Politically Correct Alternatives to Culturally Insensitive Halloween Costumes

Tiffany Midge

Have you been thinking about dressing up as Pocahontas, your favorite Disney princess, but feel like it wouldn’t be socially acceptable? Boy howdy, do I feel you, that’s rough. You could wear a sexy Sacajawea costume and go as a racist like your RA so cleverly suggested, but what does she know anyway? She’s majoring in Social Justice Studies. Is there even a department for that? People probably wouldn’t get it, anyway. Subtlety is a lost art and post-modern doesn’t translate well when you’re holding an ace in an epic round of pass the doody. Hey, if you ask me, people are way too sensitive. I mean just because you love putting on a feather headdress made in China and war whooping and shouting “make it rain, make it rain!” at Octoberfest—or whatever music festivals you attend with Horseyface, the cousin your mom makes you do stuff with because your aunt paid for that Alaskan cruise—doesn’t make you racist. There’s cultural insensitivity, and then there’s being racist. There’s a big difference, am I right? Don’t be too butt-hurt about that faux buckskin loincloth collecting dust in the back of your closet. And I know you were stoked about wearing that Disney tattooed skin suit and flouncing around at the gravel pit kegger like James Gumb to Goodbye Horses. But hear me out. I have some creative solutions. There’s a bunch of politically-correct alternatives to choose from, I mean, you don’t want to be labeled supremo douchebag of the year, right? Political correctness blows, I know, right? Yep, I saw that Bill Maher segment too. Bear with me okay? I have some creative solutions. Here’s just a few, totally random suggestions. No presh.

Scary clown. Alternative: Assistant manager at Just a Buck! dollar store, where EVERYTHING’S JUST A BUCK! OR I’LL EAT MY HAT! Or as your dad calls it, The Dollar Store, island of misfit toiletries.

Cholo/a. Alternative: Euphemia, the vanpool lady at your summer job last year who wore a crucifix bigger than her head and always smelled like Vicks and cherry flavored Lip Smacker.

Muslim suicide bomber. Alternative: Marilyn Monroe from Seven Year Itch, after her divorce from Joe DiMaggio but just before she started studying the Stanislavski method.

Day of the Dead Sugar Skull. Alternative: Goth version of Tiffany Trump.

Sexy geisha. Alternative: Caucasian fusion restauranteur in tap shoes and a top knot who owes over a hundred-thou in defaulted student loans but will still buy artisanal truffle oil and import bird nests from the caves of Southeast Asia.

Pocahottie. Alternative: Minneapolis Police Deputy who diligently works extra shifts to pay for Daphne’s braces and keep that no-good-account, joke of a husband in Pall Malls and Blue Nun.

Pimp-daddy in Black face. Alternative: Rachel Dolezol. Or is that too edgy?

Hillbilly. Alternative: Lumbersexual with anachronistic mustache and overly gimmicky bow tie who eschews iPhones and won’t shut up about it.

Harambe. Alternative: Ken Bone a la Stuart Smalley a la your eighth-grade biology teacher Mr. Phillips who you asked “what is the difference between an organism and an orgasm?”

Caitlyn Jenner. Alternative: Wonder Woman. Too easy.

South Pacific Hula Dancer. Alternative: Eleven from Stranger Things.

Romanian traveler mistakenly referred to as gypsy. Alternative: Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company, but a conceptual version, like just Mrs. Roper’s housedress and a completion certificate from DeVry University in Project Management.

Seriously, dude? What are you waiting for, any one of these would be rad. Good luck!

Tiffany Midge is an assistant poetry editor at The Rumpus, and an award winning author of The Woman Who Married a Bear. Her work is featured in McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Okey-Pankey, The Butter, Waxwing, and Moss. She is Hunkpapa Lakota. Follow her on Twitter @TiffanyMidge

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