When you’re dreaming up the perfect, poignant Halloween costume this year, it’s tempting to turn to the headlines in search of inspiration. After all, politics has taken as much of the spotlight in 2018 as anything else. It’s bled into practically every conceivable facet of American.
Of course, that same prevalence has also turned several topics (and potential Halloween costumes) into hot-button issues. If you walk into a party wearing the wrong costume, people can go from zero to pissed in nanoseconds. So, when you’re sifting through the local thrift store to find the perfect Halloween threads for the upcoming costume-fest, make sure to steer clear of the following.
1. Don’t Go As Putin or a Russian Election Meddler
I mean, if you think mocking the decimation of American democracy is funny, then, by all means, go as Putin holding up a little Trump marionette.
2. Don’t Go As a Charlottesville Protestor
A polo shirt and a tiki torch might seem like an easy costume to throw together, but the close-minded bigots who marched in Charlottesville deserve to be relegated to the ash heap of history.
3. A Trump Costume Isn’t the Insult You Think It Is
Across the United States (and, quite probably, the entire world) there’s a bunch of people who want to stick it to the President of the United States by going out dressed like a bloated, pimply, wig-wearing abomination that’s supposed to make a caricature of Donald Trump.
You think it’s a joke at his expense, but there’s something to remember: Trump is a megalomaniac who loves any and all attention he can get. You can bet that November 1, he’s going to take a short break from tweeting something awful to check and see how many dolts decided to use his visage as a Halloween costume.
4. Blackface Isn’t F&*$ing Funny
You’d think this goes without saying in 2018, but every year there’s some frat house at some state school where all the members are apparently majoring in Obliviousness with a minor in Bigotry. These asshats agree en masse to celebrate Halloween with a rager rocking a theme along the lines of “Jim Crowe Laws” or “Raiding the Watermelon Patch” and it’s just vomit-inducing.
Just quit it. You’re in college for Christ’s sake. Learn something.
5. Kanye Doesn’t Work For You Anymore
Kanye West is like Tinkerbell. He loses all his power if you don’t pay him any attention.
6. Avoid Costumes that Combine ‘Slutty’ and ‘Stormy Daniels’
All year long, details of Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels’ brief, nauseating affair have been crammed down the public’s throat every time a salacious new detail arises. It’s far past gross, folks. As a society, we’ve quietly agreed to lock those mental images in a box, wrap that box in a chain, and then drop it into the deepest, darkest parts of our mental ocean. Please don’t dredge it up. Please.
Instead, why not go as “slutty” Mitch McConnell, instead? Given the way the guy bends over and takes it from special interests, it’s not much of a stretch.
7. Don’t Buy a ‘MAGA’ Hat
I get your train of thought: you want to make fun of the 50ish percent of American voters who think that Trump is super cool. And what’s the must-have accessory for every Trump-loving acolyte? Those stupid red-and-white ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.
Moving past the fact that this kind of outburst only serves to divide, every time you shell out dough for a MAGA hat, you’re putting money directly into Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
8. Don’t Give Props to the Oil and Gas Industry
If you’ve got the costume engineering know-how to build a fracking derrick costume or an oil pipeline, congrats, but you’re best served putting your skills to work on something more worthwhile, like a windmill.
9. You Can Do Better Than Reenacting Police Violence
So far in 2018, police have killed more than 850 people coast to coast. Obviously, not all of those were necessarily unjust, but only a dill hole thinks police brutality isn’t a severe issue. Dressing as a cop is fine, but keep a close eye on your costume’s accessories.
10. Don’t Mock the #MeToo Movement (Especially if You’re a Dude)
That means don’t dress like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, or any of the other former celebrities who have been taken down because they behaved like grade-A creeps.
11. Don’t Dress Up as a Hurricane or Hurricane Victim
It’s hurricane season, so the headlines are crammed with stories of the devastation caused by these storms. It might seem harmless to pick up a funnel cloud costume, but people died, folks, and there are still human beings sitting in the dark drinking bottled water because one of 2018’s hurricanes ripped through their hometown.
12. Don’t Go as Stephen Hawking
Early in 2018, the world lost one of its most enlightened minds when theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away. Even if you think you’re dressing as Hawking in tribute, it would be pretty tricky to get the costume right. Best to completely avoid it.