Here Are 2017's Most Problematic Halloween Costumes

Here Are 2017's Most Problematic Halloween Costumes
Photo Illustration by Elena Scotti/Splinter/GMG, photos via Shutterstock. :

Halloween is just around the corner, and Halloween weekend—which is when all the Halloween parties happen, because there is almost nothing sadder than a costume party in November—is even closer.

I’m not really sure exactly how Halloween snuck up on us this year, but I suppose time really flies when you’re in a constant state of political, emotional, and existential crisis. If you were really caught unawares and find yourself without a costume, you may be tempted to go down the last-minute, creative, “topical” route.

In previous years, the topical, slightly provocative costume was all the rage: Jersey Shore cast members, whatever Lady Gaga most recently wore, the three-breasted lady…you get it. But in 2017, it’s almost impossible to have a crowd-pleasing topical costume because all of the topics this year suck and/or are traumatic. And no one wants to spend the one day of the year they get to drag it up and be something else completely thinking about just how shitty the world we live in is now.

So please, for your wellbeing and mine, please try to avoid these costumes.

Fake News

Now, the concept of “fake news” does actually have the potential to be a solid Halloween costume. Donald Trump’s consistent attacks on the press, which have rendered him a lying, one-man propaganda machine, really are terrifying. But a skin-tight minidress doesn’t exactly capture the more fearsome aspect of this situation. It’s just lazy. There are far more clever ways to convey “fake news” than a little dress that says “Fake.”

Fix: Maybe you could somehow make this into that Dior newspaper dress Carrie Bradshaw wore on SATC?

The Wall

The Wall” is essentially the epitome and mascot for the immense anti-immigrant sentiment that is increasingly plaguing America today. It’s also an incredibly unoriginal idea for a Halloween costume.

Fix: If you’ve already bought yourself a “The Wall” costume, you can fix it up by painting it white and making it Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Alternatively you can paint the Kool-Aid man bursting through with a jolly “OH YEAH!”

Border Patrol-themed outfits

Again, dressing up as something that is actively ruining thousands of people’s lives is just a shitty thing to do. So whether it’s Border Patrol or ICE, let’s maybe skip the Halloween hot take?

Fix: Maybe change “Border” into “Recorder” and get a bunch of recorders and wail on those for the night. A “Recorder Patrol Agent” would be only slightly less annoying than a Border Patrol Agent. Or maybe you could become a certified therapist and be a “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” Patrol Agent, going around the party and genuinely checking in with people, making sure they’re doing okay, and carrying out some cognitive behavioral treatment exercises.

Sexy Melania

Aside from the general unease of donning the persona of anyone affiliated with the Trump family, a sexy version of the model-turned First Lady is reductive and creepy in light of her husband’s many noted instances of sexually predatory behavior.

Fix: If you for some reason already have this costume, congratulations, you officially have an adequate Britney Spears from the iconic “Toxic” music video costume. Just rip off the sleeves, add a little air hostess hat, and you’re set.

‘Upside Down Honey’

I know, I know. Stranger Things is a cultural phenomenon! The perfect combination of riveting storytelling, thrilling imagination, and comforting nostalgia! But, uh, children don’t really need the classic Hollywood VA VA VOOM treatment. Just say no to Yandy’s “Upside Down Honey” costume.

Fix: If you already bought this costume, it’s not too late. Maybe find yourself four friends to be Sporty, Posh, Ginger, and Scary Spices, and you’re safe! Your new Baby Spice costume, already a playful take on the infantilizing of grown women by the male gaze, is ready to go.

Regular Child but the Child Was a Holocaust Victim


Fix: Pass. Don’t even try to make it a Girl Scout costume. Just don’t do it.

Sexy Fidget Spinner

Again, seeing as how fidget spinners are mostly geared towards children, it does seem kind of strange that one would wear a costume that included the device as nipple alternatives. Besides, as most people know, some of the worst costumes are ones that simply paste the object the costume is supposed to be aping on the costume. You don’t get to stick small Rubix cubes to your nipples and get to call yourself a Rubix cube. You definitely don’t stick small Minion toys to your nipples and get to call yourself a Minion.

Fix: Maybe you could dye the cut black and attach some larger propellers to the spinners and be a Black Hawk?

Sexy Goldfish

The Sexy Goldfish is exactly why we can’t have nice things. Who wants to fuck a goldfish?

Fix: Stay at home and think about the terrible life decisions that brought you here.

Evergreen Miscellaneous Terrible Ideas:

  • Anything that involves changing the color of your skin or facial features or hair to mimic another race. This may include: blackface, brownface, redface, and/or yellowface. If Miley Cyrus can figure out how to dress up as Lil’ Kim without blackface, so can you!
  • Ken Bone. Just bad.
  • Anything that has to do with Harvey Weinstein or his abuse of women.
  • Nazis. Either the ‘40s German ones or the khaki-clad 2017 version. Or anything in between.
  • Anything that involves penises. Guys, there are so many phallocentric Halloween costumes, it’s amazing and incredibly distressing! Take, for example, this “Knight to Remember” costume featuring what appears to be a Renaissance Faire fanboy exposing a plush penis or “What’s Under the Kilt,” its Scottish counterpart. Or this doubly racist and gross “Snake Charmer” costume (guess where the snake is). Or this Aladdin-inspired genie-in-a-lamp costume, featuring a man imploring us to rub the spout of a lamp, which is in the general crotch area. Or THIS, DEAR GOD:

Okay, Happy Halloween! Please don’t fuck it up!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin