Pinterest inspires a “less stereotypical” Halloween while raising awareness around cultural sensitivity

Every year millions of people come to Pinterest for Halloween inspiration, and even though this year looks different, searches related to the holiday continue to rise as people plan for their unique Halloweens. Costumes are consistently a top-searched term, but many people may not know that certain costumes are appropriations of other cultures. As a platform for positivity, we want to make it easy to find culturally-appropriate Halloween ideas, and bring awareness to the fact that costumes should not be opportunities to turn a person’s identity into a stereotyped image.

Pinterest Halloween 2020


Cultures aren’t costumes

Cultures aren’t costumes. Halloween should be a time for inspiration — not a time for insensitivity.

  • It’s why since 2016 we’ve prohibited advertisements with culturally inappropriate costumes, and make it possible for Pinners to report culturally-insensitive content right from Pins. 
  • Starting this year, certain searches — like for “Day of the Dead costumes” — will show a Pin at the top of results with information curated by Pinterest employee group PIndigenous and experts like Dr. Adrienne Keene on how to celebrate thoughtfully and respectfully.
  • Additionally, we’re limiting recommendations for costumes that appropriate cultures.


Let Pinterest be your guide

2020 is the year of trying new things across holidays and celebrations, creating new traditions along the way. As Pinners find inspiration for inclusive and inspiring Halloween costumes, they’re also searching for creative takes on Halloween during a pandemic, with top trending searches including Halloween breakfast (2x), haunted garage (4x), Halloween piñata (+90%) or Halloween scavenger hunt (2x). 

Despite the pandemic, Halloween certainly isn’t cancelled. Pinners are getting creative while staying safe this year by turning to at-home “Halloween games” (searches up 10x since last year) and decorating every room of the house, including creating a “haunted mansion bathroom” (3x) or a “Halloween themed bedroom” (9x). Some are also planning to throw a “backyard Halloween party” but keep it distant-- searches for “Halloween costumes with masks” are now a whopping 27x greater. And, to lift the spirits of the neighborhood, Pinners are shopping for “front yard decorations” 7x more than last year. -- Swasti Sarna, Insights Manager

As people find the best ways for them to celebrate this year, we’re introducing the Pinterest Halloween guide for ideas on enjoying a thoughtful and respectful Halloween. And be sure to check out the Today Tab throughout the month of October for additional daily inspiration.

Methodology: Trends are calculated by comparing normalized searches in August 2019 to August 2020.