2016 Halloween costume do's and don'ts — but mainly don'ts


Halloween used to be a time when kids, young adults and parents alike would dress up like ghosts and goblins. They would throw on a creepy mask or a witch outfit and call it day. That world is long behind us. It's a scarier ballgame now and 2016 has no rules. Topical costumes have become the stage for tons of people to show their ass both literally and figuratively to the world. 

Halloween is a scary time by design. Please folks lets not add to it's terror by celebrating it in a problematic and offensive fashion. 

I think we call agree that 2016 has definitely overstayed its welcome. It's time for it to go. It's the already-bad one night stand that wants to spend the day together when you'd rather forget about it entirely. Don't you have a home? Friends to see? Why are you still here? In order to be 2016 for Halloween, you would have to just douse yourself in kerosene and set yourself on fire (I've considered it — celebrating early, even). 

Below, we've found some topical don'ts from this dumpster fire of a year. 

Sexy Harambe


Now this is a strange one, because I would never say that being a gorilla is inherently offensive. It's not. But in 2016, all gorilla costumes are Harambe costumes unless you're Diddy Kong. This is supposed to be funny because people were rightfully upset that he was killed in the first place. That's hardly a good premise for a joke. This gorilla's death was an unfortunate consequence of a mistake made by us humans. 

However being a dead gorilla that was killed after living its entire life in captivity isn't as much offensive as it strange. What good does it do? Think about it: No one is gonna just love your Harambe costume, especially a "sexy" Harambe costume. No one will talk about around the work office cooler the next day. When people ask what you were, you're gonna get an "oh, cool." 

Personally, if I'm gonna be a dead animal, I'd be one who hurt people. Like, Antonin Scalia.

The Tranny Granny

Costume Super Center

I didn't even know this was a thing until recently and boy oh boy do I wish I'd never found out about this. There isn't anything funny about being trans. Do I have to spell this one out? Do I have to explain to y'all why you shouldn't be a "Tranny Granny" for Halloween? I know I shouldn't have to but I will, briefly: Trans women live in a world where a lot of violence and hatred is directed towards them. 

Over twenty trans women have been murdered this year. That's just the ones we know about. This world is a dangerous one for them to live in. It is insensitive to be a trans woman as a costume as their lived existence isn't fodder for your Halloween whiskey shots. 

Anyway, most people will mistake you for being a lazy Madea or Thelma Harper from Mama's Family, and that idea should scare you enough. 

Kim Kardashian's robbery


Being Kim Kardashian West alone is a costume enough, people. She has tons of pop culture moments that would be more significant and easily recognizable than being what one would imagine was one of the scariest moments of her life. I get it, Kardashian West has made a ton of money and achieved fame through ways not seen as conventional paths to fame. Her constant media attention leads to lack of sensitivity to her struggles. 

However, this woman was robbed at gunpoint. There isn't anything funny about this moment of her life. 

Don't hold someone else's potentially awesome Halloween costume hostage (see what I did there?) by forcing them to be a burglar for your terrible group Halloween stunt. When you're drunk and separated no one will know who any of you are. Don't be lazy, be a pregnant Met Gala Kim. Go as Kim K after her trip (as Kathy Griffin refers to it) to the "dentist." Just don't be her terrifying lived experience.

Any victim of police brutality

You would think, this would go without saying. Even suggesting it is absolutely crazy, but absolutely do not be any victim of police brutality. There is no way anyone with any common sense would be a dead unarmed black person for Halloween. Remember this is 2016. This is wildly insensitive, you're going to upset a lot of people, and it is actually not funny. If you think it's funny, reevaluate your thinking... or lack thereof. 

Now, this isn't a lecture on cultural appropriation. But if you have to question whether or not you should do it before you do it, don't do it! Is it worth it? The answer is no. 

I can think of so many things that aren't offensive to be for Halloween. You could be one of the 796 characters on Game Of Thrones. You could be your favorite character from a childhood book like the Cat In The Hat or Harry Potter or Superfudge. You could be yourself. That's the scariest thing many of you can be, if we're being honest. 

Push yourself to be something great this Halloween. Take your time. Expand your mind and exercise your creativity. You can do it. I believe it. Keep thinking of ideas, because if in using all your creativity, all you land on is something wildly offensive and rude, you're a prime example of why we must keep the arts in schools. (Donate here.)