With Halloween around the corner, many students are brainstorming what, or who, they will be for the fun night. Nevertheless, it is important to understand how some costumes are offensive to others and their respective heritages.

The Break Down
What is cultural appropriation?

As defined by Dictionary.com, “the adoption or co-opting, usually without acknowledgment, of cultural identity markers associated with or originating in minority communities by people or communities with a relatively privileged status.”

Need an example? The video above was created by PBS, “Origin of Everything” that explains cultural appropriation.

Want another example? In the video below, Teen Vogue explains why it’s not appropriate to wear a culturally appropriative costume by asking six women about Halloween costumes that appropriate their cultures. "My Culture Is NOT A Costume" by Teen Vogue.

So, while this is a wonderful time of the year to show off your artistic skills and display appreciation of your favorite television character, comic hero, or celebrity figure, take the necessary steps to not appropriate someone’s culture.