Dear JMU: It’s costume time!!!

The leaves are changing colors, the temperature is dropping fast, and everything is pumpkin flavored. Halloween is in the air.

I know you’re a procrastinator. You haven’t decided on a costume yet. You’ve been flipping through Buzzfeed articles and the 1000+ Pinterest ideas to find the perfect one. Well, look no further. I have some quality costume expertise right here.


Stressed out about costumes, Photo by wan mohd on Flickr, CC

When it comes to dressing up, there are some important things to avoid. I know it’s easy to get carried away with an idea. So, for your convenience, in case your heart was set on a “DON’T”, I have incorporated an even better “DO” for you. Get ready to one up all your friends with your Halloween swag.

DON’T: Dress up as an Indian; not even Pocahontas or Sacajawea. These pop culture Indians reinforce our Anglo-centric values, and that’s a big no-no. (Ever notice that both Pocahontas and Sacagawea went out of their way to help the people who colonized and destroyed their land? Hmm… )

DO: Dress up as JMaddy! Show off your JMU pride with your outrageously awesome JMaddy costume. People will be lining up to get photos with you!


Nothing says sexy like some pride and poise, Photo by OzinOH on Flickr, CC

DON’T: Dress up as someone else’s race/ethnicity/nationality/culture. (This includes Sugar Skulls, sorry not sorry. It’s not your culture? Too bad.)That is offensive to their identity and culture, and promotes stereotypes. (Note: even good stereotypes are harmful!) “But what if it’s SO CUTE?!” I don’t care. Being an asshole isn’t cute.

Dress up as FOOD!!! I know you have been guzzling everything pumpkin spice, don’t deny it. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. People will “ooh” and “ahh” at your awesome new identity. You’ll be so cute, people will want to just eat you alive!

amazon screenshot.png

Screenshot of sexy costumes on Amazon (purchase your own here)

DON’T: dress up like a clown. Both literally, and figuratively. You know if your costume is inappropriate and offensive. Just don’t do it. And if you dress up like an actual clown, you might get attacked. (I’m not kidding, you might get attacked. Like people will hunt you down.)


 Even this pumpkin is tired of all this offensive BS. Photo by JJ on Flickr, CC

DO: wear your pajamas. Dress up like your favorite TV/book/movie character. Even dress up like a politician. Or an animal. Or an obscure concept.

Just know that whatever costume you wear, it objectifies whatever you represent. People and their lives are not objects, to be controlled for fun.

Treat everyone with respect and above all else, (in the fashion we have continued since 1927, calling it “Trick or Treat”-ing) TREAT YO SELF!!!

If you have any disagreements about my rationale, or feel like you have a really good suggestions for costumes, let me know! 🙂 Have fun and BE SPOOOOOOOKY!

Featured image photo by robleto on Flickr, CC

3 thoughts on “Dear JMU: It’s costume time!!!

  1. This is so important with Halloween coming up! I hate how costumes at our age are all about being “sexy”! Why do you have to be a SEXY Ghostbuster with your boobs and ass falling out? Or a SEXY police officer? Or a SEXY candy corn? Or a SEXY werewolf? (These are all things that came up when you Google halloween costume btw!) What is so wrong about just dressing up as your favorite character from a TV show/movie?


    1. I think there is a tension between wearing costumes to get attention, subconsciously feeding into the male gaze, wanting to feel empowerment over ones body, and options given when you go to a store! Do you think people just like to dress “sexy” for Halloween or they feel pressured into it?


      1. I feel like it has become an expectation, especially on a college campus like JMU, that costumes for femmes be hot or objectifying. I’m not saying that you should never wear a sexy costume – of course if you feel good about it, do it! I just feel like there is no need for regular things to be sexy-fied. It just seems silly (i.e. sexy blueberry, sexy traffic cone). To me, it just reinforces the idea that women are so heavily objectified in pop culture.


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