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Oklahoma State University

The 411 on Halloween

Monday, October 28, 2019

Pistol Pete masters the art of face-painting

It’s almost Halloween, Cowboys!

Have you picked out a costume yet? Well, before you do we have some tips for you.

A culture is NOT a costume.

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

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

When someone wears these outfits as a costume, it strips the true meaning of the garb, which can result in feeling mocked. 

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

Blackface is another 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 regard to Halloween, the line gets crossed when people imitate races. Feel free to dress up as a celebrity, but do not try to make yourself a different race or make fun of one.

Key takeaway here: 

No matter what setting, wearing a culture as a costume is inappropriate, offensive and not reflective of Oklahoma State’s commitment of promoting a culture of inclusion.

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

Now … let’s go over some tips for coming up with a costume!

Should you go solo or go together with a group costume? What to do, what to do.

Homer Simpson disappears into hedge bush, "Decisions"

Head to the thrift shop

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

Do Some Research

Pinterest is a gold mine for creative Halloween costumes.

Be Creative

Dress up as the main character on your latest Netflix series or turn a normal outfit into something scary.  Here’s a guide to dressing up as your favorite celebrities. You could always go as your favorite mascot, Pistol Pete!

dogs dress up for halloween treats

Ask yourself this question

Is this costume offensive? If the answer is possibly yes, go back to the drawing board.

And if you realize you should go with a different costume, this can help you decide what to dress up as last minute.

Stay safe

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

To get the gist, read the points below.

  • Go with friends.
  • Never take open drinks from a stranger.
  • Always have a sober friend in your group, especially if you plan on driving home.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Need to find a ride? Text a friend! If you can’t find anyone available, download the Uber or Lyft app on your phone.

"Your Uber has arrived." Adorable corgi in box pulls up

Happy haunting, Cowboys!

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