The 5 Worst Pop-Culture-Inspired Halloween Costumes of 2014 and 5 We'd Like to See Instead

Skip the oversexed cartoon characters and dress up like real pop-culture heroes. By Angela Zimmerman
The 5 Worst Pop-Culture-Inspired Halloween Costumes of 2014 and 5 We'd Like to See Instead

Mass-marketed Halloween costumes have taken a decidedly strange turn this year. Sexy versions of characters from kids' movies and TV shows are mixed in with little-kid interpretations of figures from grown-up shows, creating a strange brew of both oversexualized and inappropriately aged-down images.

Sure, a big part of Halloween is trying on new identities to freak people out. But it's doubtful many kids watch The Walking Dead -- so why would there be a kids' costume from that show? And how do you explain to your kid that a leotard and thigh-high tights have anything to do with her beloved Olaf from Frozen? As a parent, you just have to laugh -- and consider helping your kids make their own costumes inspired by characters that promote positive (or at least age-appropriate) messages instead.

The 5 Worst Pop-Culture-Inspired Halloween Costumes  

Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead
Why it's so scary: Yikes! An ax-wielding character from a very mature television show being marketed to kids is just frightening.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Corset and Mask 
Why it's so scary: The turtles are back in a big way this year in the wake of this summer's feature film. The idea of a female TMNT is cool, but does she have to be in her underwear?

Winter Soldier Muscle Child Costume from Captain America
Why it's so scary: Boys need to know: You don't have to have an eight-pack to be a superhero.

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Sexy Olaf from Frozen 
Why it's so scary: She's gonna freeze her patooty off out there in Norway. Seriously, girls need role models who dress for the weather.

Raving Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
Why it's so scary:
Sure, we know that My Little Pony also attracts an older audience. But for young fans, this sexy costume sends all kinds of weird messages.


The 5 Pop-Culture Costumes We'd Like to See Instead

Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory
Why we love it: Mayim Bialik's character from the hit sitcom is brainy, kind, and loyal.
How to pull it off: Wear a pair of tortoise-shell glasses, barrettes, and a V-neck cardigan over a button-down print shirt. Accessorize with a briefcase or oversize purse.

Neil deGrasse Tyson from Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Why we love it: The charismatic and brilliant host of Cosmos inspires kids to think about their place in the world -- and he makes science super cool. 
How to pull it off: Cut a dozen stars and moons of different sizes out of construction paper and pin them all on a black vest. Add some glitter for a fun, celestial effect. Maybe a big fuzzy mustache, too?

LEGO female scientist 
Why we love it: When LEGO introduced a limited-edition set of female scientists this past summer, it sold out in days -- proving how desperately parents and kids want female role models in science, tech, and toys.
How to pull it off: Wear a white top and white pants, clip a homemade nametag to the front pocket, and don a pair of specs. Extra credit goes to kids who make a cardboard LEGO head. 

Jamie Hyneman or Adam Savage from MythBusters
Why we love it: These super-savvy and witty TV personalities resonate with kids of all ages. Their fearless experimenting makes testing hypotheses not only fun and entertaining but incredibly educational, too.
How to pull it off: For Jamie Hyneman, rock a black beret over a bald cap, an elaborately curled mustache, and wire-rimmed glasses. For Adam Savage, wear black clothes, a goatee set, and dark, black-framed glasses. 


Kacy Catanzaro from American Ninja Warrior
Why we love it: "Mighty Kacy" proves that girls are every bit as tough as boys.
How to pull it off: Wear multi-colored knee-high socks, gym shorts, and a tank top. Voilà! 

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About Angela Zimmerman

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As manager of editorial partnerships, Angela is responsible for packaging and distributing articles and reviews to Common Sense's many content partners, helping people far and wide access advice and information around... Read more
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Comments (13)

Kid, 12 years old

The majority of the bad costumes aren't even marketed toward kids. Some mature kids watch TWD. It's honestly not that big of a deal if a superhero costume has muscles. Some of the recommended costumes just look like normal clothing, especially that last one, which is probably not very good for late October weather. This article makes sense...
Kid, 11 years old

On Halloween, aren't you supposed to dressed up scarily for rick grimes and kids can wear a muscly costume, I mean it's not saying to be a superhero, you need muscles, it is just a costume.
Kid, 11 years old

