead inspired Face paint
Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday where families and friends gather to remember family members who died. Skeletal faces are part of their tradition—not your spooky, but cute costume—opt for a classic skeleton instead.