Do’s and Don’ts of Halloween Costumes

Do-n-DontsToday is Halloween and no doubt there will be people out there who are comfortable crossing the line of what is appropriate for a costume. Over the past few days , the web has buzzed over a photo of a child wearing a Ray Rice jersey and dragging a doll that seems to symbolize, Janay Rice, his wife. Okay, we know the story behind this, right? Who hasn’t seen the photo or video of the elevator where Ray struck his then fiancé? She’s left unconscious and splayed partway in the elevator and partway in a public corridor? But as a costume? Really?

It seems that every year, wherever Halloween is celebrated, someone – in an attempt to be new and different and edgy or funny – dons an outfit that insults, denigrates, or just otherwise gets it wrong.

There are some Halloween costumes that are never appropriate. Here are some do’s and don’ts. Know there are many more that probably could be added to this list.

• Don’t paint your face black.
• If you’re not from that culture, don’t wear the clothing.
• Don’t put on an afro wig unless you’re trying to recreate your 1970’s high school yearbook photo.
• If your last hit didn’t go multi-platinum, and you don’t have a wife named Beyonce, don’t try to dress like a rapper.
• Don’t put on an outfit that demeans women, I don’t care how sexy the packaging claims it is.
• Don’t use your kids as props.
• Do remember that people are not costumes.
• Do use your good judgment.

Halloween is an ancient observation to remember the dead. Don’t kill your career. In the era of social media and information in perpetuity -even when not overtly repugnant, a bad costume lives forever. Remember cameras are everywhere and an after work Halloween costume displayed on social media may have implications for your job.

Do have fun and be safe.

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