Rainbow Dash doesn't look anything like that in the movie! Not only is it disgustingly inappropriate- it is also inaccurate. It is very pathetic that the makers of that costume thought that any person who hadn't lost their mind would purchase this!
Adult written by JimHawkinsfan

I saw an adorable costume that promotes good things, it was a homemade Johnny Cash costume. This coud lead to dissusions about how drugs are bad and how to concure getting off them like Johnny did. Extra points if you dress your girl as June Carter
Adult written by Onlyinmarin

Disney licensed the sexy Olaf?! Gross. I thought they had stricter licensing agreements. For adult women, yes, but what about the teenage girls who will don it, and the little girls who will see women wearing it - bad taste, prosty-tot costume.
Adult written by samanthar1

Disney did not license this. The official name of the costume from the Yandy website (the company selling them) is Sexy Snowman. There are also Anna/Elsa costumes with names like "Norwegian Maiden" and Sexy Snow Princess. Sadly, Yandy knows how to not get sued by the Mouse so we can be sure to enjoy their artistic interpretations for years to come.
Adult written by Spartyon

I like the sexy adult costumes I see nothing wrong with that type of costumes for adults. As for Mighty Kacy now wouldn't that also be cold for the con since you gave the sexy frozen & Ninja Turtles that it be too cold for Halloween just sayin is all. With costumes don't like it then don't buy it simple as that.
Parent of a 10 and 14 year old written by orchidflame

I seriously think that this article is a case of the Parent(s) having image issues, more so than the children. The whole point to dressing up as something other than yourself for Halloween, is so you could pretend to be someone or something different for a day, all in fun. It allows kids and adults to express their imaginations. What are people going to do next? Outlaw having an imagination? Now the female costumes posted above, are all adult women costumes. So, there's nothing to do with children in that sense. I'm pretty sure the little girl versions are far more watered down to provide modesty. Apparently there are just some parents who don't like the idea of women costumes that are mature/sexual in nature. Again, nothing to do with kids costumes. Also, there's nothing wrong with the little boy costumes posted above. Lots of boys and girls love horror movie/show and comic book characters. These costumes appropriately express those characters. I've never heard a child say to an adult, "Ooo, I wish I had a chest like Wolverine." or "Ooo, I wish I could go and hurt people like Freddy Kruger." It just doesn't happen with normal, typical, kids. Again, this is an issue with the parent(s) sensitivity level on how certain images are viewed. For the "Rainbow Dash" costume (more than likely for Women), the ponies outfits on the DVD are already pointing in this direction. So if you the parent, find these types of costumes unsettling, just don't buy them. Let other parents who don't, have them for themselves, and their kids. Here are some of the above female costumes in "real child" sizes.[email protected]:20141010222329:s
Adult written by Guinesman

So, let me obviously adult costume mimicking Olaf is bad for kids (this is a "duh" moment here) but a booty shorts with tank top girl is okay? OH, and Big Bang Theory? Please, sexual innuendo is all over that show so yeah, neuroscientist or not, Ms. Bialik should probably be skipped. I think the authors should have proofread and edited this article before it went to press. I can see it now, "Honey, why don't you just put on regular clothes and go trick or treating. Don't worry, you can explain yourself at every house you visit." That would go over like a lead balloon. How about some traditional costumes that are non-violent and positive? Fairies, clowns, firepersons, maybe a robot? There are so many opportunities here and I think you really missed the mark.
Parent of a 10 year old written by Ed Wood

Have you watched Big Bang Theory? If we are axing, pun intended, Rick because of adult themes then any Amy Farrah Fowler costume should be cut also. .
Parent written by Ymasumac Maranon

I appreciate your article and agree on many points made about the over-sexualized costumes that do send mixed messages to our kids. I am surprised with your 5 pop-culture costumes you'd like to see that you only came up with one person of a different hue than white. So if my daughter, who's ethnic background includes Latina, European, African, and Native American were to look at your list, she still wouldn't find inspiration. Please do a better job than mass media has done in recognizing that the world is not filtered through majority white hues of skin color and only one or two at best, but rarely, reflections of skin color in shades of brown, or red or yellow or any combination of all the wonderful representations of humanity.
Teen, 14 years old written by Darksouls444

I don't see why the rick grimes costume is so bad take away the axe and you can be a sheriff the captain America one is no t bad ethier its says "not all superheros need a eight pack" umm are you that stupid or what if you read superman if you were little he had a eight pack so yeah CONTROL FREAKS EVERYBODY.


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