There’s no sexy Anne Frank costume yet. But give it time. Considering the Halloween industry’s instincts, it’s inevitable.
Halloween is a multi-billion dollar industry predicated almost entirely on guesswork. Each year, starting sometime around January, clothes and trinket makers try to guess October’s hottest trend in time to cheaply mass produce it. Sometimes the trend-guessing game works—the inventor of the “rasta hat” is a millionaire—and sometimes you’re stuck with 400,000 plastic bags filled with Guru Pitka costumes.
But when trend-guessing mixes with bad judgment, the Halloween industry gets weird.
This month, social media users were aghast when the online Halloween store HalloweenCostumes.com offered a children’s costume based on the diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank. Featuring a blue long-sleeved dress with an elastic beret and an over the shoulder brown bag, the costume was, for some, like a punch in the gut. Anne Frank’s story is a window into one of the great horrors of the 20th century. Maybe it’s not appropriate to mix into a day of passing out fun sized Snickers bars to grade schoolers.
The costume company said that it was meant for theatrical productions and not necessarily for trick or treating and it was pulled from the site.
And now to modern Nazis. Expect all the Mike Cernovich/Richard Spencer Proud Boys to look like devoted Pink Floyd fans during their tiki torch-lit trick or treating jaunts. To honor daddy Trump’s quixotic and misguided goal of building a wall on the border between America and Mexico, they can don “The Wall” costume offered by online Halloween store Partycity.com.
Party City’s description doesn’t explain the costume’s intentions. The brick pattern and font choice seem designed to evoke the iconic (but, let’s face it, overrated) Pink Floyd album The Wall but since it’s 2017 and everything’s about Trump, the “build that wall” meaning is pretty right there too. If you see someone wearing it, challenge them to name a single song from Piper’s at the Gates of Dawn.
With Stranger Things returning to Netflix this Halloween season, it’s natural that that people would want to dress up as their favorite characters from the show. It gets less natural when someone dresses up as a sexy version of one of the elementary school-aged characters.
Stranger Things is not a sexy show. Nonetheless, the -inspired “Upside Down Honey” ensemble features a short pink dress, thigh-high socks and a waffle-shaped bag. The model for the costume also sports a nosebleed and a pair of stiletto heels perfect for traversing nightmare parallel dimensions.
The weirdest thing is that you can easily send out almost all of the same mixed signals without sexualizing a child with the sexy Pennywise costume.