Yes, it is that time of the year again. It may be August, but topical and tasteless Halloween costumes are already popping up — ready to destroy what should be a beautiful night of guilt-free candy consumption.
Case in point: There is now a Caitlyn Jenner costume, based on her iconic Vanity Fair cover, one that transgender supporters say makes a mockery out of her choice to live as her true self.
It is, of course, nothing new to mine current events for an edgy Halloween costume. You might recall last year’s Sexy Ebola Nurse while the U.S. faced what it feared was an epidemic. And some make the argument that paying tribute to an inspiring public figure by dressing up as them for Halloween is actually an honor.
But that isn’t the intention here, according to a new Change.org petition requesting the costume’s recall.
“To make a costume out of a marginalized identity reduces that person and community to a stereotype for privileged people to abuse,” the petition says. “In this case, if you follow through with production of a Caitlyn Jenner costume, cisgender people will purchase it to make fun of her and our community.”
The “Unisex Call Me Caitlyn Costume” is under the “humorous” category of costume supplier WholesaleCostumes.com. Some might say that labeling the costume “humorous” undermines the the struggles transgender people like Jenner go through every day.
The costume is also categorized as “humorous” AnyTimeCostumes.com. “You probably won’t break any Twitter records when you wear this outfit like Caitlyn did when she first made her account,” the website promises, “but you’ll be sure to get a few laughs out of your friends and the other guests at the get together.”
Spirit Halloween, a franchise of pop up costume shops, tried to put a positive spin on the outfit when confirmed to The Daily News that it will sell the Jenner costumes this year. “Caitlyn Jenner has proven to be the most important real-life superhero of the year,” it said. “Spirit Halloween is proud to carry the costume that celebrates her.”