A recent OnePoll survey of 2,000 American parents of children ages 0 to 10 asked them to weigh in on which “offensive” Halloween costumes they believe should be banned from stores.
According to respondents, costumes to avoid include pandemic-related costumes, such as hazmat suits (32%), and also portrayals of cultural stereotypes (29%).
The relationship between Halloween and cultural appropriation or stereotyping has become a hot-button issue within the decade, with critics and activists popularising the phrase “My culture is not a costume” in social media discussions.
When asked to define cultural appropriation in their words, one parent said it means “when you take somebody else’s culture and make it your own in a disrespectful manner.” Another respondent interpreted it as “the adoption and showcasing of another people’s culture in a fun or mocking way.”
Sixty-three percent of parents said they’ve already had conversations with their children about cultural appropriation because of the issues Americans are facing in today’s society.
And 58% said they’ve stressed to their kids that engaging in cultural appropriation or any type of appropriation can be “very hurtful” to others.
Nearly half of parents (45%) admitted they regret wearing certain Halloween costumes in the past that are now considered inappropriate or offensive. Since then, nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) have been more careful with their families’ costume choices because they don’t want to offend anyone.
Of the 42% of parents who plan to dress up this Halloween, some are reportedly going as Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Superman, Lady Gaga, and Gomez and Morticia Addams. Three-quarters of adults (75%) said their kids also plan on dressing up, citing costumes like Baby Shark, robots, vampires, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
As many parents see those costumes as “safe” options, most agree that the offensive costumes should be left in the past.
The top “safe” Halloween costumes were kids were as follows:
- Movie/TV/book/video game characters (ie Disney, Sesame Street, Super Mario Bros.) (64%)
- Superheroes (64%)
- Dressing up as food (58%)
- Dressing up as animals (58%)
- Crayons (56%)
- A ghost (51%)
- A vampire (49%)
- A witch (47%)
- A pirate (46%)
- A scarecrow (46%)