15 Most Outrageous Costume Controversies

15 examples of how when people get dressed up it can cause a lot of trouble.

Nothing is more fun than costumes. Whether you’re dressed up for Halloween or just attending your friend’s costume party, it’s always a blast to pretend to be someone or something else for a little while. But while dressing up is generally a harmless act, anything taken too far is never a good thing. As a general rule of thumb, the less controversial your costume, the better. Here are 15 costumes that decided to throw caution to the wind and wound up offending, annoying and pissing people off.








1. Prince Harry the Nazi



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Dressing up for costume parties can be tricky because you never want to go with an obvious costume only to find that someone else also thought it would be cool to dress up as Heath Ledger’s Joker when it’s already too late. What are the odds! Prince Harry, third in line for the Royal Throne of England, solved this dilemma by opting to go with a costume he was pretty sure nobody else at the party would be wearing: a Nazi officer’s uniform, complete with swastika armband! Textbook creative problem solving. Too bad the reason nobody else would wear a Nazi uniform to a costume party is because it’s horribly offensive and probably the worst costume choice one can make aside from going as Hitler himself. Harry was rightly lambasted by the media, and had to deliver a public apology for acting in such poor taste, but maybe a more fitting punishment (i.e. Brad Pitt’s technique for marking Nazis in the forehead with a knife in Inglorious Basterds) could have been found. Sadly, this was not the first, nor last time someone felt it would be appropriate, hilarious or intelligent to dress up as a Nazi.

2. Janet Jackson’s “Wardrobe Malfunction”

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The only controversy that usually surrounds the Super Bowl Half-Time Show is regarding how crappy the musical performance was. But during Super Bowl XXXVIII we were treated to both a crappy musical performance and a costume-related controversy. During the climax (anti-climax) of Janet Jackson’s half-time show, she was joined for a duet by none other than Justin Timberlake (of Mickey Mouse Club fame), who during the closing moments of the song ripped away a panel of Jackson’s weird leather costume thing. No one knows what was really “supposed” to happen, but Timberlake wound up exposing her breast and a strategically placed nipple-shield. Despite how obviously calculated the moment was, Jackson later lamely claimed that the incident was the result of a “wardrobe malfunction” and was not intentional. Since people typically go around wearing extra large and uncomfortable looking nipple-shields like all the time, her story is a believable one. Also, all costumes are designed with easily removable panels that will reveal your breast at the slightest touch because that’s just the way the world works. Just kidding! She most likely intentionally showed her breast for shock value, and then lamely backpedaled when people got angry (though, honestly, it’s pretty lame to get angry about breasts).

3. Russian Ice Dancing Team Wears Aboriginal Costumes

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If you are looking for a whole lot of costume FAIL, a good place to find it is in the world of Figure Skating. However, there is a pretty big difference between dressing up in a glittering sequined jumpsuit complete with streamers and dressing up in Aboriginal tribal-wear, especially if you’re from Russia and definitely not an Aborigine. The team probably could have gotten away with the costume if they had just stuck with a design merely inspired by Aboriginal tribal-wear, but they attempted to replicate it exactly by including the use of brown fabric to emulate an Aborigine’s skin tone. The Russian team’s costumer managed to go grossly awry because this basically falls under the category of black face, and that is never a category you want your costume to fall under.

4. Figure Skaters Just Won’t Learn

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Figure skaters will basically wear anything because that’s almost half of their “sport.” If you were a sadist, it might actually be a pretty fun job to design outrageous costumes for them and then explain why the horrible costume you’ve designed is in their best interest to wear. A reality show where contestants compete to become the next figure skating costume designer extraordinaire would also be a good idea for a show (dibs on that one). Johnny Weir, men’s figure skater, managed to invoke the wraith of animal right’s activists when he decided a costume adorned with real fox fur would be just the thing to really make his figure skating performance “pop” at the 2010 Winter Olympics. With all of the horrible things people have done to forests, oceans, and nature in general, taking another creatures life to provide fur for a figure skating costume is almost the saddest thing ever. Two cute little foxes fell in love and mated and spawned a cute, furry little brood of adorable fox babies — one of which grew up to be shot, skinned, and then slapped onto Johnny Weir’s stupid, single-use figure skating costume. That is not the life that those fox parents wanted for their beloved fox baby! Way to wear a costume that invokes such sadness, Johnny Weir.

