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OpEd: Celebrate Halloween in a costume that screams ‘bad taste’

There’s only one day a year when you’ll see a man with a snake attached to his groin or people dressed as sex toys, so let’s not get hung up on political correctness this Halloween.
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Nevil Hunt, October 28, 2013 11:25:23 AM

Much tut-tutting took place this week when an adult Halloween costume making fun of anorexia turned up for sale on some websites. The outfit includes a dress that looks like a skeleton and a belt that’s made from a measuring tape.

No one is being forced to buy or wear the Anna Rexia costume, but that doesn’t stop the prudes amongst us from getting their (sensible) underwear twisted in a knot.

It’s Halloween, and bad taste, the risqué and the politically incorrect should have their day, and/or night.

The thin-skinned get offended on behalf of people who may not be offended at all. Did anyone ask someone with anorexia if they found the Anna Rexia costume offensive? Maybe the vast majority who have dealt with the eating disorder would have a long, hard laugh.

Revealing Halloween outfits are offensive to some. Pregnant nuns are no longer original. Guns and swords supposedly breed violence. Where to draw the line?

The appropriateness of some kids’ Halloween outfits has also been a topic of Internet teeth-gnashing. A few adult-themed costumes seem to come in small sizes and some of them are too revealing or hyper-sexualized, say some.

Mom and dad know the maturity level of their kids and what is appropriate for them. We have to trust their decisions.

And if parents are going to make bad decisions about their kids’ Halloween costumes – and send a daughter out dressed like a stripper – that’s probably the least of the child’s worries. Greater parenting errors probably lie ahead.

The creativity involved in making you gasp and howl about the tastelessness of a given outfit should be encouraged. We all live vicariously through the person willing to take the greatest chance to offend.

Parody is powerful, be it political or social and it’s something we should treasure, not bash.

Somewhere there’s someone who can act offended by any given costume. Anyone who would strap on a snake or show a whole lot of flesh is pushing your buttons; will you let your buttons be pushed?

We need to see a little abnormality so there’s some contrast between our button-down normality and the annual buttons-off, dress-up day. Even devout Catholics jump into the frenzy of Carnival and Mardi Gras each year.

It’s all make-believe, and on Nov. 1, we’ll be back to politically correct reality. To anyone who pretends to be shocked and appalled by what they see at Halloween, I say lighten up.

Editor’s note: Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder and can be fatal if left untreated. If you or anyone you know is showing signs of anorexia, we encourage you to seek professional help immediately.

Image: Ricky’s Halloween

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