When you try and do something in reference to pop culture controversy that is "edgy" or "funny" you toe the line of being offensive. Sometimes, in the moment, you don't realize how hurtful what you're doing is until you look back on it. As someone who dressed as what some could consider an insensitive celebrity costume when I was in college, I know that firsthand. I look back on what I did in shame as an older, wiser, and what I like to think as a considerably more evolved person. Which is why I'd like to talk about the Kim Kardashian robbery Halloween costume that has surfaced and why it's a reprehensible thing to dress as for the impending holiday.
Update: Costumeish tweeted on Tuesday, "Due to the extensive out-lash we have decided to remove the "Parisian Heist" costume from our website. We are sorry if it offended anyone."
Earlier: The costume was listed on Costumeish.com and was called a "Parisian Heist Robbery Victim Costume Kit." If you click the link that originally went to the costume, the site now redirects to a main page listing "all costumes." Bustle has reached out to Costumeish.com for comment, but has not yet received a response.
No one is perfect. We all do crappy things from time to time, especially when we're trying to impress others. Sure, the costume is timely. Sure, it'd probably get a few inappropriate laughs. And, sure, there are far worse things going on in the world than a bad moral choice in a Halloween get-up. But, that's not the point. The point is Kim Kardashian is a human being who went through something that most of us wouldn't wish on our worst enemies. To joke about it, even if you think it's harmless, is to dehumanize the reality star entirely. And, in a way, dehumanize yourself.
A few celebrities tried to point this out when people were making jokes on Twitter about the robbery almost instantly after it happened. Case in point, James Corden's call to action for everyone to acknowledge that Kardashian is a real human being with real relationships and she matters.
But, it was perhaps Chrissy Teigen's tweets that really highlighted the issue best. She attributed this insensitivity to a lack of "empathy" that people seem to have, particularly because of the way the internet detaches us from one another. That and the unhealthy envy we have for those more famous and fortunate than us.
In a series of now-protected tweets, Teigen wrote,
Fame is interesting. Celebs are supposed to love you guys while also knowing you'd make a meme of our dead bodies to get retweets. I dunno. It's hard to explain because everyone thinks money and fame is pure awesome, so it just sounds whiny. I get it, trust me. Go off... It is just a weird little world that I cannot expect anyone to get. I know it seems super awesome and laughable. I know. I myself think it is bonkers. I'm not trying to be condescending. I really do get it. I would be the same way if I didn't have the random opportunity to see both sides... Please do not think that I think celebrities are special snowflakes. I just miss empathy, in general, for everyone.
And really, that's just it. The costume is horrifying because it implies that we don't have any empathy and isn't that what humanity is? As David Leviathan wrote, "What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met." That doesn't just apply to mourning; it applies to being able to relate and sympathize with someone, regardless of their class or station, because we understand how much it'd absolutely suck if we were in their shoes. Which is why I still regret my college Halloween costume decision to this day. Not only was it mean and uncouth, it showed the baser parts of me.
The Kim Kardashian robbery costume is wrong because its very purpose is to make a mockery of someone at their most vulnerable moment. Someone who has feelings and fears just like everyone else. Her fame doesn't exempt her from being the victim of a crime, so why should it exempt her from being given compassion?