5 ways to join in the fun this Halloween without being problematic


With literally thousands of costume options to play around with on Halloween, it really is baffling how some people still opt for the offensive ones. 

While dressing up is certainly an exciting thought which triggers pleasant childhood memories there is also no need for one to dress up as a grotesque caricature of a character/real life person/cultural group/profession all in the name of "fun".

If you do enough research, you'll find that there is a multitude of ways to do this U.S. (and now global) celebration right.

Teen Vogue addresses cultural appropriation in an excellent article where they mention how dressing up as certain cultures ends up being a form of othering and mocking as it is usually done with very little background knowledge of the face you have decided to put on just for kicks.

Read more: Kylie Jenner accused of cultural appropriation... again

This includes hairstyles, accessories, makeup/facepainting. Think of how often people have messed with Indian traditional attire and adornment. A very important point also made in the article is that the "it's just a costume" defence can never justify a problematic representation of a culture that is not yours to try on for a day.

So here's a suggestion. Watch your classic favourite movie, google the style evolution of your favourite celebrity, watch a musical on YouTube, watch some anime or start following a cosplay account on Instagram for some inspo.

Avoid the tricks. And the blackface. Just serve up treats only, babe. 

Mia Wallace, Pulp Fiction

Friday feels??#miawallace #pulpfiction #tarantino

A post shared by AMY-LOUISE RALPH (@amyralphhh) on

Now I wanna dance, I wanna win - Mia Wallace ?? #inktober #day5 #miawallace #pulpfiction #movies

A post shared by Brenda Shaw (@brendashaw94) on

She's one of the characters who made Pulp Fiction truly memorable. From the scene where Vincent Vega picks her up at her house to the one where she tells that awkward ketchup joke when she and Vincent part ways, she's clad in one simple yet recognisable outfit. 

Did her look perhaps influence the original normcore trend?

Shop the key item for the look:

White poplin shirt, Zara.

Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's

“You can always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. I must say — the mind reels.” - Breakfast at Tiffany's.

This costume is all about your accessory game, so channel the sweetest, most stylish movie protagonist ever this Halloween in dramatic designer sunglasses, a string of pearls, dashing earrings and a glorious head ornament.

Oh, and don't forget the classic kitten heels.


Statement earrings from Kirsten Goss Jewellery.

SUNKISSED ???? #vaykay

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Black kitten heels, R397 at Spree.

Read more: #WednesdayWishlist: mid-heels!


A sure way to create a stir at a party is by rocking one of Prince's formidable ensembles.

With so many options to choose from you might just find yourself doing costume changes in between drinks to get the most out of your Halloween experience.


Asymmetrical blazer available at TOPSHOP.

Chevron printed flare pants, R499 on Superbalist.

Missy Elliot

This is all about making the sports luxe trend ultra glam with a good pair of hoop earrings and a bone straight weave. Your makeup also needs a futuristic twinkle for this one. 

Tip: You can't go wrong with a blue shade of lippie as Missy. Shop this Urban Decay Vice Comfort matte lipstick in heroine, R240.

Read more: How to achieve frizz-free, bone straight hair

TLC circa 'Creep' music video

You know this was one of your favourite '90s music videos! Don't deny it.

So why not coordinate with your squad and head out in silk jammies?


Twill classic PJ set, R588 at Bena Loungewear.

I also asked my editors who they would go as if they were to attend a Halloween party.

These are just a few (trust me) of the glorious suggestions they gave me:

Boy George

(Black) Hermione Granger

Sister, Sister Twins (Tia & Tamera Mowry)

Calypso, Pirates of the Carribean

Jessica Rabbit

Frida Kahlo

Flaca and Maritza from Orange is the New Black


Princess Tiana

Brenda Fassie

Miriam Makeba

Diana Ross

Tina Turner

Will you be joining any Halloween festivities this year? Tell us who you're dressing up as on Twitter or on our Facebook page.

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