Boy Dresses As Christian Grey, Uproar Ensues

by Caitlin White

It's hard to argue that if you're going to dress up as a pop-culture relevant character these days, going as Christian Grey or Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey would be one of the first costumes that comes to mind. (I mean, just wait for Halloween this year.) But, we were all picturing adults, right?

An 11-year-old boy's Christian Grey World Book Day costume caused quite the stir in his classroom Thursday. According to the BBC, Liam Scholes wore a grey suit and carried cable ties and an eye mask to his classroom at Sale High School in Greater Manchester, and he was forced to change it to a more socially acceptable James Bond costume in order to participate in the World Book Day activities and pictures.

Liam's mother, Nicola Scholes, who is a primary school teacher, told the Manchester Evening News that she got a phone call from her son's school saying that the costume was "inappropriate" and that Liam would be excluded from all activities if he didn't change. Nicola said that ultimately she and her son's teacher "agreed to disagree" on just how offensive the Christian Grey costume was. Nicola believed that Liam's costume was no more offensive or inappropriate than other students' and teachers' costumes violent book characters.

Case in point: A teacher dressed up as the serial killer Dexter covered in blood, as in the main character of the TV series based on a book. It's something Nicola sees as hypocritical, according to the BBC, as it was "deemed appropriate" for teachers and students to dress up as a serial killer and "come in with [toy] guns."

Liam was advised to dress as James Bond... but [he] was a promiscuous character who kills people. Personally, I'm more offended by a murderer.

As for the idea to dress up as the Fifty Shades of Grey character, it came from Liam himself, he said, who came up with the idea as he was walking home from school with his mother:

He's the character that has been talked about the most in the past few years and he's just been everywhere you go ... think it's the content of the book that might (make) people think that it's inappropriate. But I went into school as Christian Grey just for a laugh, not anything else.

Nicola agrees, calling the costume "tongue in cheek," and noting that Fifty Shades of Grey hasn't exactly been hidden from children before, which everyone with a television can attest to with the 500 jillion commercials every day. Nicola said:

Liam's not read the book, but Christian Grey has been the most talked about book character for the past few years, I don't see what the big deal is? ... Every child at the age of 11 knows who he was. He walked into school yesterday and every child knew who he was. ... I don't think he's gone as something that has not been accessible to children of his age before.

Despite all the backlash and controversy, Nicola says she has no regrets about Liam's costume.

Image: Fifty Shades of Grey/Facebook