The U.K.’s National Union of Students has devised a “guide” that allows students to “Check Your Costume” so it’s not racist, sexist, or otherwise insensitive.
The organization argues that it has noticed offensive costumes being sold “in recent years,” which supposedly “appropriate race and culture, perpetuate sexist stereotypes and make light of the experiences of Trans people and those with disabilities.”
It’s unclear as to whether zombies, which are technically braindead, fall under “those with disabilities.”
The organization warns:
Halloween is fast approaching and you’ve probably already started to think about your costume; after all it’s the one time of the year …well except for Freshers week, Christmas, New Years, Robby’s 21st birthday a charity run, etc that you get to dress up as something you’re not and take on a caricature. It’s fun and most of us love it! Sometimes though, there can be detrimental stereotypes hidden behind a costume marketed as a bit of fun.
To discourage people from having too much fun with their costumes and their presentations, the NUS wants everyone to “Check Your Costume.”
Check and double-check your costume to avoid the exploitation and degradation of others. Don’t let Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia and Ableism be the real Horror this Halloween!
To facilitate the effort, the organization recommended a list of articles from BuzzFeed, Fusion, and a variety of other progressive blogs that provide examples of “bad” Halloween costumes, and a poster for students to print out and use to spread the awareness campaign.
The campaign has been the butt of widespread mockery since it went live, with many suggesting deliberately offensive costumes in response.