Frightgeist, a Halloween themed Google Trends board, has released the top searched Halloween costumes of 2016. At both national and local levels, the site lists 5+ of the most popular searches for those who are lacking in inspiration, or making sure they aren’t one in a sea of many.
On the national level, the top ten most searched costumes were Harley Quinn, The Joker, Superhero, Pirate, Wonder Woman, Witch, Batman, Star Wars, Clown, and Dinosaur. On a local level, meaning the New York City area, the top five were all in the top ten, just a different order, though Harley Quinn remained the top.
Thankfully the full list doesn’t include a lot of the more problematic costumes such as Geisha or Native American. It mostly consisted of nice classics like fairy, princess, cowboy, an array of superheroes, Disney characters, and kid’s shows. Only the top pair on the list brings up any problems.
Due to the release of the movie Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn and The Joker’s relationship has been made into something of some big, sexy rendezvous. While some have a problem with the sexualization of Quinn’s costume, originally a red and black checkered jester bodysuit, the modern adaptation, which actually had been around since DC’s New 52, isn’t what is bothersome.
It’s the fact that within the comics themselves that feature the duo, the relationship between them is full of physical and emotional abuse. After all, Quinn used to be The Joker’s psychiatrist until he manipulates her into falling in love with him and becoming his unwavering sidekick, enduring abuse like getting pushed into a vat of acid. But with this ignored, in part to the movie barely depicting the abuse, it’s just another costume with underlying distaste.
However those two are trendy, good for maybe one year until the next hot movie role. But there are a few that stay classic through the years, Britney Spears in her “Oops I Did It Again” video, Tom Cruise’s underwear scene in Risky Business, or Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction. These, though perhaps overdone, are what we call the good. But as for the bad and the ugly? Well the list just keeps growing.
The most obviously despised costumes are the blatantly racially offensive ones, the mariachi bands or more recently a “terrorist” costume matching the dress of the Middle East. Even more timely are costumes that are mocking of Caitlyn Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s robbing, and Bill Cosby‘s rape allegations.
Celebrities haven’t been exempt from the trend. Julianne Hough who dressed in “darker foundation” to be Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black, Heidi Klum who was Hindu goddess Kali, or even Lily Allen who was Gynecologist Dr. Luke, Ke$ha’s sexual assaulter have all received backlash for their costume choices.
With celebrities and college campus’ alike under higher scrutiny in the past few years, due to rise of social media and social awareness, hopefully the fairly tame Google searches reveal a new trend: taste.
-Cassandra Gagnon for The Untitled Magazine