Another amazing Halloween has come and gone, yet there is still something unsettling that the holiday left behind. I was scrolling through Instagram, seeing pictures of the same costumes I see every year, but this time, I saw something new, and it rubbed me the wrong way. I saw multiple posts of people dressing up as homeless people. Honestly, my jaw dropped in absolute shock when I saw the first post. Then, a few scrolls later, I saw another post. People were dressed up in ratty clothes with dirt smudged on their faces, holding up signs that said something along the lines of “Venmo me money for chipotle," or “need money for my children." This is honestly a new low for Halloween costumes.
This is not a creative or clever idea. This is absolutely wrong and completely insensitive. Homelessness is a real problem, and millions of people suffer from it everyday. I really don’t think anyone would want their homelessness exploited by a bunch of college students looking to get intoxicated on “Halloweekend." Being homeless is not a choice.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to a safe home or dorm to go back to after stumbling around drunk. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to go to Chipotle, or even have access to a main food source at all.
People who beg for cash on the side of the road aren’t choosing to live that life, and I’m willing to bet everything I have that they wouldn’t want their lives broadcasted through costumes on a holiday that they don’t have the luxury to celebrate. Before Halloween, many articles circulated about how to avoid offensive costumes, and not one of them mentioned the homeless, or “hobo," costume that people found so popular this year. I believe that poverty is an issue that people should become more educated on, and I feel that there should be a stronger prevention plan in place. We should be creating awareness on how to prevent the spread of homelessness, not using it as a “clever" costume idea.