People Are Really Getting A Jump On Their Terrible, No Good Halloween Costumes This Year
Because Sexy Ebola Nurse is so 2014.
It has begun. Though we’re still more than two months out from that day where it’s socially acceptable for fully-functioning members of society to dress up and drunkenly solicit sugar from strangers, the internet’s already getting excited about it. People are starting to plan their costumes, online stores are wringing out the year’s pop culture for new ideas, and I’m trying to ignore the whole thing — content with the fact nothing will ever be better or easier than Deeply Meta Lindsay Lohan Zombie Bride.
However, as has become tradition in an industry now known for its Sexy Ebola Nurses, this feverish excitement has already led to some questionable decisions on the part of costume suppliers. Most notable, is the work of Spirit Halloween: a US-based supplier with more than 1,000 locations across the US and Canada who this week invited customers to dress up as Caitlyn Jenner in the style of her iconic Vanity Fair cover shoot from earlier this year.
“If you want some ‘Vanity’ this Halloween, then try wearing the Unisex Call Me Caitlyn Costume,” the product listing reads. Then, referencing the ensuing unprecedented mainstream media discussion about transgender identity that rippled not only around the US but also the rest of the world, they suggest the costume “will make you the top news story of the night”.
The ad soon went viral with many taking offence at the idea Jenner’s hard-won identity should be exploited for a cheap joke, and the company’s PR manager chose to defend the decision. “Caitlyn Jenner has proven to be the most important real-life superhero of the year, and Spirit Halloween is proud to carry the costume that celebrates her,” she told NY Daily News.
Regardless, a petition was soon started calling for all the costumes to be pulled from sale and it’s currently creeping up on 6,000 signatures.
if you think "caitlyn jenner halloween costumes" are amusing, it isn't. trans people are not costumes. have some respect.
— mekha (@meknairr) August 25, 2015
Or maybe that Caitlyn Jenner costume is offensive bc trans people are killed everyday and cis people get to wear a costume like nothing?
— The Gay Burn Book (@SouthernHomo) August 25, 2015
“We demand that you revoke your ideas and production of a Caitlyn Jenner costume for Halloween,” writes genderqueer activist Addison Vincent. “To make a costume out of a marginalised identity reduces that person and community to a stereotype for privileged people to abuse. In this case, if you follow through with production of a Caitlyn Jenner costume, cisgender people will purchase it to make fun of her and our community.”
“At a time when trans women and GNC folx, especially black trans women, are being murdered at such a high rate, and homelessness, unemployment, and inaccessibility to healthcare run rampant in our community, making fun of one or all of us is utterly insensitive and deplorable.”
Despite no further statement from the company and the fact the costume remains on a number of other online stores, it now appears to have been taken down from the main site.
If that upsets your plans in any way, you might be the kind of person to enjoy this: a “Lion Killer Dentist Halloween Costume” about “2015’s most controversial killing”.
Yes, 15 percent of all proceeds go to the Animal Welfare Foundation, but if you’re advertising any novelty good on the fact it’s based on a real-life murder you’re probably doing something wrong.