Stay Smart For Halloween

Halloween, in the contemporary understanding of the word, is a time for all sorts of sweets, that spooky fake spiderweb stuff, and dressing up. Most important of all of these, however, is that you have fun. With that in mind we want you to make sure you’re respecting the wide array of cultures while you’re getting spooky this Halloween.

Maybe you’ve run out of good ideas for dressing up and the cat ears just aren’t going to cut it for another year. The clock is ticking, and you desperately need to settle on an Instagram-worthy Halloween costume. Something funny and scary always works best, but something that is not culturally insensitive is a great place to start.


Cultures Are Not Costumes

This Halloween, remember that cultures are not costumes: Geishas, Blackface, and Native Americans are bad ideas. Dressing up as marginalised ethnic minorities is the quickest way to trivialise the racial discriminations that people of colour face on a daily basis.

Just remember – for a marginalised community, their history and culture is not just a way to dress up. Culturally insensitive costumes perpetuate harmful stereotypes of different cultures and reduce their rich cultural histories to one outfit. So, when deciding for your Halloween costumes, be mindful of other people’s experiences and remember: wear costumes, not cultures.

In case you’re totally stumped for ideas, here are some suggestions of terrifying costumes for this Halloween:


  1. Your growing student debt
  2. Waking up to six missed calls from your mum
  3. Adulthood and taxes
  4. That looming dissertation deadline you’ve been trying to avoid…
  5. Your Instagram story the morning after a night out


It’s also really important to make sure you’re being a good neighbour while you’re having fun - celebrate at the Zombie Apocalypse in the SU this Wednesday, but remember to keep it quiet on your walk home.

Don’t give local residents the spooks or make them howl about your behaviour – creep back to your homes quietly, look after yourself and your friends and have a frightfully good night without disturbing local residents.

Editorial note: The Students’ Union reserves the right to refuse entry to individuals who are deemed to be dressed inappropriately on event nights. You may be asked to remove face covers/masks by SU staff upon entry to the SU Venue.