Is it Okay to Be Goth or Lolita for Halloween?

The last two Halloweens there have been these graphic psa style memes going around criticizing cultural/race based Halloween costumes. Honestly I think in this day and age you have to be pretty moronic to think dressing up as a characterization of racist stereotypes is okay, but then again these sorts of costumes are brought to you by the people who made that “heavy petting zoo” belt one so…… :s

Lately I’ve seen these memes stretched past the racial stuff to subcultures and themes like that. Witchy girls and witchy costumes, lolitas and the ghastly mini-dresses titled lolita on the costume bags, etc. And it got me thinking- is it okay to dress as a Goth or as a Lolita for Halloween?

This is a difficult question as I think Halloween is a good excuse to test out extreme versions of our favourite fashions or to try out ones we wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It’s a chance to push the boundaries of what we like and maybe find something that feels much more “right”, that we wouldn’t have without the safe outlet of calling it a “costume” for one day. For example a girl who dons casual Lolita most days might take Halloween as her chance to try out guro or ott sweet! Her intentions aren’t cruel, they’re about self expression- the same way they are the other 364 days.

Dress Up Dolls

Cultural stereotypes promote racism and hatred, contributing to a long history of violence and stupidity- while dressing like a Goth for the night doesn’t harken to quite the same complicated and awful past. That isn’t to say I don’t understand where the irritation of goth-costumes comes from (make fun of us on the street but dress as us for Halloween), it just doesn’t offend me in the same way as a racist costume.

Dress Up Dolls

Everyone in alternative attire has received the tiresome “it’s not Halloween yet” comment from strangers. I always want to reply “Oh MAN you should see what I wear on Halloween! This is NOTHING!”.  😉

Dress Up Dolls

So in short- yes I believe it’s okay to dress as a Goth or Lolita for Halloween if you’re doing it to express an interest in the style and not as a mean joke. People are always going to think unique styles are costumes, it’s the only frame of reference they have for such things- so just enjoy yourself this Halloween!

How do you feel about people dressing as Goths or Lolitas for Halloween? Does it bother you? Do you think it effects the subcultures on whole?


3 thoughts on “Is it Okay to Be Goth or Lolita for Halloween?

  1. In general, it doesn’t bother me at all, like you said, some people are just using the holiday as an excuse to express themselves in a way that they feel uncomfortable doing any other day of the year. However there are some cases were it irks me, like if it’s done in a mocking way, is treated as another “sexy novelty” costume, or (and this is just a personal pet peeve, but one that seriously has me rolling my eyes so far back into my head) is done by someone who sort of uses it to boost their perceived alt street cred. I’m sure we all know that person who goes on about how edgy and alternative they are, yet is never seen in anything more shocking than a black tee shirt or liking anything more “underground” than The Cure’s best of volume and uses Halloween to bust out their same old tired cliche alt costume.

  2. I think Halloween pushes folks to step outside of their relative norm and experiment with other styles. There are some things that seem universally offensive, but the lesser stuff is exactly what the author says, a frame of reference. I sneer at the “sexy” versions of costumes as much as the stuff labelled “goth queen,” but it is important to understand that everyone takes on a new persona if they dress up for halloween. I strongly encourage personal experimentation for everyone.

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