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Halloween is truly one of the things that America really got right. No other country celebrates it quite like us, and even if they did, we already has the chokehold on all the best candy, so that’s an automatic win. But the very concept of being someone else for one night is so enticing that the endless options can have you thinking about your costume for a full year.
While some might believe Halloween is a time when you can cloak your own identity with another, it’s actually a time when parts of your true self are plainly revealed. What you dress up as can be a window into what kinds of things you’re interested in, how creative you are, and even how you think about society. When we talk about offensive Halloween costumes, we’re really just talking about people who haven’t given enough thought to the world around them, either because they’ve never had to or because they wanted to, if only for a night, champion attention or Instagram likes more than basic human empathy.
But, it’s not all bad; celebrities do it too. With all the time, money, and energy that being a celebrity affords them, famous people often wear elaborate costumes that can often serve as huge inspirations for us common folk. But celebrities can also often appear to live in an aloof world where societal issues like racism, sexism, or other -isms don’t seem to affect them as much, which results in terribly offensive costumes. We’re talking outfits that trivialize things like the genocide of Native Americans in this country, or the inherent racism that powers blackface.
It’s important to call out celebs when they cross that line because they are role models and should be held accountable when they make mistakes just like anyone else should be. So just in case you forgot, here’s a handy list of some of the most offensive things celebrities have dressed up as for Halloween and otherwise.