Editorial Featured FEATURED STORIES Home Opinion

Lewd Costumes: Heartless or Just Stupid?

(The Verge) – Halloween is supposed to be a holiday where you dress up and have fun with your friends. If you are a child, you go door-to-door to trick-or-treat. When you were a kid you would get so hyper off of all the candy your mom told you not to eat, no? You would plan your costume for months in advance and be so excited to show it off to your friends at school. These girls showed off their Halloween costumes alright…but ended up getting a lot of severe backlash, but rightly so.
A 22-year-old woman from Michigan, Alicia Ann Lynch, posted on her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook her “personalized” portrayal of a Boston Marathon victim. She wore a marathon number and laced bloody makeup all over her body to depict an innocent bystander that was present during the April 15 attacks–a fateful day that saw innocents, some being children, killed. The fact that she had the audacity to post that, let alone wear it out in public, is simply incomprehensible.
Lynch received criticism from the picture and even death threats (going to her and even her parents’ home). A man with the same last name as her was put in the hospital after being jumped because the attacker thought that he was her father.
Many people rummaged through her social media accounts to find half-naked pictures of the young woman as well as a picture of her license, which is how her address was discovered. She subsequently lost her job because of the incident, too. The company she worked for wanted nothing to do with the situation and didn’t want anyone to believe that they condoned such heartless behavior. Lynch’s decision to mock such a terrible event, shows how twisted people truly can be.
Yes, in this country we have freedom of speech and what Lynch did was legal. However, it was by no means morally correct. She did this for attention and she got a little more than she really bargained for. I don’t think she honestly understands the severity of her actions. I wonder if she thought that by posting this picture, people would like it and laugh about it. It does not at all strike me as funny.  It is purely insensitive. Many people are saying it was just a matter of bad judgment and things happen. This is not “just bad judgement,” this is complete disregard for those who lost their lives, and the heartache of the families which ensued–a pain they are feeling to this day.
And you thought that was bad? In England, two 19-year-old girls, Amber Langford and Annie Collinge, dressed up as each of the burning Twin Towers. Their costumes included fire, airplanes, American flags on their heads and bodies jumping. Seriously? Even worse, they won a costume contest for their portrayals.  For the wretched act, they each won $250 worth of gift cards and what have you. Hello? Costume judges, want to step in there?
They later made a statement defending their actions, pleading that they never intended for it to be offensive and they wanted it to depict a serious event that happened in their lifetime. What on earth would possess someone to go out to the store, purchase items and then hand-make costumes like that? Thousands of innocent people lost their lives that day and these girls win $250 worth of “shopping vouchers”. Give me a break. They should be telling the judge (wearing orange jumpsuits) why their costumes were so “grand.”
Regardless of what these women thought…it is just down right idiotic. How can people make a costume, and hence, make light out of, two events that were so tragic, that they’ll most definitely be penned (or already are) in history books. Where a common ground can be found here, is truly unknown.
When speaking of this with some of my friends, one, Maggie Tabacchi, a senior at Penn State University said, “The reality of it is that this horrific act was one of the most tragic moments in modern-day history, and the fact that they are portraying it as a joke of some sort is offensive and ignorant.”
Lynch lost her job due to the stupidity, a fair price to pay for having jested at the people who lost their lives during both traumas. As of right now, the girls who mocked the Twin Towers are just dealing with a lot of negativity and sassy comments; necessary action will be taken once the investigation continues.
So in the end, is it purely ignorance? Stupidity? Insensitivity? What drives these shameful acts of disgust? We may never really know.

A look at the costume that's gotten Alicia Ann Lynch into so much trouble. Image taken from: nydailynews.com.
A look at the costume that’s gotten Alicia Ann Lynch into so much trouble. Image taken from: nydailynews.com.