Halloween has long been a time for pushing the envelope and exploring topics that would otherwise be taboo.
With that in mind, it may not be so odd that Spirit Halloween has announced it will launch a Caitlyn Jenner costume for the 2015 season.
No surprise that a controversial subject is being capitalized on by a major retailer – but is it acceptable? The internet is blowing up with disagreements on the subject, but Spirit is standing behind its choice.
“Caitlyn Jenner has proven to be the most important real-life superhero of the year,” said Trisha Lombardo, the company’s PR manager, “and Spirit Halloween is proud to carry the costume that celebrates her.”
But is that just so much fluff to cover a nastier motive: humiliating a group that’s already behind the 8-ball a far as mainstream public opinion?
“There’s no tasteful way to ‘celebrate’ Caitlyn Jenner or respect transgender people this way on the one night of the year when people use their most twisted imaginations to pretend to be villains and monsters,” Vincent Villano of the National Center for Transgender Equality told the Huffington Post in a statement.
Other outspoken opinion pieces agree, including Huffpost Gay Voices. This article on the subject is up to 899 strident comments and counting, with input running from respectful disagreement to verbal fur- and fist-flying.
Meanwhile, some individuals are pointing to a long history of lampooning public figures on Halloween – not with hatred, but in the spirit of fun and self-expression. “What about when we’d dress up as presidents, or when men dress up as women routinely on Halloween for the last 100 years? Or any other thing that *might* offend someone? Seriously, everyone is offended by EVERYTHING. It needs to stop,” claimed poster Jessica Harris-Breeding in reference to the Huffpost Gay Voices article.
It’s a tough call. Halloween is about expressing oneself, after all – and poking fun at celebrities who otherwise seem untouchable.
Where to draw the line between self-expression and intolerance hiding behind a mask? Like Halloween itself, that question will probably remain controversial for some time to come…with freedom being the call from both sides.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? Sound off below!