13 Easy Halloween Costumes That Don’t Culturally Appropriate — Like, At All

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With Halloween around the corner, it's time to figure out which costume you'll wear for your holiday festivities. Here's some advice: Don't pull a Heidi Klum and dress up like a Hindu goddess, and you probably shouldn't throw a Mexican-themed fiesta, either. It's 2017, so you'd think we wouldn't have to talk about cultural appropriation and Halloween costumes, but we do. If you aren't familiar with cultural appropriation, here's a quick explainer: Taking something that has deep meaning to an oppressed culture and wearing it for entertainment or laughs. Somehow, people manage to come up with uniquely offensive ideas every year, and we expect 2017 to continue the sad trend of racist and culturally appropriative costumes. If you're wondering how to easily avoid cultural appropriation this Halloween, we've got you.

If you're thinking that people are being too sensitive, consider this: Cultural appropriation helps perpetuate white supremacy and further marginalizes people who are already dealing with some level of oppression. Is a Halloween costume really worth it? The answer is no. But there's good news! You can wear pretty much anything and not be culturally appropriative as long as you're sensitive to what's appropriate. Here are 13 costumes that aren't grossly offensive that you can wear and still have fun during the spooky time.

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A Cat

Cat Costume, $35, Party City

Look at this costume. Have you seen anything more beautiful? Not only does it require zero preparation, and appropriates exactly zero cultures, but it also looks really comfortable. I'm probably going to buy this to sleep in. I don't know how you'd use the bathroom in this, but I have faith that you'll figure it out.

A Shark

Shark Costume, $68, Halloween Costumes

Be the shark from Jaws, or that weird dancing left shark situation from Katy Perry's Super Bowl performance. The choice is yours with this amazing shark suit that also doubles as pajamas. Again, hilarious, easy, and inoffensive.


Ballerina, $45, Halloween Costumes

You don't have to be coordinated to pull off this costume, but it'll help. You can fulfill your childhood dreams of becoming a dancer and wear a costume that isn't insulting to anyone's culture. Win-win.


Popcorn Costume, $29, Find Costume

Not only is this costume guaranteed to make everyone at your event jealous, but you'll also have the perfect garb if #drama erupts at a Halloween party.


Pizza Costume, $20, Walmart

Pretty much everyone loves pizza. This is a verifiable fact. Dressing up like a pizza slice will make your party guests hungry, and they'll probably be drawn to you subconsciously. (Note: this has not been scientifically proven, but it probably can't hurt.)

The Orb

Fleece Fabric, $4 per yard, Online Fabric Store

Remember when Donald Trump touched that glowing orb earlier this year in a surprisingly ominous way? A lot has happened since then, but it still looms large in the cultural consciousness. This costume requires a bit more effort, but your creativity will pay off. If you're dedicated, you can even sew the costume yourself by creating a globe with fleece fabric and a foam mattress topper. Another option is just wearing all black and carrying around an actual orb, because why not?

A Hashtag

Hashtag Costume, $15, Walmart

Okay, this costume may be a bit dated, especially because hashtags are often used ironically these days. (Did you know they celebrated their 10th birthday just this year?) Still, if you can't get enough of Twitter, this corny outfit may be the way to go. (Bonus points if you figure out how to dress like a tweet with a terrible ratio, aka the scariest thing of all.)


Adult Laughing Emoji Costume, $30, Spirit Halloween

I'm not positive that anyone uses the laughing emoji in the year of our Lord 2017 except for baby boomers, but it's an easy, inexpensive costume that isn't culturally appropriative.

A Pineapple

Pineapple Costume, $26, Amazon

I'm not going to lie: This costume looks very uncomfortable, and I can't imagine eating or drinking with those gloves on. But you get to be a pineapple, and you're not being racist! What else can we ask for?

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Peanut Butter and Jelly Costume, $29, Target

This one is for anyone who's very attached to a significant other. If you want everyone to know that you're an item, what better way than this cliché costume? You may gross out the people around you, but you won't have time for the haters. This costume is also allergen-free, if that was a worry, too.

A Minion

Minion Costume, $40, Party City

Please only wear this costume ironically. I'm begging you. Minions are everywhere, and it is my worst nightmare. This is another costume that looks like it'd make a good sleep suit, so you might as well kill two birds with one stone while dressing up as the scariest/cutest thing alive.

A Bumblebee

Bumblebee Costume, $35, Halloween Costumes

If you're looking for a cute animal costume, this is a winner. Bonus points if you have a friend dress up as a flower and follow them around all night. (Just don't call a bumblebee your spirit animal. Please.)

A Banana

Banana Costume, $24, Target

I will admit that this costume looks uncomfortable and will also probably not make you any friends, but it doesn't take any preparation and you can sing Gwen Stefani's iconic "Hollaback Girl" without shame all day.

This is just a handful of costumes that aren't culturally appropriative in the slightest, but there are literally thousands more options out there. You don't have to be offensive this Halloween (or ever). It doesn't even require creativity! All it takes is sensitivity. If you're questioning whether a costume is appropriative, do yourself a favor and don't wear it. Pick something from this list instead.