When it comes to holidays, there are few that white people like more than Halloween. This is in spite of the fact that white people are required to spend almost the entire year preparing for it. But unlike Thanksgiving or Christmas, the preparation requires little emotional labor. Though it does require extensive physical and mental labor along with a fair amount of research thrown in for good measure.
Halloween is so important to white people because they have to wear a costume. It is a chance to literally show everyone how clever you are without having to say a word. This makes it especially important to single white people as one well thought out costume could produce enough romantic interest to last through the winter.
For this reason any white Halloween Party is less of a celebration than it is a contest. And as with any contest, there are a lot of rules.
The first thing you need to know that white people are the only people on the planet who will dress up as a concept. So while your initial thoughts about a costume might be “cowboy,” “policeman,” or “Count Dracula,” white people are more likely to think “math,” “the economy,” or “Post-Modernism.”
Dressing up as a concept is always a major gamble. On one hand, there is the chance that you nail it just right and everyone in the room will recognize how you not only cleverly interpreted the idea but also executed it perfectly in physical form. If you get it wrong, you will be required to spend the entire night explaining yourself. Then again, it is a good way to get white people to talk to you.
Things do not get any easier if you try to dress up like a character from a movie. If you show up dressed as Austin Powers or Napoleon Dynamite you will be met with near-universal scorn. You see, you need to find a character from a movie that enough people recognize but not one that’s so well known that makes it easy to find the materials required to create the costume.
That being said it’s a good idea to draw inspiration from older movies or television shows, specifically ones from the 1980s. Some popular examples are: Pee Wee Herman, the skeleton costumes from Cobra Kai, or Marty McFly. Depending on your race and gender, this could be your opportunity to become the alpha dog among your white friends.
You see, the only thing white people like more than costumes are group costumes. So if you are an asian male of any background, suggest to your white male friends that you all dress up as The Goonies. If you are a black female, offer to play the role of TOOTIE and go as the Facts of Life. Being a black male is considerably tougher, but if you are short enough the role of Webster could be right for you in an ensemble cast. Sadly, if you do not fall into one of these categories your opportunity for a group costume is limited since there are no recorded instances of white people befriending asian women, latinos, Indians, or any other race during the 1980s.
Last, but certainly not least are white people who dress up as characters from books that have not been made into movies.
“I’m Esther Greenwood.”
“Um, from The Bell Jar, hello?”
“I’m sad too.”
These people are unlikely to be recognized as their characters, but are highly recognized as being smart. If you cannot pull off a group costume, this is your best bet. Just pick ANY author who shares your heritage, find a character who matches your age and sex and remember their name. Then show up in regular clothes.
This also allows you to make the awesome joke “Oh, you can’t tell? I’m dressed up as a Sri Lankan woman. It’s me, Matt.” (substitute race/sex as appropriate). White people will find this hilarious, unless there is another non-white person at the part making the same jokes.
You should also be prepared for the inevitability of running into a white person in an offensive costume. It is a certainty that any Halloween party will have at least one white guy dressed up as a recently (and preferably tragically) deceased or wounded celebrity. Past examples include Steve Irwin costumes with a sting ray protruding from the chest, Roy (of Sigfried and Roy) with a stuffed tiger attached to the neck, and this year you are likely to see at least one white person dressed up as Heath Ledger.
With this information, you should have no problem fitting right in at a white halloween party. But don’t try too hard at your costume, white people hate being upstaged.