There’s no doubt that Halloween this year will be different, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain costumes that are just off limits.
With the pandemic still wreaking havoc in the United States, Halloween festivities will probably be more socially distanced than usual. Giant crowds, large parties, and even trick-or-treating is pretty much off the table, but there are still ways to celebrate safely. Whether you whip up something last-minute, dress up as something quarantine-themed, or marry cursed with sexy in an unholy outfit, quarantine can’t get rid of the Halloween spirit.
That being said, there are definitely some costumes that are just downright insensitive considering the events of this year. Here are ten Halloween costumes you’ll want to avoid dressing up as if you want to be a decent human being (or if you just don’t want to be shamed online for being kind of a dick.)
1. Literally COVID
Look, if even Yandy, purveyor of sexy costumes that have absolutely no right being sexy, won’t touch COVID costumes, maybe you shouldn’t either. A pandemic that’s taken the lives of more than one million people and derailed everyone else’s shouldn’t be mocked with a Halloween costume. COVID has been, and continues to be, a worldwide crisis.
2. A COVID patient
Similarly, don’t dress up as someone with COVID for Halloween this year. It makes light of a serious public health crisis and minimizes the very real long-term effects the coronavirus may have on those who survive. That includes dressing up as public figures with COVID. Sure, it might fulfill some vindictive righteousness if someone you don’t like had COVID, but let’s try to be sensitive to those who are facing a long, difficult recovery process.
3. Sexy frontline workers
I truly cannot believe I have to say this, but please don’t dress up as a sexy COVID frontline worker. People are putting their lives at risk to keep society running, and minimizing the effort they put in by turning their livelihoods into sexy costumes is a huge dick move. The website that sold the unfortunate Ebola costume during the Ebola outbreak a few years ago thankfully isn’t selling a COVID one, but still. Don’t do it.
4. Tired references to the 2016 election
It’s been four years. We get it, Trump won. There’s a whole election cycle that’s happened since then — can we get over the 2016 election references already? They’re outdated and at this point, overplayed.
5. Tired references to this year’s election
There were certainly memorable moments from the 2020 election cycle, but do they need to be costumes? Are we not all exhausted by the constant breaking news about scandals and faux pas? Can’t we just agree that this year sucked so much, we can all do without political costumes for one year?
I’m looking at you, “Debate Fly Wig,” which retails for a whopping $49.95 on 3 Wishes.
6. Anything that involves blackface
I cannot believe that in the year of our lord 2020, I am still reminding you all that wearing blackface is never fucking OK. That goes for Halloween costumes, day to day makeup, or even the ever-growing trend of blackfishing. Just don’t do it! It’s so much easier to not be blatantly racist than you think it is, I promise.
7. Something culturally appropriative
Say it with me, kids: Someone else’s culture is not your Halloween costume. Cultural garb often carries significant spiritual and historical meaning, and just because you think it looks cool, it doesn’t mean you should wear it for Halloween. There are ways to appreciate a culture that isn’t your own that don’t involve stealing the aesthetics for a cheap costume. Here’s a handy guide to avoiding cultural appropriation if you’re not sure.
8. A Black Lives Matter protestor
The Black Lives Matter movement made huge waves this year following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a white police officer. This summer, millions marched in historic protests around the world to show solidarity in the fight against racial injustice, particularly in the systemic racism that enables the United State’s brutal policing. From overhauling abusive workplaces to defunding the police, activists are fighting to make the United States the land of equality it claims to be. Don’t diminish the power of the Black Lives Matter movement by dressing up as a protestor.
9. A cop
Read the room.
10. Wearing anything to a big Halloween party
Hey, I miss partying as much as any other twenty something. Regardless of what you’re dressing up as, wearing it to a large gathering while a super contagious virus keeps the rest of us trapped in a pandemic is not cute. Just avoid the parties this year, especially if they’re indoors.