Home OpinionEditorial EDITORIAL: Serial Killers Are Not Halloween Costumes

EDITORIAL: Serial Killers Are Not Halloween Costumes

by Sofia Acevedo Valencia

Every year, we follow the same media consumerism cycle. We get brand new TV shows, movies, books and media in general, whose characters are put on a pedestal and become so sensational that there is no way you won’t pass five Eddie Munson’s in a row while scrolling through your feed.

We are aware of what Halloween costumes fall under certain categories such as cultural appropriation or just downright inexcusable representations that even questioning the validity of our costume should be a sign to dress up as something else.

It’s all fun and games, even people that dress up as cult horror movie icons are celebrated for their ingenuity and smarts when it comes to their looks. However, it’s not long before someone takes it too far.

At this point, everyone has heard of “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” as it has become gossip talk virtually everywhere for being nothing short of unbelievable. For a lack of a better word, it’s a circus.

Teenagers have discovered actors like Evan Peters, famous for his role in “American Horror Story,” through the dramatized series and wish to recreate his role by dressing up as a serial killer for Halloween. Not a fictional serial killer, a real-life person.

The controversy surrounding the Netflix series comes from the families of the victims of Dahmer, who are in disbelief at the creation of such a crude piece of media. The fact that we should even think to acknowledge the victims as revolving around Dahmer’s existence is absolutely unacceptable.

Dahmer’s victims were young men, queer in some instances, that were finding themselves at a time where being gay was considered unseemingly and a sin. They were real people with families that miss them to this day and whose names are being degraded and dehumanized for everyone to see.

Dahmer is not the only one being romanticized, as “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” a dramatized film on serial killer Ted Bundy starring Zac Efron caused quite a stir years prior. John Wayne Gacy, sex offender and serial killer, also seems to be a favorite because of his alter ego, Pogo The Clown.

What do these three killers have in common? Their own Netflix true crime documentaries.

In Dahmer and Bundy’s case, the dramatized media portraying them purposely assigned conventionally attractive men to be the lead actors. For a young person, it could be easy to confuse attraction to their favorite actor versus the serial killer that they are playing.

As much as one would like to blame children not old enough to get their driver’s license or their parents for lack of supervision, adults are also succumbing to the brainwashed fanbase of serial killers.

These are people that genuinely idolize these sick people that have committed crimes against society and killed hundreds of individuals.

Thankfully, people have been waking up to the fact that it is almost impossible to consume true crime media ethically, as the individuals telling these stories do it for selfish reasons and ignore the pain and suffering of the victims and their families.

It’s understandable why people idolize or even identify with serial killers when they are characters in their favorite scary movies. However, these individuals are nothing more than fictional and while controversial, they mostly do no harm.

However, falling into the trap of fantasizing about these despicable murderers who have caused irreparable damage on this earth is not something that we can do because it’s trendy, cute or fun.

It would sadly prove what becomes more and more apparent with these absurd and wild internet trends. Compassion and empathy only serve people when it’s convenient, and some truly can’t feel for anyone other than themselves.

It would be wise to avoid it and buy yourself a costume that doesn’t revolve around disrespecting someone else’s loved ones. Please don’t be that person, it’s embarrassing.

Halloween season is a fun and lively time where everyone gets to dress up and let their creativity shine, but let’s not forget that there are boundaries that separate us from right and wrong. This holiday is not an excuse for cheap and insensitive jokes.

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