Controversial Costumes spark Outrage


Tais Avila-Guzman

Mrs. Groff wears a Mexican Dia de los Muertos mask to teach her students about the holiday.

Halloween is a day where people everywhere have an excuse to dress up and put on fun costumes. Even though costumes are a fun way to express themselves, many people use this opportunity to offend many cultures and races with their costumes, some without even realizing it.

Yandy, a company dedicated to selling “sexy” costumes to women, recently released a “Red Brave Maiden Costume.” The costume was based on a show called “The Handmaid’s Tale,” where women are raped and forced into surrogacy. These women are forced to wear only a long red, shapeless dress, a red cape and a bonnet. The costume consisted of a very short halter dress, a cape open to the sides, and a small little bonnet. After so much backlash on the costume, the company had to discontinue it and send out an apology, stating the initial inspiration of the costume was to create a “powerful protest image.”

When the costume was discontinued, many people were angry that the company had done nothing to take down the “sexy” Native American costumes. The main concern was that the same company has many sexy Native American costumes that are not being taken down. Many Native American people of this country still face so many injustices and do not need companies sexualizing their culture. Most of the Native American population still lives on reserves where even now they are still oppressed. Native Americans make up 1% of America’s population, yet one in ten Native Americans older than 12 become victims of violent crimes. “More than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence, and more than one in two have experienced sexual violence,” according to Indian Law Resource center.

“In my opinion I think Halloween is a time where you can dress up as anything you want,” says Abinadi Cruz. “I mean you can dress up as a stereotype, but it doesn’t mean you believe in that stereotype because it’s Halloween.” Cruz is the manager at the Halloween Store that was located at the Bristol Marketplace in October. It is his family’s store where he has been working for the past 12 years.

Ms. Groff, Global Studies teacher, expressed her opinion on the topic. She agrees that dressing up as a certain culture is okay as long as it is to spread awareness and to educate others about that specific culture. She is, on the other hand, “completely against” using sexy costumes about a certain culture. “We can’t tell people how to dress,” she says. She thinks that people don’t necessarily know that they are disrespecting anyone, but once they are told they are being disrespectful they will stop and take it into consideration.