Search icon


04th Oct 2021

Karen Halloween costume sparks backlash among shoppers

Kieran Galpin


Is the Karen costume the worst or best Halloween idea?

A new Karen-inspired Halloween costume is making the rounds on social media, with some not pleased and others already adding it to their shopping baskets.

Inspired by the popular meme that’s typically used to illustrate the entitled tendencies of usually white women, the costume appears to include a shot blonde wig and sunglasses – two essential items that seem to encapsulate a peak Karen aesthetic. Throw in a range rover, thin eyebrows and an iPhone flip case and partiers can create the ultimate Karen look.

The term Karen has become synonymous with white privileged women who are renowned for asking to speak to the manager and complaining about so-called ‘PC Police’. However social media has also turned them into cult figures and now the term is simply used to describe a woman who seems to think she is the centre of the universe or above the law.

The term has also been linked heavily to racism, with videos of middle-aged white women harassing people of colour regularly going viral on social media.

“I don’t like how they’re profiting from the very real issue of racism,” wrote one person who quote-tweeted the costume image.

“the shi was an insult to racist white women and they turned into a quirky meme i just can’t,” wrote another.

It has also been recently reported that those named Karen are not happy with the new connotations surrounding their name.

“The Karen meme is misogynistic and ageist. Columnists should be objecting to it rather than making excuses for it,” Karen Heyman told the LA Times.

“As someone who was bullied as a child, I refuse to humor a trend that mocks my name. Woe be unto you if you keep insulting your middle-aged readers.”

Vincent wrote on behalf of his wife: “I’m writing on behalf of my wife, Karen, and I’m sure for Karens of all colors and ages when I say, please cease the senseless sexist stigmatizing of a name that means no harm to anyone.”

Related links: