Let me clarify -- commercially produced costumes are stupid.
Further clarification -- commercially produced costumes just do stupid stuff. For example, if you have a daughter, you can get her a Jessie from Toy Story outfit. However, the outfit is a dress. Jesse wears pants in the movies. I don't get why this detail had to change -- are people really that determined to drill traditional gender indentifiers at an early age? Especially when Jesse's proper cowboy outfit can be cobbled together from a series of shopping trips?
Admittedly, the traditional male/female dichotomy is silly. But wait until you get to the "grown-ups," and I use the phrase loosely as most grown-ups woud have reservations about wearing some of these things. One year, people simply had a fake barbed spear sticking out of their chest and said they were Steve Irwin. Wow, how topical. I would also like to propose an addendum to Rule 34 -- if it exists, there is a "sexy" costume version of it. From a banana with the bottom peeled open right by the crotch to an actual "sexy Finding Nemo" that was nothing more than a club dress with clownfish coloring and a hat, costumes don't delight or amuse me. I just shake my head and say, "...really?"
(They seem an even bigger rip-off to me now that I know how to sew and can make my own costumes. I was checking out a Batgirl "costume" that was just a tank top sewn onto a skirt with a domino mask and a cape, not even a headband with bat ears. To borrow from an old joke, the material was so thin, it only had one side. It was so thin, you shouldn't wear a bra or anything you don't want clearly traceable through the fabric, although, depending on your anatomy, that could create new problems. And good luck getting it to last more than a couple of wearings. Grand total? $50 plus tax. I could do better than that in my sleep, and I've been sewing for less than half a year. Clearly, I am in the wrong line of work.)
So, obviously, when it comes to commercially produced costumes, outrageousness and being naughty are the operational parameters. But once in a while, someone comes up with something that has you going, "...wait...what?" And that just happened the other day.
An ideal costume is one where you look at it and not only recognize it is a costume, but you should have, at the very least, a vague idea who the costume is supposed to be. So I want you to take a look at this costume for young girls from HalloweenCostume.com (which makes lots of offensive costumes, from Mexican and Chinese stereotypes to a "snake charmer" with a fake snake that goes over your dick), and see if you can guess who this is supposed to be. Go ahead, I'll wait.
A select few of you have already figured this out and are probably picking your jaws up off the floor. You know who you are. For the rest of you? This is an actual costume of Anne Frank.
Yes, THAT Anne Frank. For $25 plus $5 shipping, you get a blue dress with a pinned destination tag, beret, and brown satchel. This isn't a skit on Saturday Night Live, this is real. Ho. Ly. Shit. The listings copy breathlessly exclaimed, "We can always learn from the struggles of history! (What is with the exclamation mark there? -- G) Now, your child can play the role of a World War II hero with this girls World War II costume."
Some people saw this and...didn't react positively. A PR rep posted to Twitter, "Thank you for reaching out. We sell costumes not only for Halloween, but for many uses outside of the Halloween season, such as school projects and plays (Yeah, wear an Anne Frank costume to a comic con. I start a pool on how long it takes for you to get your ass kicked. -- G). We offer several types of historically accurate costumes -- from prominent figures to political figures, to television characters." I owuld like to point out that this "historically accurate" Anne Frank costume is missing the Star Of David. I guess they were afraid of a backlash.
Now, the costume has been removed from the web site and it seems HalloweenCostumes.com is trying to George Orwell it out of existence on the Internet. All the other questionable costumes are still there, though...well, the Mexican stereotype one is sold out, but the rest are still available.
I just sit here and shake my head. How did nobody think this was a bad idea? If someone commissioned me to make something like this, I would have grabbed my +10 LART and chased them from here to Kingdom Come.
Stop the world, I want to get off.