Fashion Discussion: When Does a Halloween Costume Become Offensive?

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?


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