As Halloween rears its horrifying head, inappropriate kids costumes arise in droves like zombies from the grave. This year, however, parents are pissed at the Middletons. What do they have to do with Halloween, besides the fact that they are kind of good costumes themselves? Kate Middleton’s parents, Carole and Michael, own a party company called Party Pieces. The company sells Halloween costumes, and according to a new poll conducted by Channel Mum, at least two of the costumes they stock are considered inappropriate by many parents.
“Duchess of Cambridge’s parents’ Party Pieces pushing sexualized costumes for girls aged just four,” the findings state.
One of the culprit costumes is Midnight Mischief, which is labeled as a kids costume on Party Pieces’ website and sells for about $28. The retailer must have pulled the costume after these findings were released as it can no longer be purchased on the website (although as of publishing, it’s still listed). According to Channel Mum, it’s aimed at children ages 4 to 6. It consists of a short corseted dress and long black fingerless gloves. The little girl in the image is also wearing full glamour makeup. Channel Mum’s study of 1,006 parents found that 98 percent of them would not let their child wear Midnight Mischief.
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross called out the costume back in 2014.
Why is there a costume for 6yr old girls called #MidnightMischief?
— Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) October 19, 2014
Another upsetting getup sold by the Middleton’s company is called Headless Horseman. “Our Boys Bloody Headless Horseman Costume features a gray shirt with attached black vest and cape,” Party Pieces explains of the $32 kids costume. “The cape has an attached ascot tie and an exaggerated collar to frame the signature missing head. Place the neck headpiece on your head like a hat, and use the stuffed shoulder risers to create the illusion that you’re missing your head! You can see through the sheer panel in the neckline of the costume. Shoes not included. Not suitable for children under 8 years.”
Party Pieces recommends the look for children 12-14. However, according to Channel Mum, the costume was geared toward little ones aged 8-10, so it’s possible the company changed the age. Even so, 95 percent of parents would not let their child wear this gory getup.
The duchess’s mom founded Party Pieces in 1987, and the Middleton children have inspired the business along the way. “James established our personalised cakes, Catherine started the 1st birthday side of the business, and Pippa developed the Party Pieces blog,” the About section states.
Of course, the Middletons are not the inventors of Halloween costumes that are deemed offensive. In this list alone, there are seven other costumes considered extremely inappropriate. “Disgusted parents have slammed retailers for selling a sickening ‘Burnt Zombie Child’ Halloween costume for young children, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy,” the findings state. “At least 18 children died in the horrifying inferno with experts warning tens of thousands of youngsters across the UK have been left traumatized by the disaster.” Ninety-nine percent of parents wouldn’t let their child walk out of the house in that costume sold by a retailed named Escapade, according to Channel Mum.
Relatedly, online retailer HalloweenCostumes.com has just removed an Anne Frank Halloween costume following social media complaints calling it “disgusting” and “offensive.”
Channel Mum found that 92 percent of parents want retailers to “take more responsibility for the outfits they sell, with 67 percent claiming stores only care about profit.”
One in 5 parents even admitted their child had had a negative experience wearing a Halloween costume.
Channel Mum founder Siobhan Freegard said, “Stores have to be sensitive to the world around them. It’s time to realize it’s unacceptable to sell some of these outfits. Sexualizing toddlers or pushing costumes which could traumatize simply for profit is the nastiest thing about Halloween.”