Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The problem with the Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume

By Isaac Simon

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Alberto Frank/Flickr

(Alberto Frank/Flickr)

With Halloween less than a week away, students and non-students alike will make the decision of dressing up as a celebrity, athlete, firefighter or nothing at all. But perhaps the most talked about and controversial costume for 2015 will not be someone dressing up as Bill Cosby, or someone who decides to be racist and wear blackface. Rather, it is the new Caitlyn Jenner costume.

Feminists and women’s empowerment groups along with other individuals have criticized the makers of the costumes. People have taken to Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration, and a petition was created on change.org asking Spirit Halloween to terminate any future sales of the costume. Others have called it “offensive” given everything that Caitlyn has gone through, while some have deemed it “transphobic.”

These protests have not stopped other retail outlets from continuing the sale of such costumes. For example, wholesaleholloweencostumes.com and anytimecostumes.com also carry it.

While many Americans believe this costume to be offensive, I do not, although I will not be dressing up as Caitlin Jenner for Halloween.

But what is offensive is the way the media has handled the entire Caitlyn Jenner story. From day one, it has been about publicizing and making a celebrity spectacle of Caitlyn, rather than using her in order to advocate for transgender rights.

It is important to know that I don’t really have an opinion of Caitlyn Jenner the person. I am in total support of the transgender movement and do not believe that anyone should have to go through or be pained like the transgender community has been. However, Caitlyn Jenner has become nothing more than a media spectacle for millions of Americans to feast on. Jenner has succumbed to the same characteristics of the Kardashians. She has become a woman who wears heavy makeup, enjoys having her nails done and wears tight clothing and high heels. Instead of trying to go against the traditional path, she has decided to conform to gender stereotypes and thereby reinforce the way women are talked about in the media. Instead of redefining what a woman can be, she has become the woman America wants to see, and has allowed the media to play along in the process.

Whether it be the puff piece in Vanity Fair, or her new reality show “I Am Cait,” the national media has cashed in on her transition without any indication of looking back. When googling Jenner, one will read stories about how her career is taking off, especially with her television show being renewed for a second season. When Jenner was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage award at this year’s ESPY Awards, more people tuned in than any other ESPY show since its inception in 1993. It seems that if anything, Jenner herself has immensely profited from this new transition.

This is the problem. Both Jenner and the media have allowed the issue to move away from something important: being transgender and the struggles individuals face. The media is not validating the transgender movement so much as it is validating Caitlyn Jenner and everything else that comes with her.

In a recent interview on “The Today Show,” Jenner said she would not be offended if people decided to dress as her for Halloween saying, “I’m in on the joke.” No one should be surprised that a costume like this exists. In fact, it makes perfect sense. Jenner might respond by saying she gets the joke but what’s better than the costume is the amount of money it will make, which for Jenner is probably no laughing matter.

Furthermore, people shouldn’t wear the costume not because it is offensive but because it perpetuates the unnecessary action that marketing the transgender movement is what this country needs. If anything this country needs advocates to pass laws which would forward the transgender cause, not a media epicenter that claims to care about transgender rights only to benefit from its ratings.

Caitlyn Jenner is someone who went through a powerful transition only to come out making more money on the other side. She had the media and the American public by her side every step of the way. It would be a real shame for things to continue the way they have in the past. If such past events continue, then I am afraid it will only be Jenner receiving the last laugh.

Isaac Simon is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Jenner’s name wrong in the fifth paragraph. It has since been corrected. 

4 Comments

4 Responses to “The problem with the Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume”

  1. Hollyweird on October 29th, 2015 10:18 am

    This is a joke right? So the SJW can be offended by a costume but their constant intolerance and terrorism of others that do not agree with them is OK?

    Welcome to the new America where if you do not get in line with the closed minded SJW of the world you will be destroyed….

    At least for a week or two until they find a new cause to go all nutty on.

  2. Rob on October 29th, 2015 12:51 pm

    That’s the price you pay to be a celebrity. He/she wanted as much publicity as possible. You can’t have it both ways.

  3. rick on November 2nd, 2015 5:25 pm

    Gender is biologically determined. Whatever else Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner might be he is not a she. Its time to confront the transgender mythology and move towards a more productive and healthy means of addressing this disorder in the 21st century.

  4. Angry Reader on November 9th, 2015 1:17 pm

    You spelt Caitlyn’s name wrong in this section:

    But what is offensive is the way the media has handled the entire Caitlyn Jenner story. From day one, it has been about publicizing and making a celebrity spectacle of Caitlin, rather than using her in order to advocate for transgender rights.

    Fix it.

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