People Need To Stop Romanticizing Dia De Los Muertos


Arely Ocampo Bartolo, Managing Editor

Seeing as though Dia De Los Muertos has become a “joke” in modern society, I think it’s important to remind people that this sacred holiday is not, in fact, a joke. 

Dia De Los Muertos is a holiday meant to honor those who are no longer living, not to paint our faces like sugar skulls and joke around about tacos. Yeah, I’m looking at you Knott’s Berry Farm. 

This holiday was made as a day of remembrance, and now it feels like every mainstream media outlet is finding a new way to profit from it. 

Pop-Tart made churro Pop-Tarts with sugar skulls on them. Halloween costumes of Calaveras are being sold at Spirit Halloween. And probably the thing that makes me the most upset is the contests where individuals paint their faces like sugar skulls.

Those skulls were made as a way to honor our loved ones and to fill them with colors and designs the deceased would like. Dia De Los Muertos is supposed to be the one night a year where our deceased loved ones can come visit us; it’s something near and dear to many Latino’s hearts. We fill the ofrenda with Marigolds and skulls so that when our ancestors visit us they feel welcomed. But now, people are drawing spider webs and stars on themselves and dressing up as sugar skulls when in reality they are offending this tradition. 

While some portrayals are respectful (like the Monster High Doll, Skelita Calaveras), others are just distasteful and hurtful to the community that celebrates Dia De Los Muertos. I’m all for celebrating different cultures, as long as it is tasteful and respects the holiday being celebrated rather than making a mockery of it.