There are two things that always happen this time of year. One, some people will complain endlessly about how early all the stores put up their Christmas decorations too damn early. Two, some people will complain about some offensive costume that some celebrity wore on Halloween.
This year is no exception. At this point, I’m starting to think someone passed a constitutional amendment because this happens every goddamn year and everyone still acts shocked. I don’t know when Halloween became just another date where we can find something to get outraged over, but there’s not enough pumpkin ale in the world to make it palatable.
This year, the big offender is Hillary Duff and her boyfriend, Jason Walsh. What did they wear that was so offensive that it required a big public apology? Well, run to your safe space, close your Twitter feed, and prepare to curl up into a fetal position. This is what they wore.
Have you stopped crying? Are you done getting irreparably traumatized? I know. This is hard on all of us. Hold my hand. We’ll get through this.
Okay, that’s enough sarcasm for now, but as good a coping mechanism you can hope for when an issue is this asinine. I get it. We’re a hypersensitive culture that is just one bad tweet away from ruining lives and starting misguided movements. I don’t know if it’s because we’re bored, scared, or just aren’t getting laid enough. For whatever reason, we need to get offended by at least one costume every Halloween.
Now I don’t know much about Hillary Duff. I know she’s a pretty female celebrity so of course she’s going to be harassed, harangued, and deified in ways no human being can tolerate and maintain their sanity. However, when I look at this picture, I think there are way worse costumes she could’ve worn. Would it have been better if she and her beaux wore this?
I rest my case.
Now don’t get me wrong. I understand there are some costumes that are just in poor taste. Things like wearing a Steve Irwin costume just after he died is definitely in poor taste. It’s not illegal and it won’t get you arrested, but it is a dick move.
There’s just something a bit more potent about costumes that have a racial component and I don’t think it has anything to do with outright racism. It’s not like Hillary Duff and her boyfriend were depicting genocide, torture, and war with their costumes. Sure, they’re not Native American, but why does that disqualify them from wearing these costumes? They’re not formal eveningwear. They’re costumes.
Native Americans definitely have issues. They have issues concerning poverty, unemployment, high suicide rates, and poor health care. These are all serious issues and Hillary Duff wearing an offensive costume neither hinders nor helps this issue. Again, it’s a goddamn costume.
So why do we complain about this every year? Why do we feel the need to point out all the costumes that make the inner 7-year-old cry like we’re on a trip to the dentist? I have my theories. I doubt any of them are wholly accurate, but I like to think I have some insight. Being an erotica/romance writer, I have to understand what makes people tick on some levels.
I think it all comes back to the politically correct concept of being offended not just for ourselves, but for other minorities as well. It’s not enough for them to just be offended. We all have to be offended. I don’t know if it’s just some way for people to guilt themselves for crimes their ancestors committed or to make themselves feel more relevant than they really are. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t fix anything.
If Hillary Duff and her boyfriend hadn’t worn this costume, would the Native American community be better off? Would their lives be easier and would the crimes committed against them hurt less? I doubt it.
I also doubt this is the last time people will get their panties in a bunch over an “offensive” costume. I’ve been to comic book conventions. I’ve seen all kinds of costumes, offensive or otherwise. The world has so many offensive things in it. Costumes worn by women like Hillary Duff aren’t one of them.