Avoid insulting others this Halloween

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Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

Now if only finding a non-racist, non-sexualized costume was as easy at making Beetlejuice appear.

This Halloween I am making a point to avoid racist and sexualized costumes. I will not join the ranks of women dressed up as a barely-covered Pocahontas, a SWAT team member in a skin-tight, short skirt or a Day of the Dead Senorita.

Instead, this gal will be warm and comfortable this Halloween. Maybe I’ll choose tights, maybe pants. I will likely be a movie or television character. I will not have to worry about offending anyone.

When prepping for the weekend of spooky and scary, ask yourself this question.

Is your costume ethnically, culturally, or racially based?

If yes, remember that ethnicity, culture and race are not something you can become for a night. These characteristics are people’s lives. While you may think that an Arab Costume may be funny because of the happenings in the Middle East, remember there are Arabs who are distrusted because of the way they look. If you would not feel comfortable wearing your costume around the group of people that you are dressing up as, I would suggest you find a new costume.

The SWAT team dress that wouldn’t allow you to move would likely elicit some laughs from a member rocking a real SWAT team uniform.

Here are some suggestions for a non-racist, non-sexualized costume:

A favorite celebrity. If I see someone out, dressed as Lena Dunham or Aaron Rodgers I will applaud you. Heck, I would even applaud you if you dressed up as Taylor Swift from the “Shake it off” music video, even though others may be annoyed by your chipper-ness. Just because I just gave you permission to dress up as a celebrity does not mean I suggested you paint your face to match that person’s race. Avoid that.

A favorite television or movie character. Join me on this one. Fishtail braid your hair and carry around a quiver full of (fake, please) arrows. Make yourself into a Lego person and sing the “Lego Movie” theme song until you believe that everything is awesome.

Now go watch some Halloween classics, eat some candy corn and plan out you non-racist and non-sexualized costumes!