As fun as Halloween is and is meant to be, it can also be a controversial time. The latest Halloween makeup controversy is related to the sale of a gruesome suicide scar wound that was being sold at Walmart.
Walmart is the United States largest retailer, topping the Forbes 500 list—when October rolls around, it becomes the nation’s largest vendor for Halloween costumes, makeup, and accessories.
One popular kind of costume accessory, sold by Walmart and other vendors, is latex costume makeup. The latex costume mimics the appearance of wounds caused by gunshots, knives, machetes, razors, burns, vampire bites, and of course, zombies. But one latex accessory that mimics deep razor blade cuts to the forearm drew in a crowd of angry people.
An article published by the Scary Mommy parenting community titled, “Hey Wal-Mart, Suicide Is Not a Costume” criticized the retail giant for making fun of suicide and distributing the accessory.
A petition has since been started on Change.org to remove the item from their many stores. The public’s concerns were effective, as Walmart.com quickly removed the page for the item.
“This costume is appalling and it was unacceptable for a third-party seller to list it on our marketplace. It clearly violated our prohibited items policy and we removed it when it was brought to our attention,” Walmart said to News 6 in a statement.
However, Google searches showed that the same product was still available through other vendors online. One of the websites, Totally Costumes, said that Walmart was at fault for getting the controversial costume’s description wrong. Totally Costumes has since removed their costume listing as well. It was listed as “Cruel World Razor Blade Prosthetics.”
Totally Costumes also removed their “Slashed Wrists Prosthetic Appliance,” advocating suicide attempts and achieving a realistic costume.
Other Controversial Costumes
This comes on the heels of the controversial “Kim Kardashian Paris Robbery” costume that was being sold online, which featured a bathrobe, a mouth gag, ropes, and a blindfold.
Celebrities like Chris Brown and Julianne Hough have come under fire in the past for their controversial Halloween costume choices. Brown went as terrorist Osama Bin Laden one year and Hough painted a black face on herself for her costume. Both were largely criticized on social media for their poor costume choices.
Mikkelson, D., “WalMart’s ‘Suicide Scar Wound’ Costume Provokes Outrage,” Snopes web site, Oct 22 2016; http://www.snopes.com/2016/10/22/walmart-suicide-scar-wound-costume-riles-public/.
Harris, B., “Halloween makeup causes controversy,” Click Orlando web site, Oct 23 2016; http://www.clickorlando.com/news/halloween-make-up-causing-controversy.