6 Most Wildly Offensive Halloween Costumes
Halloween presents people with the opportunity to be sartorially creative. Usually, people use this as a chance to be scary, illustrate puns, or dress as sexy (insert inanimate object here), but for some obtuse jagoffs, Halloween is a day to be outwardly racist, sexist, or culturally insensitive, because hey “get a sense of humor.”
Last year, Chris Brown made (more) headlines when he unapologetically tweeted a photo of himself and his friends clad in turbans, robes and long beards while brandishing fake assault rifles. Photos of the human garbage from Florida who wore blackface and dressed up as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were widely circulated this weekend. On Saturday, Julianne Hough tweeted a public apology for her ill-conceived “Crazy Eyes” (from "Orange Is the New Black") costume, complete with blackface. In the words of Salon writer Brittany Cooper, “Do not wear blackface for Halloween (or brownface or yellowface or redface). It’s that simple. To do so is utterly and incontestably racist and needlessly insensitive.“ The asshatery is widespread enough that UC Boulder went so far as to ask students to refrain from wearing such costumes. As the following examples demonstrate, clearly a market exists for tasteless Halloween garb.
Originally titled the “Fun World Adult Mens Osama Bin Laden Middle East Costume Turban + Beard," the manufacturer has sinced updated the costume name to simply “Turban & Beard Instant Costume.” It’s hard to imagine that this new title is of much comfort to those who don a turban and beard. Rajdeep Singh, director of Law and Policy at the Sikh Coalition, told the Huffington Post, "If you lost a loved one during the 9/11 attacks or during our nation's war against Al Qaeda, or if someone attacked your father in a hate crime because he wears a turban, I doubt this costume would make you comfortable." After receiving pressure from the Sikh Coalition, Walmart removed the costume from its website, but it’s still available from Fun World. Perhaps the most insulting part of this costume is that it’s too dumb to even recognize which culture it’s mocking. A fake beard and turban is not a look exclusive to Bin Laden.The Dastar is a religious garment for Sikh men, yet clearly this get-up is intended to mock Bin Laden and muslims and their “otherness."
Similarly, the (concisely named) “Home & Leisure Online (Fancy Dress) Terrorist Fancy Dress Mask Bin Laden Fancy Dress” is a mask of a man sporting a turban and a beard. Like the “Turban & Beard Instant Costume,” the mask suggests that any man wearing both must be a terrorist. It’s this kind of celebrated ignorance and contempt that exacerbates hate crimes, like those suffered by Sikh Columbia professor Prabhjot Singh in September. Singh was badly beaten and labeled a “terrorist” by his assailants, before being hospitalized, vilified for wearing a beard and a turban.
But, there’s more…
Behold! “Sexy” Bin Laden.
Is this a satirical nod to stringent Islamic dress code, or just how the manufacturer makes women’s costumes? Either way, inappropriate.
2) Women’s eating disorder/weight costumes:
Hey guys, want an edgy costume that insults women? Try this “Freshman 15” costume, a reference to the pounds women allegedly gain when they enter college. At best, this costume is just lame (the “freshman 15” doesn’t even really exist) and a lazy exercise in fat-shaming women, identifying a particularly vulnerable situation that can lead to an eating disorder.