Don’t dress up as these: A horrifying round-up of the worst Asian-inspired Halloween costumes

Don’t dress up as these: A horrifying round-up of the worst Asian-inspired Halloween costumes
Sarah Yukiko
By Sarah Yukiko
October 29, 2021
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the authors and does not represent NextShark’s views.
Asians and Asian Americans have contributed so much to the holiday of Halloween this year.
Popular costume inspiration draws from a lot of our media: the “Squid Game” doll with murderous motion-sensing eyes, Olivia Rodrigo and her sticker-faced album cover, Shang-Chi’s signature red jacket.
I’m sensing somehow that this won’t stop people from making things racist. Here are some contenders for the worst “Asian-inspired” Halloween costumes of 2021.
Image via Etsy

The Coronavirus

This one isn’t even about Asians, actually, because we didn’t cause COVID-19. This falls under miscellaneous distastefulness, given the global toll the virus has taken.
But since people do insist on making the virus about Asians, I hope everyone can refrain from dressing as this particular microscopic bundle of genetic code which has inspired so much hatred toward our peoples over the past two years.
Image via Amazon

Madame Butterfly

Wait, people dress as this? Where are they even hearing about this? Who is watching Madame Butterfly in 2021? It’s best practice not to idolize Asian women born of white people’s fantasies. And if you’re more of an Arthur Golden fan than a Giacomo Puccini fan, consider this is a blanket moratorium on Geishas.
Image via Amazon

Fu Manchu 

Okay, so kind of the Shang-Chi route I guess? Except the makers of “Shang-Chi” completely overhauled this character because of how offensive it was. They did an incredible job, and we all got to appreciate Tony Leung. I refuse to go back to this mustachioed, Orientalist cartoon villain.
Image via Amazon

Anybody in a Rice Hat

This is such an obvious no, I don’t even want to talk about it. Is the fact that Amazon calls this “Funny Party Hats Oriental Hat” not enough of a deterrent?
Image via Amazon / @SarahOwen_


Sexy anything or anybody, really. We’re all so tired of costumes that overly sexualize Asian people, especially women. Remember Kacey Musgraves and the inappropriately pantless ao dai? We don’t need another incident.
With so many timely, fun ways to pay tribute to Asian culture and media this Halloween, you really have to go out of your way to be offensive at this point. But based on these costumes, it seems like some people are still determined to.
Featured Image via Amazon / @SarahOwen_
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