Halloween is a great time to get out of your comfort zone and try on a new personality for a night. It’s fun to play pretend! There are countless costume ideas to choose from, so make sure you aren’t choosing a costume that is offensive. It is important to choose a Halloween costume that doesn’t diminish, offend, or ridicule another culture, group of people, or person. With that being said, there’s a variety of costumes for you to reach for while still keeping it P.C.
Animal costumes/onesies. It’s perfectly fine to dress up as an animal (grab that animal onesie!). If you plan on painting your face, though, be mindful of how you do so. For example, a cat can sport cat ears and green contacts; all-black facepaint can be perceived as blackface and racist.
Disney characters. Disney characters are perfect for those who want to be a princess for the day. As long as you’re not painting your skin color to be another ethnicity, then Disney character costumes are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween.
School girl (as long as it is appropriate). A lot of people tend to wear school girl costumes, because they’re easy to style and replicate. Some like wearing this costume to replicate Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time video. If you’re appropriately dressed, you can remain respectful. For example, keep the stereotypical plaid skirt that girls wear to school at knee-length or below the knee; this will avoid sexualizing young girls. Regardless of why you want to dress as a schoolgirl, it’s a cute Halloween costume that isn’t racist or offensive.
Nurses. Nurse costumes are pretty popular. Some dress up as nurses because they want to be a nurse one day, while others dress up as nurses because it’s fun. A lot of people who may not have the budget to buy a costume end up making one. Many people typically wear a white dress or all white and then buy a stethoscope. Others will make their own nursing hat or add a universally recognized nursing symbol to represent their nurse costume.
Police Officer. Dressing up as a cop is perfectly fine, as long as you act respectfully. It is fine to have handcuffs and pretend to handcuff a friend. Do not use this costume to promote (gun) violence, and definitely don’t use the costume as a way to intimidate others or make yourself seem superior.
Food and Drink costumes. Dressing up as your favorite food or drink is a cute costume idea, especially if you’re matching with a significant other or friend. Be mindful of what you say when wearing the costume, though. If you are wearing a hamburger outfit, don’t start taunting vegans about how you “love meat" and you “can’t wait to eat a cow", even as a joke.
Emojis. Emojis are fun costumes that are sure to make people smile. They are a non-offensive costume and perfect for you to wear.
Cartoon Characters. It is perfectly fine to replicate the outfits of cartoon characters as long as you are not painting your face to be another race. You can try to replicate the exact outfit to make sure people can tell what character you are, but do not paint your face. As for hair replicates, it really depends on the hairstyle. There are certain hairstyles that are offensive to certain races to copy. For example, box braids and cornrows are for the black community. If you are not black but you want to dress up as a black character, you can replicate the outfit. If your character has box braids or cornrows, it is best to be respectful by not wearing these hairstyles.
Superhero costumes. Superhero costumes are a cute and quirky Halloween classic. Typically, most Halloween stores have superhero costumes all ready for purchase.
Funny costumes. You can’t go wrong with a costume that makes people laugh. Dressing up as a clown and trying to make balloon animals, for example, can make others laugh. As long as the costume you choose does not degrade or humiliate anyone, it’s totally acceptable to dress up as something funny.
Scary costumes. This includes ghosts, zombies, vampires, and more. Dressing up as a ghost to scare others can be funny, but it can also be scary. If you want to dress up in a scary costume, you are more than welcome to! Sometimes, people find it funny to scare others (to an extent), and it can be funny in the end.
Many people think dressing up as “Indians" or a “dead celebrity" is funny but in actuality, it is offensive, degrading, and humiliating. For anyone who wants to make sure that they are not appropriating a culture or offending anyone, these Halloween costume ideas are perfect for you. They aren’t offensive nor do they target a group of people. Have a spooky (and respectful) Halloween!