Photo by Mallory

Photo by Mallory

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Adult Halloween Costumes

“Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it.’ I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, ‘Trick or treat.’ ‘No thank you.’”
--Rita Rudner, 1953-, American comedienne, writer and actress

A recent article from the Associated Press began with this: “Who gets to decide what grown people wear for Halloween?” The article then answers the question with “Apparently everybody.”

Halloween wars of comments are already flying around social media about some pop-culture costumes available to adults this year. Among the Halloween costume choices for adults this season stirring up outrage are a blood-spattered dentist’s smock paired with a Cecil-like lion head.

For those who might not know: "Cecil was a well-known male lion, living in Hwange Game Reserve, in Zimbabwe. The lion was lured away from the sanctuary of the park and killed by an illegal party of big game hunters July 1, 2015, according to the Zimbabwean government. The hunter who killed the lion was identified by conservation groups as ... a dentist in Minneapolis."

Another pop-culture adult Halloween costume is a replica of Caitlyn Jenner’s cream-colored corset set she wore for her coming out on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. I will not include that cover photo here—it’s probably already indelibly stamped on your memory.

Perhaps the digital age has spawned an overly politically correct atmosphere that will not soon disappear. Richard Lachmann, a professor at the University at Albany (New York) includes Halloween in his sociology of culture course, and he comments that costumes seem to be more inciting every year. Add a heavy dose of gore and ultra-sexy costumes, he says, and Halloween is now a free-for-all debate on decency and where the never-OK line belongs.

Lachmann thinks there is no OK line over which costumes must not go: “The point for adults is to be provocative, to do something that breaks the lines of what’s considered acceptable.”

At least four online sellers are hawking Jenner stuff. One of the largest retailer’s version of the Caitlyn-inspired costume goes for $49.99. The wig is sold separately at $16.99. One company offers “a beefy dude in a brown wig to show off its ‘Call me Caitlyn Unisex Adult Costume’ that comes with a bustier and white shorty shorts for $74.99.”

I would guess these “provocative” adult costumes will be popular at many adult Halloween parties. I leave you with your own decision about this topic. Me? I’ll stick with the tried and true Halloween of pumpkins and candy.

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  1. Lindy October 6, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    I have never particularly liked Halloween but the adult version I find to be generally an excuse to be tacky for the night without fear of criticism. I have never been willing to dress up and attend an adult Halloween party and the stories I hear later usually support my decision to stay at home and answer the door for little trick or treaters. Considering the reason for Halloween, I guess it isn't surprising that it brings out "the devil" in some folks.

    (I transferred this comment from my Contact page to here. --Jo)

    1. Lindy, thanks for leaving your comment. I agree -- not surprising at all.