What to wear this Halloween (opinion)
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Halloween is nearly here, so it’s time to figure out your costume. Will you go with the standard scary monster look, or — this being Tahoe — go for something that will make you stand out even if it’s borderline inappropriate (yet topical)?
Lake Tahoe embraces Halloween like no other place I’ve ever lived, and in my nearly 17 years here I’ve seen some pretty amazing costumes. Sure, some would call them tasteless — maybe even offensive and insensitive — but that depends on the person.
When Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) died from a stingray, that Halloween several guys dressed up as him with a huge stingray on their chests. Some laughed, some groaned — but it was noticed. Fifteen years ago someone dressed up as Michael Jackson with several life-like kids attached to his body. That also caused a number of groans, but if memory serves correctly he took second place in one of the contests up here. Some of these venues pay well, so the more you get recognized the better your chances of cashing in.
That was a different time, though, before the era of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Nowadays people on social media get to be judge, jury and executioner, outing those they feel are racist, misogynistic or homophobic. I remember the outrage from folks just last year when some retail outlets carried Caitlyn Jenner costumes.
Personally, I’m not one to judge what someone wants to wear for Halloween. I think, as an adult, you can be whatever or whomever you want, but in this highly charged and politically correct environment we live in, it can be a fine line — for some.
What is considered bad taste? You’d think common sense might be a factor, but it’s funny what some consider offensive and others find humorous. For example: We all know there will be Donald Trump costumes. Presidents have always been a staple — but this year I predict couples dressed as Trump and Hillary Clinton with the former leaning over the latter’s shoulder, torn from the pages of her book, “What Happened.” That works, as I think most would find it cute, funny and topical.
How about someone dressed as disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein with a button on his chest that says #MeToo? Topical? Yes. Offensive? Yes. Insensitive? Sure. What about O.J. Simpson, who was just released from a Nevada prison and is now a free man?
What disturbs me most is publications telling me which costumes I should avoid or deem unacceptable. For example: Top costumes women should avoid range from a sexy nurse and American Indian to a golden geisha or anything that might offend someone’s culture. Maybe to satisfy all those who are easily offended, we should wear burlap bags as costumes.
Also unacceptable: dressing up as a restrained convict (it might reinforce harmful misconceptions about mental illness in prison). People ask me — being Jewish — if I’d be offended if someone dressed up as a rabbi. No, not really. I’m not that easily offended.
The safe bet for Halloween this year is going as a superhero or animal — pretty much the two things that won’t raise any red flags. If you do decide to go as an animal, make sure you’re not wearing real fur — you don’t want to piss off the good folks from PETA.
The bottom line is this: It depends on how comfortable you are with yourself. Like stand-up comedy, you’re not going to make everybody happy — so go with what you think is the best and most original costume.