Let’s get a few things out of the way before we begin: no, not every Halloween costume sucks and not everyone who wears a sucky costume is an eejit (although a fair few are). I’m also narrowing in specifically on a certain type of costume, that is to say, the ones that are based on animated properties we all know and love. In lots of ways, they should be awesome but sadly in so many, more realistic ways, they suck.
Have a look at any of these and see if you can spot what’s wrong:
This one caused a ruckus when it became apparent that only small, slim sizes existed; quite ironic considering the nature of the character.
Care Bear – Bedtime Bear
OK, so besides the fact that they’re all “sassy” what else do you notice? Perhaps the fact that they’re all based on films and the like that are suitable for kids?
Yes, all the above are based on animation that is suitable for kids to watch and it raises and number of questions, but also some concerns. First of all, why??? Why would anyone want to make a “sassy” Care Bear? I mean really, I’m sure there are a few members of the furry community who have notions, but for everyone else, it’s surely a bit too much, right? Secondly, none of the costumes even come close to accurately representing what they’re supposed to. Now I know that fancy dress isn’t known for being entirely accurate, but you can go too far the other way too. At what point does the costume stop being a representation of a character and instead become a kind of perverted homage to it?
You’ll also notice that all the costumes above are for women. Why? Well I simply couldn’t find a “sassy” male version of animated characters and I certainly wasn’t going to type “Assless chaps Andy” into Google let alone publish it here. Yup, the Disney Adult line is all women, so sorry lads, we’re neglected when it comes to skimpy costumes of Disney characters.
Besides the questionable moral issues (you’ll notice all the above costumes are for adults because I sure as hell won’t post the ones for the teens, but do check out Rebecca Hains’ post on the topic of kid’s costumes), such costumes (while naturally made for adults) will be seen by kids at some point. And therein lies the dilemma. Kids are smart, and they can instantly recognise characters even when they don’t look like they should. So what kind of message does it send when kids see a risque version of their favourite character? Will it confuse them? Probably not, but it will send them mixed messages. All that hard work that Sesame Street does to educate could be wiped out by the sexy Ernie and Bert costumes.
Can costumes be done right? Of course! Check these ones out.
Jessie from Toy Story
So these ones are grand. Why can’t people be satisfied with them? Why the need to go so far in the other direction? I don’t know. Costumes like the ones at top were only ever sold in the joke shops at home with that special corner in the back, and even then none of them were licensed! I suppose it’s just a wee bit depressing that in order for adults to enjoy dressing up as animated characters, makers and studios feel the need to spice things up.