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The Things Not Hallowed on Halloween

By November 1, 2010No Comments

By Joyce

New Organizing Project blogger


Happy post-Halloween, readers!

You know, I used to really love Halloween when I was younger. We got to dress up as something/someone else for a day. We got to stay out [kinda] late. And best of all, all the free candy! There was nothing better than sitting in my living room after a night of trick-or-treating and sifting through the candy with my best friends.

However, Halloween has started to get on my nerves, to be quite honest. Why? Well, for one, there is no more free candy for me. And also because I see hordes of people in these kinds of get ups:




'Sexy Indian'
















My bad, I didn’t realize that you could capture the complex struggles, experiences and oppression I face as an Asian American and person of color in a Halloween costume. Right. I guess I missed that memo. Clearly, by wearing a particular item of clothing or painting your skin a certain color, you somehow have the magical ability to transform into ANOTHER RACE. I never realized it was so simple!

So, readers, since it’s so “easy,” let’s go through the five simple steps to put together a really great East Asian costume  or how to be East Asian for any day of the year, actually:

1) Slanty eyes

Pau Gasol & the Spanish Basketball Team

So, you could pull a Miley Cyrus or Joe Jonas and pull the corner edges of your eyes back in order to create a more slit-like appearance. Or just look like you’re squinting really hard. Any way you can make your eyes smaller will automatically make you look more East Asian.





2) Buck teeth

Mickey Rooney in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

These teeth have to be super exaggerated, like they’re ready to practically fall out of your mouth and/or are consuming half of your face. The more comical you look, the better.








3) Dress really, really nerdy or really, really risque, depending on your gender



'Asian Nerd'

For guys, dress as nerdy as possible because we all know that all Asian guys are super nerdy. It would be perfect if you could get huge  glasses and a gigantic backpack. Because, as we all know, straight Asian guys never get the girl. Especially, nerdy Asian dudes.

'Sexy Asian Empress'

For women, it seems like Halloween has devolved into who can wear the least amount of clothing. Combine that rule of thumb with a dress that looks vaguely Asian and voila! Hypersexualized Asian woman, FTW!

4) Accent

Okay so this part isn’t necessarily connected to your appearance, per se. But it will add SO much more to your get up if people hear you speaking English with a thick, Asian accent. All Asians are foreigners who can’t speak English properly, didn’t you know?

5) Wear something with ‘Asian characters’ on it.

Contestant J.D. from CBS' 'Rockstar INXS'

You know what I mean. Find something that has some kind of Asian-looking written character on it [it doesn’t even have to be correct or an actual language!] and put it on. It’d be even better if you could post temporary tattoo of Asian characters somewhere on your body.
Sounds pretty simple right? And all you have to do at the end of the day is take out your fake teeth, wash the temporary tattoo off your skin, change into your PJs and you’re “back to normal.” You don’t have to deal with those complicated issues that come with being a person of color like institutionalized and systemic oppression, lack of access to resources like a good education or even going through the day without people rudely asking you “where are you really from?” or telling you that you speak English really well [even though you were born in America].

Modern-day Halloween is supposed to be about having the opportunity to be someone or something else for a day, an escape. Not be a free pass for you to stereotype and cariacaturize another racial group just for kicks.

I am NOT a Halloween costume, thankyouverymuch.