Halloween costumes and decorations seem to arrive in stores earlier and earlier every year.
October is more than two months away, yet one celebrity attire is already causing a social media firestorm.
The “Call Me Caitlyn” costume, reminiscent of Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, consists of a corset-like top, shorts and a wig.
Though Halloween costumes lampooning current events and celebrities are nothing new, Jenner's supporters condemn the attire as "transphobic" and "disgusting” and have launched a petition calling on one retailer to halt production.
“To make a costume out of a marginalized identity reduces that person and community to a stereotype for privileged people to abuse,” the petition statement read. “In this case, if you follow through with production of a Caitlyn Jenner costume, cisgender people will purchase it to make fun of her and our community.”
"At Spirit Halloween, we create a wide range of costumes that are often based upon celebrities, public figures, heroes and superheroes," said Lisa Barr, senior director of marking at Spirit Halloween. "We feel that Caitlyn Jenner is all of the above and that she should be celebrated. The Caitlyn Jenner costume reflects just that."
Spirit isn’t new to controversy. Last year, the company was criticized for selling "Slenderman" costumes inspired by the fictional internet character who allegedly compelled two 12-year-old girls to stab a classmate 19 times in a wooded park earlier that year.
Despite the company’s stated intentions, the advertisement, which features a features a tattooed male donning the outfit, “mocks the validity of a transgender’s identity,” according to a petition signer.
But Spirit isn’t the only company carrying the “Call Me Caitlyn” this year. Several online retailers are selling the costume under the “humorous” category, which some say undermines the struggles transgender people like Jenner go through every day.