The tradition of dressing up in costumes at Halloween got its start as a way to ward off evil spirits that were roaming the land at the death of summer, mainly because people had some pretty weird ideas about how to kill time back before they invented television. Times have changed, of course, but I still like to imagine that there's a little bit of that desire to scare off haints and spookums left in the costumes we have today. And then I actually go to the store, take a walk down the Halloween aisle, and realize that, if that's the case, then today's evil spirits are mostly scared off by miniskirts, Marvel's The Avengers, and truly insane levels of racism.
Yes, if you're heading to a costume party this year and want to make everyone there very uncomfortable (or alternately, if you're an asshole), there are plenty of options available in this year's fine selection of racist Halloween costumes.
Here's a cool #protip for all you #lifehackers out there: First, If you're getting ready for Halloween and your costume requires you to apply makeup to darken your skin so that you can look more like someone from another culture, you should probably go ahead and stop what you're doing and re-examine your choices. If those choices include paying 30 bucks for a "Victorian nightshirt" left over from the costume site's ill-fated attempt to get people dressing up as Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas, or if that purchase was motivated by a promotional video that included sitar music, maybe go ahead and start over from scratch.
In the interest of fairness, I probably should point out that this is the least cartoonishly stereotypical "Arab" costume currently available, but that's just because it doesn't include a scimitar or a "magic lamp" that you're meant to wear as a codpiece so you can invite others to rub it until a genie comes out. The "genie" in this scenario is your sperm, by the way.
Probably best to just avoid the whole thing.
#7. "Jamaican Bobsled Team"
I've lived in South Carolina all my life, so my racism detection game is usually on point, but I actually had a pretty hard time figuring this one out. I mean, it's definitely weird, but that might be because it's a costume based on the movie Cool Runnings that is being sold in the year 2013. That's weird even beyond any cultural appropriation that's going on here.
It was a tough one to crack, until a friend of mine reminded me that Cool Runnings is literally the second of exactly two things most Americans know about Jamaica, and then the site I was browsing suggested a "Rasta wig" would be a good accessory for it. Definitely skip it, unless you're going to a Cool Runnings theme party, in which case you should definitely get this and then send me pictures for my next Cracked article, "The 7 Weirdest Theme Parties of All Time."
#6. "China Man"
Speaking of things that are still happening in the year 2013 -- you know, the actual 21st century that we're all living in right now? -- here's a costume that someone thought was a good idea to name "China Man." Seriously: That's what's on the label.
For those of you wondering about the characters on the jacket -- or "China Words," as they're probably known down at the ol' Costume Factory -- I believe the top one says "garden" and then the rest are just a bunch of made-up bullshit, which is somehow even more offensive than if they'd just pulled random-ass words off a Chinese menu, which, now that I write it, is definitely how they ended up with "garden."
Astonishingly, the costume doesn't include the hat, or the eyeliner used on this friendly model in an attempt to make him look more insultingly Asian. But don't worry, your local Grand Wizard will probably have that at the party.
#5. "Chinese Take-Out"
While we're on the subject of racist eyeliner, apparently one (and only one) Chinese character wasn't the only great idea that the costume makers got while they were out having lunch that day. That's right, ladies! Now you too can dress as food. Food that people want to have sex with, I guess.
Initially I was rolling my eyes at the fact that they went as far as writing "ENJOY" across both breasts, but at least they put "Thank You" on the crotch, so it's not entirely devoid of class.