Halloween is rapidly approaching and while some parents have been preparing their kid’s costume since November 1 of last year, plenty of parents will be going with the tradition of buying a costume at the last possible moment. And while you may not really care all that much about what your kid wears (so long as they’re happy), you definitely don’t want to be the parent who ends up buying their kid a costume that ends up drawing heavy criticism from the rest of the neighborhood.
You may find yourself a bit confused about what to say when your kid decides they want to dress as Moana despite definitely not being Polynesian but there are other costumes that are pretty clearly offensive. And while you definitely know that blackface is not an acceptable option, there are some costumes you may not realize hold some serious baggage of their own. So before you do that last-minute costume shopping, here are eight costumes you definitely want to avoid getting your kid this Halloween.
Look, no shame to those parents who still choose to enjoy the precious plant but dressing up your baby as a marijuana leaf means perhaps you have immersed yourself too deep into stoner culture.
Native American Costume
While it goes without saying that blackface is a no-no, plenty of other cultures are subject to appropriation during Halloween, including Native Americans.
To your kid, this costume represents a fun and goofy costume but it’s secretly a pretty potent cocktail of misogyny and racism.
Old-Timey Hobo Costume
As a society, we do a pretty terrible dehumanizing homeless people and costumes like these definitely don’t help.
Any ‘Sexy’ Costume
No real explanation necessary here, right? Do not buy your kid a costume that sexualizes them. They shouldn’t be made and they definitely shouldn’t be purchased.
Mexico is a rich and diverse country yet every ‘Mexican’ costume boils down to some combination of a sombrero, a poncho, and/or a mustache.
Slender Man Morph Suit
Slender Man has become a bit of a meme on the internet, to the point where it’s very easy to forget that, while fictional, is connected to a horrific real-life murder. While chances are your kid is not referencing that in any way, probably best to avoid exploiting this sort of tragedy.
Some might argue that this is based in history but the costumes you are likely to find online are pretty much guaranteed to be mostly based in lazy stereotypes.