Wal-Mart pulls 'naughty' toddler Halloween costume
Outfits for the fall holiday are increasingly pushing the envelope, leading to apologies and yanked merchandise.
Exactly when Halloween transformed into an excuse for adults to wear "sexy pirate" outfits may never be known, but Wal-Mart (WMT) is now finding out that pushing "naughty" costumes for toddlers is going over as well as slipping razor blades into apples.
After complaints from parents, the retailer is pulling a costume called "Naughty Leopard" from its shelves, reports the Houston Chronicle. Some worried the outfit tapped into a "sex sells" strategy that sexualizes children.
Proving that tasteless Halloween costumes know no boundaries, Britain has its own scandals.
Two British supermarket chains are backing down after offering "mental patient" costumes. Asda, which is owned by Wal-Mart, apologized for its costume, which featured a meat cleaver and a blood-covered straightjacket, and said it would make a donation to a mental health charity, the BBC notes.
Tesco, not to be outdone, apologized for its orange "psycho ward" jumpsuit costume, which featured a plastic jaw restraint and machete. Both retailers are pulling the costumes.
Still, the leopard costume was more a victim of its description than the clothing itself, since the dress features a fairly traditional girl's frock, with a set of cat ears to add a feline dimension. It's hardly titillating or shocking, but the negative reaction may be due to the strange dichotomy of Halloween.
Once the purview of elementary-age trick-or-treaters, the holiday now is an excuse for grownups to don "sexy" costumes, ranging from a "sassy" Ursula the Witch get-up to a "sexy" Bert or Ernie ensemble (yes, as in "Sesame Street").
How did this all come about? Maybe it was Elvira's sexy vampire look back in the 1980s, or the notoriously line-crossing Greenwich Village Halloween parade, as Slate notes. And of course, the holiday has always been about pushing boundaries, given that it was once believed to be the day when the spirits of the dead revisited their homes.
Still, it shouldn't require a psychic to know that sexy toddler costumes and outfits equating mental illness with violence are going to fly as well as the Great Pumpkin.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
It's a shame the way Halloween has been turned around. When I was young we didn't buy costumes because they did not have them to sell. The fun of the day was making up your own costume with what we had at home. we would use cork that our dad would char for us moms old make up talc powder and presto we were a hobo or a clown. using dads old jacket and pants with a hat we were a scarecrow. We had fun making our costumes and then parading down Main St. Trying for a prize. What fun we had
haha Just talking about this on FB. This is stupid to pull because some people sexualized a non-sexual word. I understand that some heavy brow people equate the word naughty to the naughty nurse or naughty nun in Halloween costumes, however, the word naughty just means bad. The outfit itself is perfectly chaste as it should be for a baby or toddler or child. I will agree though, what the hell is a naughty leopard anyway? Is it because it's a purple leopard?
The mental patient one was plain idiotic and should NEVER have been released.
The sexy thing came about when women figured it was the one night a year they could dress like a hooker (figuratively and literally) and not be judged for it. Fantasies abound with Halloween afterall. It's my fave and I love costumes, but never felt the need to get naked about it.
That's like naming something "Terrible Chocolate Cookies" when the cookies are good.
Kids wouldn't really care about the naughty cause they aren't perverted.... yet..... thankfully.
Who ARE these complainers? It's Halloween, for goodness sake. There was nothing "naughty" at all about kid's outfit. Just the name. They should change it to "Sexy Leopard".
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