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.
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.
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!”. 😉
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?