It’s that time again: the best day of the year for those responsible and creative enough to come up with a great costume ahead of time! Unfortunately, it's also the worst day for everyone else.
As we wait for the inevitable headline declaring yet another celebrity has poorly chosen to wear blackface, we decided to outline what you should avoid at all costs this holiday. Go to that party without fear of being shunned for your tasteless costume. Because this is 2016 for christ’s sake, and we know you’re better than that.
Click ahead to ensure you don’t go viral for all the wrong reasons. Stay woke, friends.
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Say No to Blackface Put down the brown paint today, tomorrow... forever, really. You can still dress up as your favorite celebrity/fictional character/what have you without being completely offensive. If your costume is good enough, you won’t even have to alter your skin tone in order for people to figure out who you are. Imagine that.
Looking to find the Gabby Douglas to your Final Five? The Mel B to your Spice Girls? The Dionne to your Cher? Enlist a black friend. Don’t have one? Use this as a chance to look at your life. That, and find a different costume idea.
Avoid Appropriation If you think your costume is even the slightest culturally insensitive, it probably is. This includes, but is definitely not limited to bindis, headdresses, kimonos, mariachi suits, a traditional ghutra, basically anything that borrows from a marginalized group of people to which you don’t belong.
Err on the side of PC-ness, always.
Tread Carefully When It Comes to Celebrity Deaths Dressing up as David Bowie to pay homage? Sure. Dressing up as Cory Monteith when he overdosed? Don’t even fucking try it. Also, avoid Harambe because it’s just not original.
Return the Clown Mask Don’t be that person. Please, we beg of you. We get that the scary clown epidemic is very trendy right now, but it’s also downright terrifying. There are enough crazies in the world. Don’t add your name to the list, even if it is just for one night.
Focus on the Treats, Not the Tricks Most people are dressing up and going out to have a good time, not to be scared on the street by random strangers. Unless the person purposefully (read: masochistically) put themselves in a frightening situation on their own (by attending a haunted house or hayride, for instance), please press pause on the antics. Like we said, the number of crazies is abundant. And the number of people who carry around mace in their bag is just as big.
Leave the College Costumes in College If we’re being honest, Halloween is the most enjoyable in college (and when you’re a child because, like, free candy). It’s also where you can get away with a lot of dumb shit (both relating to the holiday and the other 364 days of the year). My freshman year, a kid dressed up as a mammogram center and advertised that he was giving out free exams throughout the night. Creepy, but he got a pass because he was still a kid. That kind of costume outside of a campus setting? Just creepy. You will get no pass.
Avoid Slut-Shaming Like it or not, this inevitably becomes the time of year where the hemlines hike up and the necklines lower. While we won’t support the sexualizing of fictional characters (because that’s just unnecessary), we do respect a woman’s choice to flaunt what she’s got. Because it’s just that: her choice, her body. Keep your unwanted opinions to yourself.
Also, this should go without saying, but a revealing outfit is not an open invitation for skeevy guys to get handsy, either. Assault is never appropriate, no matter the day.