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Boo, I'm Osama bin Laden? Are Certain Costumes Off-Limits?

Boo, I'm Osama bin Laden? Are Certain Costumes Off-Limits?

While it may be a bit until Halloween, all those "Spirit Stores" are popping up selling costumes already, and they made this story jump out at me. This week a senior British police officer found himself in hot water over his choice of costume for the local carnival parade. He's been advising the Afghan government on counter-terrorism, so I suppose he thought his costume was true to the theme: he showed up dressed as Osama bin Laden.

Despite the fact that the officer works to fight terrorism and has attended 9/11 memorial services in New York, his superiors were not amused by the flowing robes and turban. A spokesman for the officer's unit released a statement condemning the costume: “While we believe that his actions were misguided rather than malicious, they were clearly inappropriate, and we would condemn any such actions by any police officer as unacceptable.”

Even though Halloween is more and more (it seems to me anyway) about dressing as sexy and shocking as possible, was this beyond the boundaries of taste? It's certainly a scary enough costume — and they sell Osama masks online — but are certain costumes automatically off-limits?

Join The Conversation
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Although I think some costumes are personally tacky and in poor taste it's someones right to wear it on at the very least October 31st. I would just caution someone as bold to wear an Osama mask or Hitler outfit that they should be ready to hear people voice there opinions regarding thier costumes and it may not be nice.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i may agree that at times it's not so tasteful - i don't think that people are being malicious when they wear costumes like that and it should just be taken as that - a costume. i think that if you're in a position that the people are going to look at you and talk about you -then you should use better judgement - but for the 'common folk' there's really no harm in it...
mrskrismendoza mrskrismendoza 8 years
I think this is horrible and in bad taste.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
zeze - That's horrible. I think that there are many costumes that should not be worn, but as I've been reminded, it's a free country.
zeze zeze 8 years
I don't think it's that bad to be honest, but something I did think was in very bad taste was a Lacie Peterson costume. A guy was wearing a dress and wig and his face all bruised up, then he attached a pillow to himself and dragged it along attached to his stomach by a rope.... That was not funny or clever, and way over the limit imo, to mock the murder of an innocent woman and child.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
Oh shoot my bad! Ya I mean Osama. I'm tripping to day.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Wadewufey Do you by any chance mean Osama costumes? Personally I see nothing wrong with Obama costumes.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I think Obama costumes should be off limits like Hitler/Nazis or KKK costumes.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I think its poor taste. And if some kid wore it in NYC I have a feeling he'd get a beat down.
karenpanna karenpanna 8 years
I think there are grades of bad taste. This one could be potentially catastrophic purely because of the sensitivity of the issue. Some would see it as being disrespectful to the Muslim faith while others would see it as being insensitive to the victims/survivors of Sept 11th. Personally, character masks based on people freak me out. I never liked those "dead presidents" masks or the modern ones like Bush and Bill Clinton. Yes, I never liked the Scream masks either.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I'm still annoyed that anyone ever thought those "Scream" costumes were appropriate.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I think if you're in a position of power you should be a little more thoughtful before choosing a Halloween costume that could offend the people you serve. If some dumb kid wants to wear it out, I don't really care. It's not in great taste, but it doesn't bother me. People get off on being rude so I try to not give them the response or attention they clearly want.
HeatherStJoeMI HeatherStJoeMI 8 years
I'm not so sure about this. I personally wouldn't wear it.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Probably not wise. Some one is bound to get offended and that is a sure way to ruin what should be a good time.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
Heh, reminds me of a couple of years ago in the UK when Prince Harry decided to show up at a costume party as a Nazi. that went over "real" well. :P
outofhere outofhere 8 years
Definitely not cool in my book.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
I think it's in extremely bad taste.
bleached bleached 8 years
Some things are off limits. It's like when Bill Maher dressed up as Steve Irvin shortly after he died. Poor taste.
girlA girlA 8 years
I'd like to see a teacher's reaction if a child wore this to school for the Halloween parade!
girlA girlA 8 years
I suppose as long as the person wearing it knows there can be a lot of back lash from it then fine. If they want to put themselves in that position,then they can. Personal choice, personal freedom. It doesn't bother me as much as a Ted Bundy or Jefferey Daumer mask would.
kitandkaboodle kitandkaboodle 8 years
How can a costume of Osama bin Laden be in good taste? What if one of your family members was killed on 9/11?
tiffanyfuchsia tiffanyfuchsia 8 years
I'm undecided. Personally I'd find this to be in poor taste, but a pregnant nun costume is something I think is funny (though overdone), and that could be terribly offensive to someone else. I definitely think offensive costumes should be off-limits for kids to be wearing. Adults should just exercise some common sense.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
I think people overreact to this. As long as its worn in good taste to be funny, why is it a problem?
WhiteGirl WhiteGirl 8 years
No I don't think any costume is OFF limits, then where is the freedom of choice? I think it's up to the individual to decide if what he or she wears is going to offend anyone. I was in New York and was at a huge Halloween party. They had a costume contest and the one that offended me the most came in 2nd place. So it's all up to the individual, but I don't believe that right to choose should be taken away from a person.
Vespa Vespa 8 years
Snowbunny, I was just wondering if it was a sexy Osama! :ROTFL:
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