Worst Celebrity Halloween Costumes: Billie Eilish and Jesse Rutherford? Or Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly?
These problematic couple costumes weren’t just cringe — they’re making light of serious issues
Halloween: a holiday for spooky-themed debauchery. Its allure can partly be attributed to its unabashed celebration of our inner children. We’re encouraged to be creative. To carve pumpkins, dress up in costume, and revel in our shared silliness. We show off our interests — from our favorite characters and to our favorite memes — with our elaborate get-ups. Even if you opt for a minimal, last-minute, or outright “sexy” outfit — bunny ears or cat ears included — it’s all about the fun.
Until it isn’t.
Halloween is also a night when people exploit this annual opportunity to dress up and cross a line. Racism reigns as people head to parties in offensive costumes, often including cultural appropriation or even Blackface. With the current alarming rise in public anti-semitism, more than a few Nazi costumes were out this year. And after the success of Netflix’s Dahmer, Jeffery Dahmer costumes are also concerningly abundant. Appalling.
There’s still a long way to go. But in the age of increased awareness, thankfully, we’re seeing less of these costumes in public — or at least on social media. Say what you will about cancel culture, but it makes people think twice before doing something stupid. And for that alone, I am grateful.
This especially applies to celebrities. Hopefully, we’re beyond the days of public apologies for blatantly offensive Halloween attire. But this Halloween, a couple of problematic celebrity costumes fell through the cracks. Now that we’re not distracted by as many celebs in Blackface, I guess we have the opportunity to dissect more nuanced costume faux pas.
Let’s get into it:
First of all, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly. Hollywood’s most extra couple stepped out as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. After the success of the Hulu adaptation starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan, the pair’s fabled romance has been thrust back into the spotlight.
However, there are many things wrong with the Hulu series. For a show supposedly critical of the exploitation of female sexuality, it sure did a bunch of exploiting. The show allegedly examined the media’s power structures that fosters a sexist culture. Yet, those very same structures ignored Anderson’s perspective on the show.
Pamela Anderson was vocally against the show — not wanting to relive that part of her life. Especially seeing it glamorized on screen as some wacky, edgy adventure. And while Anderson herself has done some problematic Halloween costumes, it’s time to untangle her narrative from the media’s portrayal of it.
As if that weren’t bad enough, this revival again branded Pam and Tommy as just another volatile, rock-n-roll relationship. I’m sure you can see why it attracted Megan and MGK. However, what pop culture seems to have forgotten, is that Tommy Lee was convicted of physical assault against Pamela Anderson.
Like many people, MGK and Megan Fox may not have known about the domestic violence in the relationship. And that’s the problem. Rather than prioritizing Anderson’s voice and story, the culture has chosen to highlight a sensationalized version of events. Seems we didn’t learn much from Free Britney.
Excising their relationship’s abusive ending allows the story to live as a glamorized mythos. Ignoring the abuse while capitalizing on Anderson’s trauma reveals that popular culture still has a long way to go.
But Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox were not the only ones who made us cringe with their carelessly conceived costumes.
New couple Billie Eilish and Jesse Rutherford had one of the most controversial costumes of the weekend. The two sparked dating rumors a few weeks ago after being repeatedly spotted together.
Given their 11-year age difference, the internet had some thoughts. How old is Billie Eilish? Eilish is 20 — and turns 21 in December. While Rutherford — best known as the lead singer in The Neighborhood — is 32. Not a great look for the ‘Sweater Weather’ singer, who the internet has since been accusing of grooming.
Eilish has spoken about grooming and being taken advantage of by older men early in her career. So fans were surprised about this relationship. Meanwhile, other fans claim that this is the same age gap as Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde — why don’t they get the same hate?
Well, first of all, I’d compare this more to a Leonardo DiCaprio situation. In that instance, Camila Morrone was 21 and free to make the mistake of dating DiCaprio — a relationship that has now, thankfully, ended. But that didn’t make it any less creepy.
Our culture fetishizes younger women, and Eilish has felt this all of her career. So when older men pursue younger women, especially women in their early 20s whose brains literally haven’t fully developed, we’re right to be suspicious. It’s a concerning dynamic. But while we can be critical, it doesn’t help to infantilize Eilish and her decisions.
People gotta to learn the hard way, I guess.
However, the fledgling couple sparked ire this weekend with their Halloween getups. In an attempt to be self-aware about the gossipy conversations about their relationship, they dressed up as a baby and an old man. Gross.
\u201cBillie Eilish and boyfriend Jesse Rutherford dressed up together as a baby and an old man for Halloween.\u201d— Pop Crave (@Pop Crave) 1667180149
Their exaggeration of the age difference is a pointed jab at the haters. But inadvertently, it’s making light of grooming as a phenomenon. So disappointing as Eilish has been vocal about the industry’s penchant for grooming. And while she’s free to make her own decisions and pursue her own relationships, this costume choice leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Like any concerning Halloween costume, this one ignores the larger social context. Downplaying the concept of grooming is not as funny as the pair thought. For any couple, going as a baby and an old man would be really-really disgusting. For this couple, it’s even more layered.
But luckily for us, this Halloweekend was actually full of great costumes, too.
For celebs, Halloween is an extreme sport. Not only do they have the money and resources to put together the most elaborate costumes — they’re also creatives. If anything, it’s their job to think outside of the box and perform! To entertain! To put on a show! And on Halloween, they deliver.
Now, as social media has upped its game, many celebs take their costume reveals as seriously as their baby reveals. They st up professional photo shoot pictures with extravagant sets with special effects and staging. These are a far cry from my blurry costume photos taken halfway through my nights out.
But I love the extraness! The production value! It’s camp!
So, as a palette cleanser, here are some of the best Halloween costumes from this weekend.