November 2nd, 2012
Celebrity Style, Fashion Discussion, Rihanna
Fashion Discussion: When Does a Halloween Costume Become Offensive?
By The Fashion Bomb Staff


I’ll be completely honest; I’m obsessed with Halloween. Though it’s typically thought of as a ‘kiddie’ thing, it also seems tailor made for the creative set. Each year I look forward to seeing how my friends and celebrities alike will outdo their looks from the year prior (Hello! Heidi Klum, anyone?!). This year, with Hurricane Sandy coinciding with the holiday, I didn’t expect too much. Alas, I was mistaken.

Rihanna received quite a few side eyes when she decided to dress up as Mary Jane , a.k.a. Marajuana, a.k.a. Kush, a.k.a. Di Herb (sidenote: Lady Gaga also sported a Marijuana themed costume). She undoubtedly looked stunning, yet some of her own supporters felt her costume skewed tacky making sarcastic comments like, “Queen of Class…”

Rih’s on-again-off-again boo Chris Brown also seemed to ignite an uproar when he uploaded a picture to Instagram of himself along with friends dressed as what seemed to be terrorists, complete with the caption, “Ain’t nobody f*cking with my clique,” a reference to a Kanye West song. In a matter of minutes social media spun into a tizzy with countless people chiming in on how utterly nonsensical his choice of costume was.  While you’d think it’s a no brainer this was inappropriate, there were folks who were quick to come to the singer’s defense saying, “He’s not dressed as a terrorist….He’s dressed as a member of the Afghan military. Leave that baby alone”, and “Best Halloween costume yet”, just to quote a few of the comments circulating the web.

Country singer LeAnn Rimes also found herself in the midst of a debate when she decided to dress up as Sandy from the iconic musical, Grease. Any other year this costume probably wouldn’t have been given much thought, but in the wake of a merciless hurricane, unfortunately of the same name, many believed her Halloween garb was in poor taste.

My stance? At this point, there isn’t a thing Rihanna or Chris Brown can do that would come as a surprise to me; I’ve become desensitized to their shenanigans. I do, however, feel LeAnn’s costume was a bit insensitive considering the extent of the damage the storm caused mere moments before. While she most likely planned this ahead of time, I’m sure it wouldn’t have taken much to resort to a plan B (hello, ghost costume?) in light of recent events.

What do you think? Did you find any of these costumes offensive? Or were they all just in good fun?

~Cliché

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59 Responses to “Fashion Discussion: When Does a Halloween Costume Become Offensive?”

  1. lolodoll1 says:

    Chris Brown and his clique definitely get a “go sit yo a** down somewhere” from me. Just straight ignorant. Rihanna – not much to say about her outfit as I wouldn’t have known who and/or what she went as if it wasn’t stated. I don’t find Leann’s costume to be offensive as both she and her husband are dressed as Grease characters. She’s not walking around with a big Sandy sign. Only makes sense to “match” her hubby / beau or whatever the heck he is nowadays.

  2. Goldiloxx says:

    You are seriously going to sit there and say Leann Rimes was bring insensitive because she dressed up as a character named Sandy during the hurricane? And say its okay for Rihanna to dress like weed and Chris Brown to dress like the taliban? It’s okay because of their personalities? Because they do shocking things all the time? Corny response. The only thing I can say is Leann Rimes don’t even do grease justice here. That’s her flaw.

  3. meekaG says:

    Being a classic character from a movie…. Offensive?? This has to be a joke. Right? Thats just like bullying someone that has a same name as a hurricane. I’ve seen it with Katina. It’s not right. Its stupid.

  4. SHA says:

    Leanns costume should not be offensive to anyone. So if there is someone named Sandy, we are not to call their name or reference them. DUMB !

  5. I’m not sure how Leann’s costume is offensive. It’s Sandy from Grease, she is not dressed up as a storm. LOL. I’m starting to think that society is being a little too…. “Punk a**”. These costume are humorous, some even a little corny, but to get offended over a Halloween costume is unnecessary. Let these people live. I don’t celebrate Halloween, because I understand the meaning behind it, but I also don’t condemn the folks that do and their costume choices. People can’t seem to do anything anymore, without offending somebody. It’s a costume, geez. Back to the fashion…

  6. Audrey says:

    Chris Brown never fails to disappoint me!! Not only is he a misogynist homophobe, he is also very ignorant to cultural imperialism i.e his custom. Making making a mockery of a specific culture for the his entertainment. Yet the ladies still love Chris, i guess a cute face negates all the ignorance in the world!

  7. tasha says:

    I really dont see how Leann’s costume is offensive. So many people dress up as that character every year. She probably had the costume before the weather team even named “sandy”, sandy.

    Chris has lost all my support. Words cant express how disappointed I am in him. 6,000 people + lost there lives on 9/11 because of terrorist attacks and he thinks this cute. Nope have a seat and grow up.

    Riri is being riri.

  8. Audrey says:

    Doesnt he have a song called “dont judge me”?? He brings the drama to himself by engaging in this nonsense!

