Don't Be Racist This Halloween: An Open Letter To Costume Enthusiasts

Dear Halloween Enthusiasts (From fraternity brothers to grandmas to 30-year-olds who still trick-or-treat),

Every Halloween, caught in the excitement of trying to make this year of spooks and splendor greater than the last, there is always a desire to be unique and different. Whether you find yourself dressed as a sexy tampon or a grape with your body covered in balloons, I hope that this letter encourages you not to be one specific thing: a racist.

Post-Halloween horrors sometimes are worse than the ones that pop out in the corridors of your local haunted house. Horrors like pictures of Halloweens past with people dressed in black face, or donning a Native American headdresses or one of the recent worst, wearing clothing to liken the image of shooting victim Trayvon Martin. Not ok. 

This year has even kicked off with a story about a student dressing up like Nicki Minaj, complete with blackface, and it’s only Oct. 29.

There’s such a prominent presence of racist Halloween costumes that there is even a blog, Fuck No Racist Halloween Costumes, dedicated to highlighting culturally insensitive attire that tempts the population. From “China Man” to “Bolly Ho,” it seems as though the spirit of Halloween has been reduced to people blindly putting on whatever they think will spark a laugh. Native Appropriations, a website dedicated to combating the stereotypes and cultural appropriations of Native peoples, presents a series of blogs each year around Halloween that explain why it’s a problem to dress up in feathers an strips of leather, and call yourself an “Indian” for the night.

“These costumes are hurtful and dangerous because they present a false and stereotyped image of Native people. The public sees these images, and it erases our current existence, so the larger, contemporary issues in Indian Country then cease to exist as well,” Adrienne Keene writes on Native Appropriations. “When everyone only thinks Indians are fantasy characters put in the same category as pirates, princesses, and cartoon characters, it erases our humanity. Have fun thinking through that one.”

So as to not eliminate the humanity of a group of people, let’s try sticking to some fun, classic or creative costumes this year—ok? It’s more likely to get laughs if you dress as a pun or cool feminist icon instead of as Kanye West in blackface (like this teacher).

Here are a couple of guidelines to stick to when it comes to avoiding offending the world with your spooktacular attire.

1. Don't wear blackface, or whiteface, or redface.... probably just don't try to change the color of your skin. Even if you are dressing as your fave celeb, and you don’t have their skin color (i.e. Beyonce or Nicki Minaj) it’s easy to wear identifiable outfits or iconic accessories that will make it clear that you are reppin’ the likes of your idol, minus the racism.

See? Wasn't that easy? Costumes, not blackface!

2. Be conscious of what you are wearing, and recognize how it could be offensive to another culture, or people. For example, don't dress like a Native American, an Arab or a thug and think that it is entertaining to poke fun at the history of other cultures.

3. If you are a parent, guide your kiddos in the right direction—so maybe don't have them dressing like a suicide bomber. This is stereotyping what a terrorist looks like, and is actually just so disgusting that I titled it gross.jpg on my computer.


4. And definitely, by all means, don't dress up like someone who was shot to death. A person dying isn’t funny or a joke. The Internet erupted in 2013 when the photos of people dressed as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman surfaced on social, and it became clear to everyone that, yes, people are disturbed enough to go there.

Alas, to my friends who are ready to enter a different reality by suiting up in a alter-ego for the evening, go out and enjoy the night of spooky splendor while happily knowing that your costume—be it funny, sexy or scary—is most definitely free from racism.


Your friend, a concerned Halloween enthusiast

Photos via Vibe, Twitter/@febreezanator, Party City, Flickr/Ei Malaca and Facebook/KT Cimeno

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5 #BabiesForBernie Pictures To Put A Smile On Your Face

Proudly adorned with fluffy white hair and spectacles, the infants of #BabiesForBernie have captured the heart of the Internet with their cuteness. The Internet campaign supporting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders started with Ashira Siegel Fox. She posted a picture of her son, which is so adorable it’s tempting to set it as your desktop background. What started as a meme is now a website selling t-shirts and onesies to raise money for Sanders’ campaign and a Facebook group with more than 400 members.

“We are parents who want Bernie Sanders to be elected as President of the United States in 2016,” the Babies For Bernie website states. “All parents want a better future for their children. Bernie Sanders is going to get us there!” The trend has caught on, and #BabiesForBernie has taken off on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Here are five of the best #BabiesForBernie so far: 

1. Best trendsetting baby

2. Best "looks-like-a-grandpa" baby

3. Best paint-on Bernie hair

4. Best "We're gonna explain what Democratic Socialsm is" fist

5. Best "Sick and tired of hearing about ya damn emails!" smile

Even Bernie Sanders’ official website made a statement about the photos going viral of babies wearing the Vermont senator’s look.


