By Khadijah Khogeer

It’s that time of the year again: Halloween, my personal favorite holiday — because Thanksgiving and Christmas are overrated. 

There’s no doubt Halloween will look different this year. Even without Halloween parties, you can still dress up, go out and even go trick-or-treating while social distancing. And yes, Halloween is more than three weeks away, but it’s never too early to plan your costume.

Even though I love Halloween, it seems it’s become quite a controversial event the past few years. At every party, there’s always one or two people dressed in an outfit deemed to be “cultural appropriation.” 

Examples include wearing Native American, Geisha or Day of the Dead costumes. Wearing stereotypical outfits or using other cultures’ traditional clothing as a costume is offensive and perpetuates stereotypes and caricatures of races, ethnicities or religions. 

Avoiding cultural appropriation is really not that difficult if you keep in mind that other cultures’ traditional clothing are not costumes. Halloween is meant to be a night of fun, so it’s an amazing chance to express your creativity and distract yourself from midterm season. 

If you’re in a dilemma about what to wear or just not motivated to think of anything since Halloween parties are corona-canceled, fear not. I’ve compiled a list of Halloween costumes you can wear with your friends or roommates that aren’t cultural appropriation. 

Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo costumes are easy to find online and each character has a distinct and recognizable outfit. This costume is a cool group theme because of how colorful the outfits are. Mystery Incorporated has five members, so it’s perfect if you don’t want to wear a solo costume.

Tiger King

Probably the most meme-able show on Netflix during quarantine, “Tiger King” has an interesting fashion aesthetic. The cast wears bright blue and pink leopard-print shirts, flower crowns and cowboy hats. Even though the show came out in 2020, there are already Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic costumes online. 

Disney Villains

In my opinion, dressing up as a villain is better than dressing up as Disney princess since princesses are overdone. Plus, villains match the Halloween vibe better. It’s convenient to wear your favorite villain or choose a group of villains with your friends. Mother Gothel from “Tangled,” Gaston from “The Beauty and the Beast,” Claude Frollo from “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and Hades from “Hercules” are not as commonly worn as Maleficent or Cruella de Vil.  

The Addams Family  

“The Addams Family” is iconic. They have a recognizable gothic aesthetic that perfectly suits Halloween. This costume is an easy option for lazy people, because you probably have a black dress or suit in your closet anyway. Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley and Uncle Fester are the core characters, but if your group has more than five people, you can easily add more characters such as Thing and Grandmama. 

Horror movie villains

The most mask-friendly option is dressing up as your favorite horror movie villain. Some options: Hannibal Lecter from “Silence of the Lambs,” Jigsaw from the “Saw” series, Pennywise from “It” or the ghost from “Scream.”