For many people, Halloween is a time to dress up, go out and have fun.

There’s a wide variety of costume choices, from the classic “Scream” mask to the all too popular cat outfit and anywhere in between.

This holiday allows for people to express their interests and creativity in a public way.

However, for many individuals, going out, treat-or-treating or partying results in an evening filled with irritation.

There are many Halloween costumes that people find offensive or rude for various reasons. Examples include risqué outfits, racially suggestive costumes, or mental illness-related accessories.

According to an article on The Huffington Post, Halloween costumes since 1973 have become increasingly sexualized.

Samantha Moore/ Art Director

Samantha Moore/ Art Director

Although it began in Greenwich Village, New York, sexually provocative halloween costumes can be attested to the progression of advertising.

As the drive for capitalism augmented, so did the desire to market Halloween to individuals of all ages.

Sophomore pre-med major Alex DeJesus finds explicit female costumes offensive and almost contradictory to societal views and said, “I have a big issue with the fact that girls treat Halloween as an excuse to dress provocatively because the whole issue of gender equality…is basically reversed on this one holiday…they’re like, ‘Don’t treat me as an object. I’m not for your sexual pleasure,’ and [then they] proceed to wear shorts that barely cover their [rear end].”

First-year Sam Yogis, a sustainable product design and innovation major, agreed with DeJesus to an extent.

Although he’s not personally offended by promiscuous costumes, Yogis noted that, “[risqué costumes] entice some people and [they] reinforces stereotypes.”

For others, risqué costumes aren’t a bother. Rachel Ford, a first-year secondary education and English major, said, “I don’t really care how you dress. If you want to show off your body, that’s fine. Good for you; you’re proud of what you look like. I don’t care, as long as you’re nice and don’t judge me for what I’m wearing…it’s what you want to dress up as. Why does my opinion matter?”

Despite this, in light of recent circumstances, Ford takes deep offense to clown costumes.

She commented on this and said, “Why would you take advantage of something that’s genuinely terrifying? People are actually going out dressed like this and are attacking other people, so why would you try to take advantage of that just for the scare factor? …This Halloween, it’s just not an okay thing to do.”

Another offending costume involves mental illnesses.

One individual noted that Walmart’s razor blade suicide scar wound was offending. This accessory mimics a razor blade scar and is meant to be related to suicide.

Speaking on costumes that relate to the latter, DeJesus mentioned that “[costumes involving] psych patients and straight jackets that demoralize mental illness…are definitely offensive…”

On the other side of the fence stands first-year math major Robert Bilodeau.

While many students feel annoyed or offended by specific costumes, Bilodeau remains unbothered. “It’s just not all that important to get worked up about. When you really think about it, maybe it was a little suggestive…but…does it really make a difference? Can’t most people just say ‘it’s whatever’ instead of making a big deal of it?”

Everyone carries a unique view on Halloween outfits, as well as the holiday in general.

No matter what your opinion may be, showing respect for others is important.

Despite the fact that Halloween has passed, respecting others for their choice of clothing is an important aspect of representing Keene State College.

Alexandria Saurman can be contacted at

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