Babies For Bernie is causing people to #FeelTheBern in their hearts, and no matter who your preferred 2016 candidate is, the mind-boggling cuteness of these pictures is undeniable. 

Photos via Facebook/Babies For Bernie 2016, Instagram/@ashira26, Instagram/@dempsigram, Instagram/@ellerestocarlson, Instagram/@domanmom, Instagram/@rollwiththees and Instagram/@BernieSanders.

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Why 50 Disability Rights Activists Were Arrested In Front Of The White House

Over 50 disability rights activists were arrested this Monday for “blocking passage” outside the White House. These peaceful activists were part of ADAPT, a disability rights group who organized some 200 individuals to protest. The demonstrators were voicing their request for President Obama to address the “critical civil rights of persons with disabilities” ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this summer. ADAPT also called on the president to issue an executive order that would implement steps to end the institutionalization of people with disabilities.

People with disabilities living in the U.S. unfortunately have their civil rights questioned on a daily basis: Many of them are institutionalized without consent and are forced to live out their lives in nursing homes. Not many are given the option of community-based living as an alternative. In most countries—including the U.S.—females have higher rates of disability than males. Women and girls with disabilities are also particularly vulnerable to abuse.

Elaine Kolb, a well-known disability rights activist and artist who joined the movement long before ADAPT was ever founded, said: “Too many of our people with disabilities have lived and died without ever experiencing the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship and recognition of our common humanity.” White House officials did not specifically address the demonstrators’ demands, but told Disability Scoop that “President Obama works hard every day to ensure the fullest inclusion of all Americans, especially those with disabilities.”

 Image via: Disability Scoop


9 Body Positive Blogs That Prove "Beauty" Has No Bounds

There are more people involved in the body positivity movement then ever before as we strive to move towards a day when we will no longer have nine year old boys and girls trying to figure out what degree of "hot" they are. And the movement is neither synonymous to being "plus sized" or being "progressive." Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—so much so that an actual definition of beauty doesn't even exist—or shouldn't, anyways.

That's why we think what these 9 body positive blogs are doing is so important: let's eradicate the standards of "beauty" and keep only the ideals love and acceptance.

- - - 

Carol Rosetti Design: Carol Rosetti is an  illustrator who works with colored pencils to create amazing PSA-style posters that inspire the best in all of us. They're all over Tumblr right now and we simply can't get enough. 

 Do The Hotpants - Blogger Dana owned up to having photoshopped images of herself that were shown on her body-positive site. "It's not about a skinny girl wishing she was just a bit more perfect. It's about every woman feeling ugly and imperfect no matter how little the imperfection." We've all felt that and now you can follow Dana's blog to watch her journey to self-acceptance. 

 Style Like You- A mom and daughter team interviewing people just like, well, you, on their style and their life stories. 


Body Images Project: "Body Image(s)" is a photography series by Jes of JSPhotography that showcases the many sizes, shapes, and shades of beauty.


Fat People of Color: A collection of images all featuring plus size women. No one deserves to be under-represented or marginalized. 

Labia Library: Ever wondered if your vagina was "normal"? It's probably not— and that's totally okay, because what the fuck is normal besides another word in the dictionary?! This website offers up advice, confidence, and a lot of vag. (image NSFW!)


8.)  Beauty Is Boring: This blog is about creating beauty-not defining it. 

9.) My Body Gallery: An online compilation of mirror selfies galore that shows all of us what women look like in their day to day life for real-none of that edited stuff. You can search by all sorts of attributes: age, weight, etc. which just proves the point that a number is just a number no matter how large. 


Images c/o of featured websites. 


Primped Spotlight: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

You say "Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab", we say "love." 

That's why we couldn't be more thrilled (or grateful)  to have them as one of our Primped 2015 sponsors. Based out of California, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab "specializes in eliciting emotional responses through perfume and creating unique, masterfully molded scent environments that capture legends and folklore, poetry, and the stuff of dreams and nightmares." Talk about cool. 

Have you ever wanted your own witchy perfume inspired by the scents of Absinthe, 221 Baker Street, and the Mad Tea Party? Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has you well covered. In fact, here at the office some of our favorite scents are Dr. John H. Watson and Sherlock Holmes. We especially adore their packaging: amber bottles wound in illustrated labels featuring artist renderings of famous folk lore and sometimes niche fonts. Wether you get a sampler or the full size 5ml bottle you can't go wrong with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.


They put a spell on us; we promise they'll put a spell on you, too. 

Images c/o Madison Nunes