Halloween is almost upon us, and with it, the inevitable wave of tasteless costumes with no value beyond the shock that anyone would consider them at all. They can be generically awful (see: any form of blackface), or they can hinge on timely news events that will lend them credibility until everyone forgets the reference a couple months later.
And really, what better way is there to parse this turbulent year in news than through "sexy" Halloween costume interpretations?
1) "The Dress" confuses the entire internet (February 2015)
For one glorious and utterly strange day, the whole internet was captivated by collective confusion at this picture of A Dress. People fell into two camps, namely, "white and gold!" and "blue and black!" Co-workers became enemies. Celebrities became people. Friendships dissolved. It was a very confusing time.
Flash forward several months, and of course, you can now purchase The Dress to have for your very own:
(Note: Hanging on to The Dress much past Halloween will leave you with a blatantly ugly item of clothing.)
2) Rachel Dolezal is revealed to be of white heritage (June 2015)
When Spokane's NAACP president admitted that she was of white heritage, after saying otherwise for years, it set off a firestorm of controversy, debate, and panicked visions of Halloween, which already has a bad track record with Afro wigs.
No one has been foolish enough to sell a DIY Dolezal costume kit quite yet. Until that ill-advised day, we have Fashion Police panelist Kelly Osbourne demonstrating the folly of trying:
At the very least, though, Osbourne's "Call Me Rachel" caption gives me the perfect segue to our next costume.
3) Caitlyn Jenner comes out as transgender on the cover of Vanity Fair (June 2015)
The following is not a joke: My first reaction to Caitlyn Jenner's stunning, historic Vanity Fair cover was the creeping horror at the Halloween Industrial Complex's eventual interpretations. Sure enough, it delivered, and then some.
The first entry comes courtesy of Spirit Halloween, which sells a white corset and a flowing wig for 50 American dollars.
There's currently a Change.org petition calling for the costume's removal.
Then there's a contender from Costumeish's "Hot Takes" section, a horrifying phrase in and of itself:
Fifty bucks for a tank top, a ratty wig, and a picture you could print out from online. Nice. And you know someone at Costumeish was thrilled to pieces at the "Bruce Gender" pun, which is about all you need to know about the "Hot Takes" section.
4) Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president (June 2015)
As Donald J. Trump descended the escalator, hair swooping, jaw set in determination, costume shops across the nation perked up. Something was rustling in the political sphere, and the possibility of creating a novelty costume out of it was in reach. Surely this at least meant an opportunity to use those orange wigs people rarely buy, because dressing as "black and orange" for Halloween is so pointless that you might as well do nothing at all.
And since, as discussed, Halloween costumes are 75 terrible, there was just no way a Donald Trump costume would come into being without a sexed-up version following closely behind. Cue "Donna T. Rumpshaker," an impressive entry in the fiercely competitive Worst Sexy Costumes race from consistent frontrunner Yandy.com:
For just $70 — no, wait, the hat's an extra $8, and the (unrealistically luxurious) combover wig is another $10. Okay, so for just $88 you, too, can beat a dead campaign horse into the cold October ground.
5) Minions captures hearts and minds with merch and fart jokes (July 2015)
A Despicable Me spinoff starring Gru's squeaky yellow Minions sounded like a joke, until, very suddenly, it wasn't. The movie made $115 million in its first weekend, making it the second-highest-grossing animation debut in history (just behind Shrek the Third's $121 million). By August, it had hit $1 billion worldwide. So you can make fun of the Minions all you like, but with that kind of money, the sneaky jerks are here to stay.
This, of course, extends to Halloween. There will undoubtedly be a rash of tiny children bopping about in overalls, and that should be adorable — and then there's "Desirable Me."
6) Donald Trump blames Megyn Kelly's aggressive debate moderating on "blood coming out of her ... wherever" (August 2015)
I wrestled with including this costume, because it's yet another entry from Costumeish's "Hot Takes" section which, again, I would set on fire if I could. But there just isn't a better example of how dumb topical Halloween costumes can be when people try to get "shocking" with it, because look at it:
A couple of questions about this costume:
- Is this implying that Megan Kelly is a bloody tampon?
- Dear god, why?!
7) A Minnesotan dentist takes down Cecil the lion (August/September 2015)
Another "hot take" costume I'm loath to include, because again, Yandy knows what it's doing with these things. But such was Cecil the lion's impact that leaving him off this list would be a noticeable omission.
Here is Yandy's entrant, modeled by Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson:
She later apologized and changed the caption to "lion costume," but just look at that catsuit. Have you ever seen anything more Cecil?
Not to be outdone, Costumeish's Hot Takes section spit out this little number:
Stay classy, Costumeish.
8) A rodent drags pizza down stairs, is dubbed Pizza Rat, is probably our new overlord — unless he was all along? (September 2015)
I don't get Pizza Rat. Rats have accomplished much more impressive feats than transporting one measly slice of pizza down a staircase — like, for instance, wiping out millions of people with a plague.
But I have to say that I might get this Pizza Rat costume. As in, I might have to buy it.
Don't get me wrong: It is awful. It's an affront to costumes, and creativity, and even that dumb rat that got more fame than it knew what to do with. But if there's any terrible sexy costume to hitch your wagon to, it should probably be the one with pizza pockets, and —
Well played, Yandy. See you next year.
9) And finally: Burger King introduces a black burger for Halloween (October 2015)
Burger King's black burger seemed like just another harmless corporate holiday gambit. Then it started turning human waste green, and lo, a novelty costume was born.
Of course, this is just a DIY idea, because if you're going to do this to the world, you better take responsibility for yourself.
[Costumes are not hyperlinked because Vox does not endorse purchasing any of these costumes, except possibly Pizza Rat. —ed.]