Cross Country Checkup

Are we overthinking costumes?

Dressing up for trick-or-treating has become complicated. The list of forbidden characters is growing, with the creepy clown as the latest. Are we overthinking costumes?
A child dresses as Spiderman as he participates in a Halloween event. (Alex Wong/Getty)

Dressing up for trick-or-treating has become complicated. The list of forbidden characters is growing, with the creepy clown as the latest. Are we over-thinking costumes?

It's that time of year… All Hallow's Eve, a night for ghosts and goblins, tricks and treats. 

But dressing up for Halloween is getting complicated as a growing number of institutions take steps to prohibit racist, sexist or potentially offensive costumes. Brock University student's union, for instance, issued a list of banned costumes before their Halloween bash. Bindis, geishas, and Caitlyn Jenner aren't welcome, neither are native headdress, "Poca-hottie" outfits and fake dreadlocks.

The list of forbidden characters is growing; the latest being creepy clowns.

Reports of funny business involving nefarious clowns turn into hysteria far and wide across North America One school district in the U.S. banned clown costumes, and a clown society in B.C. asked costume stores to not sell clown stuff.

Our question: Are we overthinking Halloween costumes? Have costumes become a political minefield?

Guests

Laura Hughes, Brock University Social Justice Centre Supervisor
Twitter: @lauraliz_

Darren Garnick,  a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker based in New Hampshire. He is also the creator of Tacky Tourist Photos, a travel blog celebrating goofy tourist photo-ops around the world.    
Twitter: @darrengarnick

Elizabeth Miller, Professor Emerita at Memorial University, in St. John's; Baroness of the House of Dracula Honorary title bestowed by the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, Romania

Links & Articles

CBC.ca

Globe and Mail

National Post

Toronto Star

Others

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