5. Sandra Bullock’s Husband Cheats On Her With A Girl Dressed As A Nazi

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Cheating is a pretty awful thing to do to one’s spouse, especially if your spouse is Sandra Bullock (because she seems like a pretty decent person and people generally like her). But Jesse James is apparently a pretty awful person, so it’s not really that big of a surprise that he did precisely that. What is a bit surprising is that James decided to cheat on Bullock, his wife of five years, with a girl who dresses up as a Nazi for photo shoots and is apparently a horrible racist. He also did it while his wife was off filming a movie which eventually landed her a Best Actress award at the Oscars, which for some reason makes it seem worse but it’s hard to say why. James’ concubine, Michelle McGee, at one point posed for a photo shoot wearing a Nazi officer’s cap and sporting a swastika armband in an incredibly classless move. McGee also has tattoos of a “w” and a “p” which she apparently has told people stand for “white power.” It’s not very surprising that nobody seems to have much sympathy for James during this very trying time in his life.

6. Taylor Swift Poses With A Fan Wearing A Swaztika

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When you are a very famous celebrity like Taylor Swift, you are going to inevitably have to pose quite a bit with your adoring fan base. Undoubtedly, half the people who ask to pose with you are probably unhealthily obsessed and mentally disturbed individuals, but you just have to roll with the punches if you want to save face and maintain that star quality. Still, it’s not like you’re required to pose with every idiot that asks; it is often acceptable to simply politely decline. Obviously Taylor Swift doesn’t understand this because while at party for Katy Perry (another very famous celebrity) Taylor Swift posed for a photo with a fan wearing a t-shirt sporting a large red swastika. This is the kind of fan that you are generally going to want to politely decline taking pictures with unless you want to be labeled an anti-semite. Some celebrities (Mel Gibson) would leap at the chance for such a wonderful photo-op, but since Taylor Swift has kept pretty mum about harboring any racial prejudices (suggesting she probably doesn’t have many), it probably wasn’t a good move to post with this jackass. Hopefully, lesson learned! Another lesson people should learn: stop wearing swastikas — it is really just a generally uncool and racist thing to do.

7. Target’s “Illegal Alien” Costume Pisses Off Immigrants

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One of the most controversial issues in America right now is immigration. Thanks to states like Arizona passing racist, invasive, and unfair laws in an effort to “combat” the swarms of immigrants they believe are ruining this country, this issue has blown up into a huge mess. Target, always looking to stay politically relevant and edgy, joined in on the fun by selling a costume last Halloween that features an extra terrestrial wearing an orange prison jumpsuit emblazoned with the slogan “illegal alien” and complete with a fake Green Card. What a clever and politically relevant costume. The only potential problem with selling them is that some people might construe them as terribly racist and horribly offensive. Which, of course, is exactly what happened. Target was forced to pull the product from their shelves. Afterwards, Target apologized to their customers and claimed that the costume was “accidentally” uploaded to their servers as part of a “data-entry” error, which is basically techno-jargon for “wardrobe malfunction.”

8. Drunk Canadian College Students Wear Racist Costumes

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We all make a lot of mistakes in college. Those crazy drug and alcohol fueled nights and raging hormones often lead to regretful acts that we all later look back on with fondness as “college memories.” In the topsy-turvy land of the Great White North, college is apparently chock-full of ignorance and racism — five students were awarded a “best-costume” prize for wearing black face and pretending to be the Jamaican bobsled team from Cool Runnings. More like, cool racist costume, guys! The Black Students Association was justifiably upset over the costumes, and hopefully those idiots got their precious “best-costume” prize rescinded because the award was for “best-costume” not “most racist and horrible costume,” which is really the only “award” they should have been in the cool running for.

9. Heidi Klum Dresses Up As A Sacred Religious Figure

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Religion can be a very touchy subject for a lot of people, so if you’re looking to not generate any controversy, it is a pretty good place to stay away from. But there’s also that old Hollywood adage that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” which Heidi Klum seems to believe is true. Klum, who hosts any annual Halloween party where she goes “all-out” with her lavish costumes, decided in 2008 that a good costume idea would be to dress up as the Hindu Goddess Kali, basically mocking the religious beliefs of one billion people or so. Klum, who realized that most of those people live in India and probably don’t watch Project Runway, deftly decided to forego apologizing for the event because she is a huge uncaring jerk with no respect for people’s religions. Nobody knows what kind of crazy costume Klum will have this year but hopefully the Hindu Goddess Kali will materialize, smite her, and spare us all from ever finding out.

