It’s certainly no secret that celebrities often make questionable decisions.
This is evident with just one look at some of the most notable costuming fails carried out over the years. While there is a conversation to be had about the over-policing of costumes, it’s easy to see why some outfit choices have sparked the outrage that they did over the years.
Heidi Klum dresses up as a Hindu goddess
Though Klum is widely regarded as the queen of Halloween costumes, her costume decisions in 2008 offended an entire religion. After dressing as the Hindu goddess Kali at her annual Halloween party, Hindu and Indo-American leaders released a statement demanding an apology.
Klum later said that her assistant came up with the idea.
Chris Brown and his clique pose as terrorists
The rapper has faced a number of controversies in his life. One of them occurred in 2012 when he decided to dress up as a terrorist… to a Halloween party hosted by former girlfriend Rihanna… only three years after beating her bloody and sending her to a hospital. The poor decisions only continued when Brown shared a now-deleted picture of his friends also dressed as terrorists on Instagram, also tweeting “Ain’t nobody Fucking wit my clique!!!!#ohb.”
Brown’s mother defended her son on Twitter, saying “HALLOWEEN IS FOR FUN NOTHING MORE THAN JUST FUN. GET A LIFE PLEASE.”
Prince Harry parties as a Nazi
While the prince has greatly matured over the years, there was a time when Prince Harry often made headlines for his controversial behavior. One such headline was made in 2005 when he decided to dress up as a Nazi at a costume party only a few weeks before Holocaust Memorial Day. The outfit was complete with a swastika armband.
The prince apologized for his costume, saying in a statement that he was “very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone.”
Julianne Hough dons blackface
Another Hollywood star stepped in when Julianne Hough decided to dress up like “Orange Is the New Black” character Crazy Eyes, played by Uzo Aduba, in 2013. Hough showed up to a party with an orange prison uniform, Crazy Eye’s knotted hairstyle, and darkened skin. Fellow actress Isla Fisher reportedly suggested that Hough “go to the bathroom and wipe her face off.”
Laverne Cox, Aduba’s “Orange Is the New Black” costar, said that she was not offended by the display. She instead observed:
I thought it was a shame that she is in this country, that she would wear blackface and not understand the historical implications of that. I don’t think Julianne is making a specific informed choice to comment on blackness. I just think it’s out of this ignorance. That’s really sad.
Dwayne Wade uses whiteface to look like Justin Timberlake
The basketball player donned whiteface to dress up as singer Justin Timberlake in 2010. The decision to turn himself white led to a round of questions about outrage and what society found acceptable and disrespectful.
After pointing out that black comedians like Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence have changed their appearances to dress up like white men, The Root wrote:
What’s interesting is that a black man dressing up in whiteface gets a pass, while a white man dressing up in blackface doesn’t. No, there is no historical legacy of denigrating whites by mocking them through performance and dialect while excluding them from various industries and segments of society, but some could argue that there is a double standard.Advertisement
Bill Maher shows up as dead Steve Irwin
Maher is certainly no stranger to controversy. In 2006, Maher decided to dress up as beloved Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, complete with a stingray barb poking out from a bloody spot in the middle of his chest. Irwin passed away that September after a stingray stung him in the chest.
“People who really love animals understand if you get killed by one, chances are you were doing something to it you shouldn’t have been,” Maher later said when asked to apologize. He told his “Real Time” audience to stop “hassling” him about the costume choice.
Author’s Note: It should be noted that this list is by no means extensive or ranked in any particular order. It would appear that celebrities make poor style choices every year.