“We’re A Culture, Not A Costume” Campaign Reminds Us: Don’t Be Racist On Halloween

by Erika W. Smith

Have you picked out a Halloween costume yet? Maybe you’ve already chosen an awesome feminist costume (maybe a SCARY VAGINA?), or maybe you’re DIY-ing it. Maybe you’re getting sexy and adding some ears, à la Mean Girls. As long as you’re not dressing up as a “sexy body bag,” if you’re feeling good and having fun, you’re probably all set. Except for one thing…


Every Halloween, I see so many people dressed up as another race – an “Indian brave” costume, a Mexican costume complete with sombrero and tequila, a “sexy geisha” costume, or even blackface. Guess what? Dressing up as a stereotype of another race or culture is incredibly offensive, and you shouldn’t do it.

Last year, Ohio University’s S*T*A*R*S (Students Teaching About Racism in Society) released the incredibly popular “We’re A Culture, Not A Costume” campaign showing minority students holding photos of people dressed up as stereotypes of their culture next to a slogan reading, “This is not who I am, and this is not okay.”

This year, there’s a new series of posters showing minority students sitting down while people dressed up as stereotypes of their culture tower above them. The slogan reads, “You wear the costume for one night. I wear the stigma for life.” It’s just as powerful as last year’s campaign, if not more so.


To see more posters or learn more about S*T*A*R*S, click here.


Images via facebook.com/oustars.

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