Appropriation At Halloween


Halloween has been at the forefront of cultural and religious appropriation since… Well forever, really.

Halloween has always been a time when children would go out to trick or treat, when adults would dress in predominantly raunchy or aesthetic costumes to go out into the night to party. However, within recent years, Halloween has become a hotbed of anger and turmoil over oppressive and ‘appropriated’ cultures demonstrated through costume design.

In the past, there has been a massive amount of controversy of cultural and religious appropriation concerning individual’s costumes, with the latest one revolving around the Anne Frank costume which many companies have now ceased to sell due to public uproar.

The most famous incident of appropriation, known widely on the Internet as ‘blackface’, became one of the most controversial acts of cultural appropriation, due to its denomination as being both racist and adhering to an oppressive and insensitive history.

This altercation has had such back-lash and a lasting effect over media that it became a hot-seat topic, mentioned by many forms of media – the latest being this year’s Dear White People which sparked discussion concerning its effort to tackle issues of racial prejudice in America.

Within the show, it demonstrates a clear deviant attitude towards how blackface operates and opens its audience’s eyes to the abhorrent way costumes that are worn in such a disrespectful way. It uses a single scene, used as a foreground for the discussion and branches out into other areas of racial oppression throughout the show, but demonstrates this as a sheer trigger. Blackface has also made an appearence in many of our social media platforms as well.

On YouTube, YouTuber Percem Akin stirred a massive amount of controversy, following a tutorial she created for being an African Slave. In promotion for her video, Akin tweeted out #slave, as well as #sadmakeup, prompting a savage amount of response from the community.

Following from her success as the NYX Face Awards Winner, Twitter users in their droves called out Akin for her disrespectful look, suggesting it of ignorance and for people to refuse support to the Turkish YouTuber.

Halloween is a time of merriment but can also be a time when we are can be our most insensitive to others cultures and religions.

Do you agree with cultural appropriation? What do you think can help solve this issue?

Let us know your thoughts on the matter over on our social media

Mattie Osborne


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