10. Penn State Student Dresses Up As A Virginia Tech Shooting Victim

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Penn State is a pretty good school — you’ve gotta possess some serious brain power if you want to walk the same hallowed halls once traversed by the likes of Jonathan Frakes (AKA Commander William T. Riker of Star Trek: The Next Generation). But for every Jonathan Frakes that the school has produced over the years, there is inevitably a jackass like the kid who thought it would be hilarious to dress up for Halloween as a victim of the tragic Virginia Tech shooting. One man’s horrific tragedy is another’s absolutely hi-lar-i-ous Halloween costume. Not only was the ill-conceived costume in incredibly poor taste, but the idiot who sported it took to Facebook to defend himself: personally don’t care if it hurt other people’s feelings if I wanted to hurt people, trust me, I could come up with the greatest campaign to hurt everyone. I would photograph myself as a Virginia Tech student and write I Hate Virginia Tech on my shirt and Kill Them All and send photos to everyone in the school. Truly, that is the greatest campaign to “hurt everyone” ever conceived. We are obviously dealing with a diabolical genius here! Instead of taking the chance to sound remotely apologetic or intelligent, he arrogantly displayed his true colors: those of a mean-spirited, tasteless child.

11. Noah Cyrus Is 9 Years Old And That Is Way Too Young For A “Sexy” Halloween Dress

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Teenage and tween idols are expected to act and dress with a certain “attitude” that is often well beyond their years. They sing and act about subjects they probably have in all likelihood never experienced first-hand because such are the demands of the demographic that they cater to. Part of this put-on is that they are often dressed in what are decidedly age inappropriate outfits — ensembles that might appeal to the burgeoning sexual fantasies of thirteen year old boys and girls, but which the rest of us find creepy and borderline pederastic. Whatever, it’s the world we live in, but you really have to draw the line somewhere. Noah Cyrus, younger sister of teen sensation Miley Cyrus, definitely crossed this line when she wore a vampire-themed costume to some benefit which consisted of a mini-skirt that would make a prostitute blush, and tall black “dominatrix” boots. Cool! It’s a 9 year old dressing in sexually suggestive clothing! How totally adorable and not at all disgusting, inappropriate and creepy. Billy Ray Cyrus really deserves a “Dad of the Year” award because that is just some stellar parenting right there. Next time insist that she wears a clown costume or something like a normal nine year old and save us all the displeasure of watching your nine year old daughter parade herself around like some sort of sex symbol, thanks.

12. Octomom Is Horrible At Wearing Costumes And Also Being A Mom

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Nadya Suleman, better known as the Octomom (because she had eight babies), is “famous” for exploiting her super-womb and the eight children it simultaneously spawned. That’s basically all she did, and that is just not a story that those in the biz would say “has legs.” So, in order to stay in the limelight, Suleman decided that there’s no better way to drum up a little coverage than a little bit of controversy. For Halloween last year, Suleman decided to dress up as a pregnant nun (nun’s aren’t supposed to have sex so a pregnant one would obviously be very controversial) and as a kicker dressed each of her eight little children in devil costumes. Bam! Consider this mischief managed. This costume basically bridges two time-honored costume faux-pas: exploiting children who don’t know any better and being a jerk about religion for absolutely no other reason than “you can.”

13. Boy Dresses Up As Jesus, Is Sent Home From School

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There’s just nothing more fun for little kids than dressing up as things, it is basically their most beloved activity next to picking their noses and refusing to eat vegetables. But some children are just simply more precocious than others; some of us are just born to push the envelope. Take Alex Woinski for example. This spirited young man decided to do what any kid is basically hard-wired to do: dress up as their idol for Halloween. But while most normal kids worship at the altar of Spider-Man or Bono, the greatest super-hero of them all (for Alex at least) is none other than Jesus Christ. There is obviously a fine line between horrible people like Heidi Klum dressing up as religious icons and kids who really don’t know much better. Don’t fly too high Alex, you little Icarus you, but remember that you’re starting down a very dangerous path at an early age. You don’t want to end up like Prince Harry (at least when it comes to poor decisions regarding costumes), but there’s still hope for you! Next year just go as Spider-Man or Bono, okay little buddy?

14. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Dresses As Lil Wayne

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Cheerleaders are pretty awesome, and so is Lil’ Wayne, so how can some combination of the two end up so absolutely terrible? Well, the first problem lies in that the Cheerleader is white, and Lil Wayne is black. Given America’s history of black face, it is usually not a good idea for white people to dress up as black people because it invites all sorts of horrible associations with that outdated “comedic” practice. Now, maybe this cheerleader is totally not racist and just really likes Lil Wayne and wanted to dress up as her hero just like little kids do every Halloween with people like Spider-Man or Bono. That’s probably what happened here, but given that she is a representative of a sports team located in the south, a part of the country with a pretty spotty track record when it comes to being “not racist,” and again, that it’s totally unacceptable under any circumstances for white people to dress up as black people by smearing black paint over every inch of visible skin, she probably should have known better. The costume was also pretty crappy looking and sloppily done, so bonus negative points have to be awarded for just sucking at making decent costumes as well.

15. Corey Feldman Dresses Up As Michael Jackson To Attend Michael Jackson’s Own Memorial

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As fun as costumes are to wear, there is always a time and a place for them. Generally, memorials are not the kind of place you want to wear a costume to because they are a time for remembrance and by dressing up in a costume you are just attracting attention to yourself while everyone else is trying to mourn the passing of someone they cared about. Any costume would be horrible, but the absolute worst one you could wear would be one of the recently deceased. By dressing up like them you just create confusion because everyone for a second thinks “Oh goodness, they’re alive!” and then has their hopes dashed because you are just some jerk not really some resurrected miracle. This is the stunt that Corey Feldman pulled at Michael Jackson’s memorial, and regardless of what you feel about Michael Jackson, you’re going to probably agree that this is just an epically horrible costume decision. Regardless of whether Feldman’s intentions were meant as some sort of twisted tribute, it was still an epically offensive gesture that everyone should avoid emulating in the future.



12 thoughts on “15 Most Outrageous Costume Controversies”

  1. As an avid voyeur of visual spectaculars such as ice dance, “Dancing with the Stars”, the annual best and worst dressed list and Eurovision song contest, I am always torn between what I love more, The good, the bad and the downright ugly. Decisions, decisions …. and a bottle of bubbles.

  2. okay you need to stop being so overly sensitive, this is the problem with the world today! people just want to have fun, and all of these people, including you are simply ruining that because your “offended”. what’s so wrong with a caucasian who wants to dress-up like lil wayne? Just because she was born white does not mean that she cannot dress-up however she wants to for halloween. Its not her fault that she was born with light skin and therefore cannot “act the part” right away. And if you think thats offensive, then would it not be as offensive for a black man to dress up as lil wayne? That in itself is racism, because a light skinned person is not being afforded the right to dress up as a celebrity but a dark skinned person is. And if it is sooooooo offensive for Heidi klum to dress up as a Hindu goddess, then why is it perfectly acceptable for people to dress up as greek gods and goddesses? these are double standards that are being ignored based on the fact that people are so overly sensitive! And please EXCUSE ME but illegally immigrants are ruining our country’s economy therefore ruining our country, but clearly someone of such low intelligence as yourself probably wouldn’t even know that considering you are so busy thinking of ways to be offended. They aren’t even citizens so why should we even care if they are offended? THEY AREN’T OUR PROBLEM. all they do is steal jobs that Americans need WITHOUT paying taxes like the rest of us. Is that a ripoff or what? And yu think that arizona’s new law is racist? It’s there to protect us from getting our jobs stolen as well as the horrible drug cartels that are around the mexican border. Though some families might come to america illegally to better their lives, the bottom line is that they are coming here illegally, and should therefore not even be cared about. Call me inhumane, but its the truth, and you really just pissed me off. And please excuse my grammar and non-punctuallity, it is extremely late and i am lazy. GOOD NIGHT.

  3. Wow, you’re a real cock! Chill out a little, and try to keep a lid on the indignant rage: Nobody cares if you defend peoples religious beliefs/race/right to not see titties. You won’t win a medal, and God thinks you’re trying too hard to love thy fellow man. You cock. Did I mention you’re a cock? In case I didn’t, you’re a cock.

  4. Some of these are pretty controversial, but don’t you think people would lighten up a bit? Some of these people are clearly joking, stop being so damn serious about everything, haha.

  5. certainly like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will certainly come back again.

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