The 10 most offensive Halloween costumes ever

Don't dress up as any of these things, please

Published October 30, 2013 2:30PM (EDT)

Halloween, the holiday that gives us a chance to play make-believe and revel in fantasy, is almost upon us. But fantasy doesn't give you a right to mock other cultures or bully people. Yes, the rules of being a decent human being apply even on Halloween ... so don't dress up the way these people did:

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

It's been a long, maddening journey to find justice for young Trayvon Martin, the black Florida teen who was shot dead by the acquitted George Zimmerman. Twenty-two-year-old Greg Cimeno and 25-year-old William Filene reopened that wound when they dressed up as Zimmerman and Martin, respectively, the latter in blackface.

Casey Anthony

It's disturbing to think that such a mask not only exists, but that someone paid $1 million to own a replica of the face of Casey Anthony, the mother acquitted on charges of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. If you are the owner of this mask ... please do not wear it ... ever.


Ah, blackface: A perennial favorite among both intentional and accidental racists. Here is a handy flowchart in case you need further guidance on the subject.

Ariel Castro

Question:“Would it be wrong to be ariel castro for halloween?”

Answer: Yes. Yes it would.

The Human Centipede

Compared to the real-life horrors on this list, dressing up as the Human Centipede, the horror film machination of humans stitched together from mouth-to-anus, is hardly the most offensive costume. But it's still really, really, really gross.

Dressing your kid up as Hitler

... Please don't. (Note: this applies to adults and pets, too)

Anna Rexia

Lololol get it, guys? Anorexia = ANNA REXIA! (Triple wordplay bonus points if you're name is actually Anna!) No. Sorry to suck the fun out of your pun, but eating disorders are never sexy, nor are they something to be mocked -- same goes for any other illness or disorder.

Victims of violence

A pretty good policy to follow, in general: Don't dress up as a victim of a violent crime. This includes, but is not limited to, dressing up as a student shot in Columbine, someone injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, or a bloody, assassinated president.

An abuser

Conversely, do not follow this woman's lead and dress up as an abusive wife. Also, do not abuse your husband or boyfriend, as that woman did.

The flight attendants from Asiana Airlines Flight 214

How to even unpack the layers of offensiveness of this costume of the Asiana Flight 214 attendants, whose names were misreported by the media after the plane crashed in San Francisco? First, do not dress up as victims in a plane crash. Second, do not assign your victims racist names. That is all.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Ariel Castro Blackface Casey Anthony Halloween Hitler Offensive Halloween Costumes