It’s Halloween! Appreciate, Don’t Appropriate

Reneaux Ruffin
5 min readOct 17, 2018

A guide on how not to offend this Halloween

“cave with smokes” by Leximphoto on Unsplash

1. No Black face.

2. No Yellow Face (Unless you are literally like a yellow alien or a jaundice zombie.)

3. No cultural appropriation! (This includes but is not limited to the cultures of Africa, Native America, Asia. Literally all of it. Asia is huge. Look it up. Don’t be lazy.)

In fact, I think that’s the general rule: don’t be lazy. We live in a different time. As much as people would like to delegitimize the offense of others by calling them snowflakes or saying they’re too easily offended, the reality is they are not. Stop for a moment and understand these are people who have been offended, or at the very least appropriated. Only now is the time where their voicing their opinion is heard and reinforced instead of ignored or stamped out.

Halloween is a great time to explore yourself and the world around you. Just be sensitive to those around you. Do your research. Ask yourself if the costume you love is something tied to cultural marks of accomplishment or hierarchical/religious rites. Not to beat a dead horse, but people aren’t costumes. Remember, many of the costumes that people love to don are inspired by or come from a living culture of people who when October 31st is over must return to that life in all of its perks and disadvantages. Don’t just wear them, respect and understand them.

“man wearing headdress” by Andrew James on Unsplash

I can’t speak for everyone, but I love and welcome the idea of diving deep into things like African and Southern culture or even seeing people dress up as the likes of Tiana, Moana, and Avatar Korra. Just please, for the love of gods don’t do Black face. Rock that outfit, flash those accessories, and style that hair, but don’t paint that skin. Some may argue that this is a sign of appreciation or accuracy, but that really just sounds like it probably comes from someone who is used to the characters on the screen looking just like them. Understand that these characters are both more than and defined by their skin tone. It sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but just bear with me. When people of certain cultural races and skin…

Reneaux Ruffin

Writer. Witch. If Garnet was obsessed with Evanescence's The Open Door tbh.