Halloween 2013—I am standing outside the entrance to Universal Studios with five friends waiting for three others to show up for our night of haunted fun. Through the crowd of sexy nurses and Rick Grimes imposters I spot a trio of curiously dressed individuals.
Side by side is a man in a German lederhosen with a pushbroom mustache, another male in overalls and a straw hat with two teeth blackout, and a sexed up little indian girl. These are the three friends I had been waiting for.
While some would view these costumes as offensive and in poor taste, I had to laugh; namely because I am of strong German heritage, was raised by a southerner, and I have Native American ancestry. Moreover I understood that the costumes my friends were wearing weren’t chosen with devious intent or malice toward myself.
Critics have forgotten that in modern American society, Halloween is a harmless holiday. Nothing about the way it is portrayed nowadays is meant to be taken seriously.
Anything and everything is fair game for costuming from giant bananas to sexy Hamburglar. Granted, it would most definitely be in poor taste to wear the uniform of an SS officer.
However, there are those who sport costumes that are so absurd and comical that one can assume the outfit is meant to entertain—not offend. Policing people and telling them that any form of culture parodying is unacceptable is nonsense.
As a member of three cultures that are regularly misunderstood I could take offense at any sexy beer garden girl, naughty Pocahontas or backwoods hillbilly getup. I don’t though because I can see that these costumes, while a horrendous misrepresentation of my heritage, are purely satire. Native American women do not all dress in skimpy deerskin fringe dress and paint stripes on their faces. Most German men do not wear lederhosen and carry pints of beer in their hands, and they definitely do not all speak as though they are from the Swiss Alps. And American southerners are not ill-bred drunken rednecks who marry their sisters. But I digress.
Halloween is a holiday that is enjoyed nationwide and everyone is entitled to celebrate it freely. This doesn’t give license to cause mass mayhem or rob your neighbor’s home or terrorize the old lady down the street. What is being said here is that the practice of dressing up in costumes that are so exaggerated that it becomes laughable should not be taken with as much criticism as it is.