1. Don’t Think About Dressing Up In These Costumes

A lot of people look forward to Halloween to dress up in clever costumes. Some get so excited about their “out-the-box idea” that they end up (sometimes) not knowing how offensive certain “costumes” can be…even though we go through this every year (blackface, Boston marathon bomber victim, Trayvon Martin…sigh). So before someone tries it with a 2014 idea they think is fun, cute or hilarious these are NOs.

2. Mike Brown

The life of an 18-year-old Black man was mercilessly taken away by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. From the way the Ferguson Police Department has handled the case to the string of police brutality incidents afterward that are well-documented, Mike Brown’s tragedy still breaks our heart. Wearing a costume or a hoodie to make fun of him is disgusting.

3. Ferguson Protesters

In light of Mike Brown’s murder and the events happening in Ferguson and St. Louis, protesters have taken the streets to call out police brutality and hold authority accountable. They’ve been arrested, tear gassed and humiliated. But, these brave individuals risk their lives to fight for justice and the free will to be. Don’t think about wearing a T-shirt and holding a Ferguson sign to spark “conversation.”

4. Ebola

Ebola first landed in the U.S. from West Africa on Sept. 30, 2014 through a Dallas, TX native who took a trip to the continent. He died shortly after in October, and since then, several cases in Dallas, Cleveland and Atlanta have surfaced. Many have gone through treatment, but many people have died. It’s not okay to make fun of it in a costume.

5. Ray Rice & Janay Palmer

We don’t even want to go into much detail about the raw footage that was released September 2014 of Ray Rice beating up wife Janay Palmer at an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February 2014. We’ll just say that it was brutal, disgusting and heartbreaking. The fact that anyone would find it funny enough to use for a costume is plain wrong.

6. Rihanna & Chris Brown

Rihanna & Chris Brown

We know, we know. We should totally move on from an incident that happened in February 2009, right? No. Sorry, not sorry. But, Chris Brown beating up Rihanna after a pre-Grammy party will be something no one will REALLY move on from. The event literally changed the paths of their lives. And, while both still have substantial success, it’ll never be okay to trivialize the horrific event in a $20 couple costume.

7. Blackface

We understand that Black people are complex, beautiful and all around amazing people to be around. But, it’s never okay to paint your face as one, especially if you aren’t Black in the first place. No, you’re not my sister, and if you look in the mirror to smear black/brown paint over your eyes, lips and nose, you’re clearly not my friend. It will never be in style. It’s not cute. Stop. Admire us from afar.

8. Anything Having To Do With Rape

Rape and sexual violence are tragic social epidemics that affect 1 out of 4 women in this country. It will never be okay to have sex with a woman without her consent nor will it ever be okay to blame a woman if it’s done to her. Please don’t try to fancy yourself as a rape victim or, even WORSE, a raper.

9. Malaysian Airline Flight Attenders

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was scheduled to fly from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport in March 2014. But, the airline disappeared and never made it. The months ahead were full of tragedy, heartbreak and uncertainty for the missing passengers’ families, friends and loved ones. It will NEVER be okay to emulate what the passengers at your friend’s Halloween party.

10. Japanese

Kimonos are used a lot in fashion during several seasons. There are many who hail the Japanese’s traditional garment as “exotic.” But, it isn’t some “trend” you can just wear to satisfy your own fetish. The prints are beautiful. But, an entire geisha costume, complete with a white opaque face is a little bit much.

11. Native Americans

Native Americans

You may think a headdress looks beautiful with all of the intricate feathers, colors and textures, but please do not wear it unless you’re directly related to Native American heritage. And, don’t even think about wearing it with face paint.

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