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You Know What? Every Halloween Costume is Problematic

It’s that time of year again. Time to open up Instagram and see what all of your friends are dressing up as for Halloween. We all want to impress in our spooktacular-best. So, whether it’s choosing a costume for yourself or helping your children come up with a costume idea, deciding on an appropriate costume is difficult. Should you choose something topical or obscure? Classic or unconventional? Or, like me, choose nothing at all because all Halloween costumes are fucking problematic.

Yeah, sorry, someone had to say it.

Unfortunately, it’s harder for a 6-year-old girl to come to this realization than it was for someone as knowledgable as me. Below are five different costume ideas I had for my daughter which would have been perfect if it weren’t for the fact that every single one of these costumes, and in fact all Halloween costumes, are problematic.


We see you Disney.

For some, Pocahontas is seen as an inspirational symbol of female agency. “What,” these naive people think, “could be a better costume for a young girl than this powerful Native American woman who was fictionalized by Disney?”

Well, just about anything else you fucking racist.

Most people agree a stereotypical and offensive costume that is egregiously appropriating from Native American culture, which has already been ravaged by Western expansion and exploitation, is a bad idea. But for me, I say it’s not just a bad idea, it’s a newsworthy offense that should be punishable by law. Honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach that I even considered letting my daughter dress up as the main character from her favorite alt-right cartoon. I’m not going to put that evil on my daughter’s back and neither should you.


Related: The Term Skanking Is Problematic and That’s Not Even One of the Top 5 Reasons Ska Is Dead


After I explained to my daughter why Pocahontas is an inappropriate Halloween costume she asked if she could be a Princess. As someone looking to raise a child with self-confidence and a sense of self-worth, I told her she could be anything she wanted to be in this world — but not a princess. Sure, a princess costume is a simple way to make your young daughter feel special and beautiful on Halloween. BUT, you have to be aware that you are imbuing your young and impressionable daughter with a damaging narrative that teaches her it’s a woman’s role to be helpless and victimized while she waits for Prince Charming to come rescue her. Gross. That’s just not something that is appropriate for my young daughter. And no matter how much she cries, I’m not buying that tiara for her.


So, “Can I be a scientist, Daddy?” Well, no. This somewhat unconventional costume might seem like a great way to break down the Halloween costume gender lines. But really, this isn’t the case. Female scientists have historically been paid two thirds the wages of their male scientist counterparts. And their discoveries have largely gone uncredited (or wrongly attributed to their male counterparts). The plight of female professionals is not a costume and teaching your daughter she should accept two thirds the amount of candy as the boys dressed up as scientists is disgusting. I’m certainly not going to dress my daughter as a scientist and you should be prepared for the backlash if you choose to.


The costume my daughter asked to wear before I completely turned on the idea of Halloween and started writing this blog post was that of a dinosaur. This one might very well escape criticism from most people.

I won’t be one of those people.

I would never put my daughter in a costume which flaunts evolution in the faces of people who believe the Earth is only 3,000 years old. Halloween is supposed to be fun for everyone. We should be cognizant of everyone’s beliefs when we choose a costume, even if there are mountains of evidence to refute those beliefs. If we care about being good people, we won’t be dressing ourselves or our children as dinosaurs.



If you need me to explain how this costume is a disgusting affront to cultures around the globe, you are part of the problem.

Donut/Sugary Snack


Why not just cut to the chase and dress her up as Hitler?

I thought of dozens more potential costume ideas for my daughter this Halloween but the more I thought about it the more clear it became: All Halloween costumes are problematic. And that is why my daughter won’t be trick-or-treating this year, or any year thereafter.

Of course, as a white male, please feel free to disregard all my opinions on this. I really shouldn’t be writing about what costumes are appropriate for young women. I now see how that too is problematic. The Hard Times’ patriarchal corporate structure has given me an unfair platform to speak and for that I’d like to publicly apologize. We have no business posting an article like this. Shame on us. Please forget we even said anything.

But even more than that I’m disgusted by Host Gator, the web hosting company which houses and chooses to do business with my disgusting, dinosaur costume-supporting employer. Anyone who tolerates or encourages children to dress up as the neckbeards of pre-history deserves to die.

Awesome! If you have ideas for costumes, sound off in the comments!