Halloween costumes that have shocked many over the years
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
Halloween is often a time when people of all ages let loose and celebrate—wearing costumes to the delight of others. Before the pandemic, many people attended Halloween parties where they would meet others while commenting on each other’s costume choices. This year may be a bit different.
While many costumes are easily complimented favourites, there are some Halloween costumes available for purchase that some people would consider inappropriate and in poor taste. An example of such inappropriateness is a classic tacky OJ Simpson costume comprised of a two-piece orange prison jumpsuit that includes a V-neck shirt and drawstring pants. Simpson, of course, was controversially acquitted of the brutal murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in October 1995.
Another example of a poor costume choice was Prince Harry in January 2005. He was 20 years old and attended a costume party wearing a Nazi uniform. A photo taken of him was published and circulated in the North American media and British tabloids—causing outrage from Jewish and Holocaust survivor groups. Prince Harry released a statement four days later, apologizing for his poor costume choice: “[I am] very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize,” he said.
Furthermore, with the pandemic, there are coronavirus costumes available. In Mexico City, merchants at Sonora Market are selling COVID-19 costumes for 250 pesos ($12 US). The colour of the costume is phosphorescent green. It includes a spiky mask with a forceful, toothy smile, and it is covered by yellow hazard tape. Jovana Méndez, an employee working at the market’s Zombie Town costume store, states customers of all ages love the costume. “Knowing that we Mexicans like to be amusing, we came up with the cap, the mask, and the shirt,” Méndez said to the Mexico News Daily. “We knew this was going to explode. COVID-19 has already infected Mexico City and now it is going through the Sonora Market.”
Not everyone is amused with coronavirus costumes being available. In early October, Amazon removed coronavirus masks being sold on its site by an independent seller after public protests. The masks were made in China and were replicas of the virus under a microscope—along with ragged teeth and googly eyes. Rachel Power, affiliated with a British parents’ organization, told the Mexico News Daily that she is perplexed as to why such a costume would be available: “These masks show a terrible lapse of judgment by the manufacturers and sellers, and I hope they will be removed from sale quickly. I’ve no doubt the great majority of people will find them hugely distasteful, and I can’t imagine that many people would wish to wear one.”
Moreover, Sam Escobar and Marci Robin in an article published in Good Housekeeping magazine, stated that people need to be careful about wearing costumes: “Events like mass shootings, natural disasters, and movements like #MeToo should not be referenced, turned into a joke, or used as inspiration for costumes. Whether or not you find these concepts personally offensive, it’s a cruel choice that reminds countless others of trauma and heartache.”
I wonder if there is a Donald Trump costume available. You wouldn’t need to buy one though, because it is basically free. All you need to do is just be out-of-shape, have really bad hair, cut people off when they are talking, not practice social distancing (while also contracting COVID-19), and make disparaging remarks about China being the originator of the disease.
People have a choice on whatever costume they want to wear for Halloween. But if a person selects a costume that is inappropriate, offensive, and may ignite backlash and criticism from others, then maybe they might want to think twice before wearing it in public.