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A Guide to Halloween Costumes

Thursday, October 26 2017

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It’s almost witching hour, Cowboys!


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Have you picked out a costume yet? Well, before you get too far let’s get one thing straight.

A culture is NOT a costume.

Elements from costumes depicting traditional wear can be sacred and special to the cultures they are from. Some examples are Native American headdresses, South Asian bindis and Mexican sombreros.

Okay, so what does this have to do with Halloween?

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When someone wears these outfits as a costume, it strips the true meaning of the element, leaving room for a feeling of being mocked or made fun of.

Historical context is key to understanding what makes certain issues sensitive.

Blackface is another example of an insensitive issue based on historical context. The demeaning of African Americans through Blackface was used as a form of entertainment and desensitized white audiences to the horrors of slavery.

Fast forward to today, Blackface carries associations of hate, violence and degradation.

In regards to Halloween, the line gets crossed when people imitate races instead of individuals. Feel free to dress up as a celebrity, but do not try to make yourself a race or make fun of one.

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Key take-away here:

No matter what setting, it is inappropriate, offensive and not reflective of OSU’s commitment to a campus community that promotes a culture of inclusion.

We are all called to follow the Cowboy Community Standards of integrity, community, social justice, respect and responsibility.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s go over some tips for coming up with a costume that isn’t offensive.

Talk to Your Fellow Cowboys

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Should you go solo or go together with a group costume? Choices, choices.

Head to the thrift shop

You never know what you might find. Someone’s old stuff is your new Halloween costume.

Do Some Research

Pinterest is a gold mine for creative Halloween costumes.

Get Creative

Dress up as the main character on the latest Netflix series or turn an old costume into something scary with some fake blood. Here’s a guide to dressing up as your favorite celebrities.

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Ask yourself these questions

  • Is this costume offensive? If the answer is most likely yes, go back to the drawing board.
  • Is my behavior a good reflection of who I am?

And if you realize your costume is offensive, this can help you decide what to be last minute.

Before you go out, catch up on the do’s and dont’s of social life.

Happy haunting, Cowboys!

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