A byproduct of studying race, gender, and popular culture is that my interaction with pop culture can rarely reach true levels of escapism or mindless consumption. I often find myself mentally tallying the number of women and people of color in films and television episodes, or noticing whitewashed advertisements while scrolling my news feed, or side-eying problematic images of women of color on product packaging as I run errands. Analyzing these images has become a hobby as much as the pop cultural consumption itself.

Which brings me to Halloween. Every October, I celebrate Horrorfest—31