  9. Teddy says:

    I was Sandy on Saturday had nothing to do with the storm. I def wasn’t going to change it for the sake of some overly sensitive people. Should people with the nickname Sandy ask that people refer to them as Sandra because of the hurricane? Alsothe weed costume is ok it’s not like she was dressed as a crack pipe lol. Chris Brown is just…..

  10. Cate says:

    Rihanna and Leanne’s costumes don’t bug me. I would have thought RiRi was a corpse bride if it wasn’t stated, and Leanne’s costume was probably planned, and it innocuous on it’s own. CB on the other hand… I’m tired of being angry with his shenanigans. He is clearly an ignorant and insensitive asshole.

  11. Jen says:

    Its all in good fun. There always has to be that ONE person that is too sensitive tho.

  12. iCan't says:

    Not surprised by Rihanna we all know she is on this pot smoking rampage. However, Chris was definitely insensitive. If someone dressed as the KKK or Hitler people would find it offensive so he gets no pass for his Halloween get up. As far as Leann no comment because people are reaching with that one.

  13. Lil says:

    I think society tends to get too offended over nothing. LeAnn’s costume has absolutely no connection to the hurricane and Rihanna well….she’s just being Rihanna. Chris Brown obviously knew that his costume would create some sort of controversy so probably did that purposely. I think there are much more bigger problems to worry about in the world than what celebs choose to wear for Halloween.

  14. Papi says:

    Put it like this…there are some people who care about the message they’re sending to the world, while there are others who would rather be oblivious. It’s a personal preference.

  15. Aw man says:

    There is NOTHING wrong with Leanne’s costume!!! Ugh! People just want to be mad for nothing, it’s so irritating! Leave that woman alone, this has nothing to do with the storm…ugh.

    As for Chris brown, I strongly dislike that guy. Can’t deny he’s talented but I wish people would stop gassing him up – makes him think it’s alright. But really he’s stupid ignorant…

  16. Jazz says:

    People are reading too much in LeAnns costume. It was a mere coincidence that the hurricane was named Sandy. Geez

  17. pinchez says:

    @Lil you said it right. Leave it at that

  18. Pari says:

    Chris’s outfit was wrong, wrong, and wronger. I don’t have a problem with the other ones though. We already know Rihanna is not a role model, and LeAnn’s costume was fine.

  19. Jlynn719 says:

    People need to leave LeAnn alone… seriously it was a coincidence!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Rihanna’s custome is sexy without being over the top.wouldnt have guessed what she was dressed as if it hadnt been stated. Love it, nothing offensive about it. She is such a pretty girl.

  21. Lighten up! They’re just costumes!

  22. fcb247 says:

    @Goldiloxx said it best…corny response

  23. Dom says:

    People need to find a sense of humor. That Chris Brown costume is hilarious! I died laughing at that. As for Rhi I’m not impressed nor am I offended. And if we agree the Sandy costume was pre-planned, why the world is this even a discussion.

    It’s Halloween- lighten up!

  24. Shay says:

    Chris Brown is an A**hole if he thinks its ok to walk around dressed like that! ?He needs reality check…I mean come on, the amount of ppl who lost their lives and the wars that went down…really tho?? LeAnn and her fam look cute and Ri looks like a dead bride!

  25. Jesse says:

    Chris Brown is a PR nightmare

  26. Lisa says:

    I can understand the uproar over Chris’ costume, it was in poor taste but everyone else, please.

    No one is trying to be ‘classy’ on Halloween. People find any and everything to get offended over. I thought Rihanna’s costume was cute. It’s funny because Gaga was also weed for Halloween but I don’t recall anyone calling her tacky or anything for it but it’s an issue when Rihanna does it? I don’t understand it. Why isn’t Wiz Kalifia’s costume considered offensive considering he was an actual blunt for Halloween? No one finds that ‘offensive’? People do too much.

    As for Leann Rimes’ costume, wrong timing. Not ‘offensive’ but maybe given the circumstance she could’ve gone a different route.

  27. AzizMom says:

    Mission accomplished – folks are talking about Rihanna, C-Breezy and (gasp) LeAnn Rhimes. I don’t expect much more from Rih & Chris because they prove over and over they are simple and love the antics (and attention) of Hollyweird. LeAnn and her family look cute (however I really wish she’s eat something).

  28. Anonymous says:

    really LeAnn’s costume made u feel like she was being insentive? Maybe you just said that so we could get rawled up and get the discussion going.

  29. Dee says:

    Sorry but I can’t agree with the idea that l
    Leann was being insensitive. Sandy is the name of the character in the movie. Nothing more. Nothing less. My future sister in law’s nickname is Sandy. Come on….where are we going with this. Boooooooo.

  30. @paparazzi_promo says:

    they’re customes are fun it’s not that serious

  31. mirage says:

    Just as dressing up as a Nazi is inappropriate so is this whole Taliban business. I cannot cosign on finding hilarity in oppressive regimes. Chris Brown is ridiculous, he’s not funny, he has anger issues and he spends most of his time whining about people’s perception of him and then he pulls a stunt like this? As for Leann Rimes she is getting punished for her cheating ways to be honest. People will use any chance to hate on her because you know she’s is the first celbrity to cheat……….

