By Mitzpeh Staff
As soon as Halloween ends, many children start counting down until the next October 31st. As Halloween gets closer, children look forward to trick-or-treating with friends, observing spirited decorations, and most of all, planning their costumes. There is little that can stand in the way of this Halloween spirit and excitement. Or so we thought…
This Halloween season, HalloweenCostumes.com attempted to profit off of an Anne Frank costume which they were targeting to young girls. This was a naive and unprecedented Halloween costume idea that sparked a major controversy. The young girl modeling the costume for the website smiles carelessly, sassily pops her hip and confidently stares down the audience in the product depiction – all the while wearing a dress, complete with tag, that represents the death of millions.
For 25 years, HalloweenCostumes.com has served as a retailer for costumes and accessories. However, the company’s poor judgement in this instance served as a reality check for company executives, consumers and the general public. The costume has received passionately harsh feedback, exacerbated by people sharing their reactions over social media.
The staff at Mitzpeh sides with many of the reactions of disgust we’ve seen on our own social media platforms.
Before marketing this costume to young children, HalloweenCostumes.com’s creative team should have thought about whether or not the child wearing the costume would truly understand who and what she was representing.
Kids should most definitely learn about the Holocaust, but not by wearing a costume that represents one of the greatest crimes against humanity in history. During Halloween, people dress up either as scary things or things they aspire to be. Costumes shouldn’t glorify the horrors of being a young girl during the Holocaust.
Additionally, the staff at Mitzpeh asks what parents were thinking when they purchased and approved their child to wear this costume? As for the adults who designed the costume and put it up for sale, did they not understand the true implications of the Holocaust? Is there a need for a stronger emphasis on Holocaust education for not only children, but also for adults?
In essence, this costume attempted to make light of something that simply should not be portrayed in this manner. It’s an abomination to Holocaust survivors, their families and to the entire Jewish community. The Anne Frank costume has been removed from the website; however, public backlash is not nearly complete.