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by Heidi Quill

Celebrities who used Halloween to make a statement

Halloween – the scariest time of the year. But it doesn’t have to be all blood, gore, flesh, and sex. Heidi Quill takes a look at the celebrities who are using their fame – and Halloween costumes – to shout about important issues.

Kim Kardashian dressed up as Pamela Anderson this Halloween

We’re all familiar with the iconic looks celebrities have created in celebration of Halloween, and it’s often easy to get bogged down in the Heidi Klum’s and Kardashians of the spooky season, who use the holiday as a chance to show off some cosplay prowess or flaunt some flesh. However, some celebrities – who tend to slip under the radar – use their costumes to make a statement in a light-hearted and creative way.

Global superstar Beyonce dressed as Frida Kahlo for Halloween in 2014

An iconic one for me is Frida Kahlo;  Beyoncé was the first big name to don the image of the notorious painter/feminist figure in 2014. Famous model Izabel Goulart then followed suit three years later in homage to her Latin American roots, as well as coinciding with the beginning of the ‘#metoo’ online campaigns.

Izabel Goulart dressed as her version of Frida Kahlo, in 2017

Another interesting and symbolic celebrity costume comes from Konnie Huq. She dressed as a terrifying version of the Twitter bird icon, complete with garish and sharp drawn-on teeth. This powerful representation seems to indicate the dangers of social media, particularly what has become known as online ‘trolls’ – something especially pertinent on Twitter. The appearance of the painted teeth she used, in what has been described as ‘muzzle-like’, could also point towards the presenter’s reputation as outspoken, and how everything one says online comes under scrutiny – no opinion is safe. This is truly one of the scariest things about the spooky holiday, and perhaps within our entire social-media obsessed world.

A frequent costume amongst celebrities, which also offers some social commentary, is when inspiration is drawn from the American ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ culture. Names such as Fergie and Chrissy Teigen have sported this look, perhaps unknowingly suggesting how alien and concerning the subculture of child beauty pageants has become.

Of course, I couldn’t possibly discuss this topic of political Halloween costumes, without talking about Katy Perry in 2016. Katy Perry transformed herself into Hillary Clinton in an attempt to take the upcoming election campaign for the Democrats to the next level. In fact, she wasn’t alone – this was a group costume. She was joined by a friend (transformed into Bill Clinton), a posing security guard, and she even had boyfriend Orlando Bloom sporting a troll-doll inspired and hideous take on Donald Trump. He followed the pair around, lingering in the back of photos…

Katy Perry’s iconic group Halloween costume in 2016

So it’s not all doom, gloom, sexy and culturally insensitive costumes. Some celebrities are doing great, outspoken things, even with their Halloween looks. Fine – we can’t all transform ourselves into iconic political figures with the use of heavy prosthetics, but you can send a message just as easily with some face paint and a sandwich board.

Despite what feat of modern makeup Heidi Klum manages to muster every year, and beyond the number of racially insensitive outfits other icons may find, there are some fantastic celebrities celebrating greatly underrepresented heroes and offering important social comments.

By Heidi Quill

Heidi is a freelance non-fiction writer, specialising in fashion-related journalism and gender theory. Heidi originally started writing as a form of self-help and escapism from a series of mental health issues, and that angle of self-love flows throughout her writing.