  32. Cliche says:

    @Goldiloxx and @fcb247 If you were able to properly get into the subtext of my response regarding Rihanna and Chris Brown, you would have been able to realize that I am in no way in favor of their choice of Halloween costumes, I’m just personally not surprised nor shocked by it and don’t feel the need to continuously debase them.

    In regards to LeAnn, I stand behind my feelings that her costume was insensitive and in poor timing. As a person who weathered the storm here in NYC, and was privy to various memes on social media using pictures of Grease’s Sandy to mock the hurricane before its arrival, it’s clear that there was some sort of connection for many. At this moment in time, when that name is uttered it immediately conjures images of loss and devastation for those who were affected. That might be difficult for those who didn’t witness it first hand, so I understand the seeming harmlessness in it all.

  33. EatStylePlay says:

    So dressing up as the Taliban is okay when they slaughter innocent women and children, when they are trained to hate americans and any other nation that isn’t following their guidlines?? The same army said they are responsible for taking down our towers? They just shot a little girl for wanted education for women. WHen you begin to educate yourself on things like this, it’s not funny to see this. He knows full well what he was going for and he is a liar if he thinks we are going to believe that. IF someone dressed as Nazi’s would that be funny, would be all fun and games and fun? I doubt it. Personally i dont care if Gaga and Rihanna dressed as weed, that’s their business and not totally offensive, if you want to dress as a plant fine but terrorist…nah.

  34. Goldiloxx says:

    @cliche I live in NY too sweetheart. Lost my power for 4 days, lost all my food out my fridge and freezer. My friend lost everything in her apartment and her new car. Thank god, nothing worse. But it sure ain’t Leann Rimes fault. I just think u going in on shorty for no reason.

  35. Thumbs down Chris Brown.

    (rhyming skills to pay the bills!) LOL

  36. Loni says:

    LeAnn’s costume was not at all offensive. Cliche you may have read too much into it. Spongebob has a friend named Sandy should his episodes not aire?

  37. mary says:

    im personanlly offended at Leann costume cuz IM TOO SENSITIVE

  38. Miss Everything says:

    This poll is going to be skewed because you lumped everyone into 1 question.

    Leann: NO I don’t think it was insensitive. Good grief people
    Chris: Absolutely Offensive! Proves he is a jack***
    Rihanna: Stupid costume. They girl is back sliding so fast.

  39. Aw man says:

    Lmao @Loni lololol. Spongebob lol. Hilarious…
    :)

  40. whatevs says:

    Chris’s costume was ignorant but what do you expect…Rihanna and Leann…people need to get out of their feelings…People bop to songs praising weed all day long but you’re so offended by this costume…bye…and the Sandy reach is beyond an eyeroll…

  41. Juice love says:

    It’s all in fun people need to lighten up

  42. binks says:

    Costumes these days are either slutty or offensive (to someone) so either way I am not offended nor do I care. Halloween just bacame one big epic joke lately that it isn’t funny nor shocking to me anymore…shrugs

  43. chellzzzz says:

    Oh well if Leanne’s costume is offensive they should stop airing the movie Grease and every woman named Sandy needs to go and change their name just so they won’t offend anyone girl BYE! I can def see how Chris’ costume is offensive and Rihanna’s costume was just plain dumb

  44. Nraw says:

    If he was white/asian/hispanic/middle eastern and dressed in black face with big gold chains, an afro wig, a gun and his jeans hanging off his ass, not one black person would be saying “oh he’s being creative, people are too sensitive, and it’s halloween”. Take a seat hypocrites!

  45. Fashion Snob says:

    Wait, am I the only one who noticed that the kid beside Leanne and Eddy is in blackface?! Her dressing up as a character from Grease is likely bad timing, but there’s never a right time for blackface. Why aren’t we talking about the offensive nature of that mini-minstrel show? I hope I’m wrong, but it looks like he’s dressed up like a character from Tropic Thunder.

  46. jhess says:

    The world is so annoying. Everyone has to do things to make OTHERS happy. Sad. They can be whomever they want! I wouldn’t have resorted to a damn thing.

  47. farrah says:

    ugh! Weed is herb, Sandy is a name, CB is just him…. This world is taking a turn on everybody!!! People got nothing else to talk about! That’s Why God keeps washing us away cause even he can’t stand us No More! We can do better than sit and nag about Halloween costumes. Lately we complain and judge everyone its not Our job. live ur own damn life, Because life is too damn short!

  48. T says:

    Oh gosh why are people so extreme…hello its Halloween!!! Let people do wat they want to do…no one is talking about how insensitive it is to open my door to Native Americans,or little Devils, or Jesus…etc…grow up people & talk about more important things not aww I’m hurt by wat he or she wore…are u really???

  49. Andie says:

    I wish ppl would get out their feelings. Its all fun n games!! I mean if we wanna get technical im offended ppl dress up for halloween because im Christian!

  50. tonya says:

    So dressing up as terrorist(9/11) isnt offensive to someone from ny but anything that has something to do with the word sandy is….if thats your reasoning for this it is totally left field to me and makes no sense.

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