Walmart’s naughty costumes are not necessarily out of line with what we’ve come to expect from Halloween — but the addition of “naughty” and “diva” toddler options are creating a stir online.
The Walmart naughty toddler costumes seem to be putting many in mind of the deepening Halloween tradition of taking a standard costume selection — nurse, firefighter, zombie — and adding “naughty” as a pretext for making the garb a bit sexier than it might be overall. (After all, when was the last time you saw an actual sexy nurse, and not a tired person wearing scrubs, Crocs, and six varieties of puke?)
“Every Halloween, we’re at the forefront of showing you who the Costume Industry Gods have decided needs to be ‘sexy’ this year. Little girls as sexy pirate wenches? Dogs as sexy Catholic schoolgirls? This year, Walmart helps you to start your toddler daughter off early with the ‘Naughty Leopard’ costume.”
Both Consumerist and Salon rightly point out that in a vacuum, the naughty toddler costumes from Walmart aren’t really much to crow about, and without the naughty moniker added, would likely not have drawn any attention at all — the latter explains:
“The costumes themselves are pretty innocuous (though the ‘Devil Diva’ is just a touch too bodice-ripping for a child who has probably just mastered not going to the bathroom in her diva shorts), but the names are weirdly suggestive. (And yes, I understand the dictionary definition of ‘naughty’ is tame, but it seems the marketing department behind this one was trading on the more adult innuendos attached to the word.)”
Indeed, there is little about Walmart’s naughty toddler costumes aside from the name that gives us pause — but it really makes you wonder a) if Walmart was unaware of Halloween’s naughty-nurse reputation, and b) what on Earth the retailer was going for when they made the marketing decision to use Halloween’s naughty costume connotations to pimp a toddler product.