Sexy Border Patrol Officer? The Most Popular (and Problematic) Costumes of 2017

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This piece was inspired by an episode of The Cooler, KQED’s weekly pop culture podcast. Give it a listen!

Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve, if you’re nasty) has become an excuse to visit spooky places, freak out over pop culture curseswatch erotic thrillerscarve pumpkins in the likeness of your favorite NPR personalityshare ghost stories, and of course, don a costume. So what are the most popular (and most problematic) choices this year? I’ll tell you, but you might wish I hadn’t.

Last year was a messy one. Here's a sample platter of 2016's cringe-worthy costumes.

Exhibit A: This bound-and-gagged Kim Kardashian costume, in the immediate wake of her Paris robbery.


Exhibit B: Various Harambe costumes, like this super tasteful t-shirt.

Exhibit C: Hilary Duff's pilgrim/Native American couple's costume.

All noble attempts at being awful, but 2017 believes it can do one better. Let us count the ways.

This year, you can dress up as The Wall™ 'cause nothing is more festive than reminding everyone around you about how xenophobic our country has become.

And in case anyone might momentarily forget who is going to pay for said wall, you can walk around in this:

And who will police the wall? A squad of sexy border patrol officers, of course!

But bad ideas don't have to be topical, as this Anne Frank costume can attest: eventually yanked the outfit, but if you still have your heart set on being offensive, don't worry! You can still dress up as a "Chinese gentleman" or an assortment of Mexican people.

If racial insensitivity isn't your thing, maybe you'd like to dress up as a pregnant Kylie Jenner?

Speaking of babies, you can dress yours up as the "Cash Me Outside" girl from Dr. Phil.

A website called Lyst analyzed the searches, pins, and saves of 180 million users to come up with what they predict will be the top 10 most popular costumes this year. At the top of the list: Pennywise from IT. But why just be the garden-variety killer clown when you could be a sexy killer clown?

In the spirit of transforming every single thing under the sun into something sexual, here's a costume of a sexy remote control. Note the mute button on her breast ('cause women shouldn't talk?) and the buttons that control how much of a bad girl / how hot the wearer is.

If even inanimate devices are falling victim to the sexy costume phenomenon, is there anything that's off-limits? This sexy Bambi costume, which proposes that the eyes are the windows to the nipples, not the soul, is your answer.

Where are all the sexy dude costumes, you ask? Well, they don't really exist... unless they have to do with a surprise phallus of some kind. Take this pickle apron costume, for example.

Or this snake charmer.

Or this genie.

Or this "Wanna See My Nuts" costume. (Answer: no, we do not.)

If subtlety and taste isn't your thing, you can dress up as a "Halloweenie," which is a full-body penis costume, a "Skeleboner," which is exactly what it sounds like, and "Down for the Count," a Dracula outfit getting to third-base with an inflatable doll.

I think this animated gif sums all of this up pretty well:

So if you're planning on dressing up as any of these costumes, or getting into blackface, or appropriating someone else's culture, or dressing up as "Pocahottie," or some other gross idea not listed here, how about not doing it and dressing up as Ruth Bader Ginsburglar  instead?

Craving more Halloween spookiness? Give these episodes of The Cooler, KQED's weekly pop culture podcast, a listen: