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celebrities halloween costumes

The most horrifying part of Halloween is all of these boring celebrity photoshoots

Get them some fake blood and a cheap wig asap

Something severely vanilla has happened to Halloween. Instead of vampires and Cruellas stumbling out of Hollywood Hills parties, we’ve been left with professional photoshoots all over the Instagram feed, which wouldn’t look out of place (at best) in the pages of a glossy women’s magazine and (at worst) as the stock image on the front of the fancy dress outfit’s packaging.

At first, it seemed like only the Kardashians fell into this category. Both Kendall and Kim have had three different (allegedly spooky) looks over the past week, each accompanied by a full glam squad, stylist, and many hundreds of dollars worth of content production. Bland backgrounds, even blander poses— Heidi Klum’s worm this is not.

But Halloween’s professional photoshoot ritual has spread far outside of the Kardashian realm. Paris Hilton posed in front of a plain purple backdrop as Britney in her Toxic music video. Halle Bailey stood in front of grey as Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice. The women: gorgeous. The setting: Vibeless. It’s clinical, fomoless content— unless you particularly enjoy standing under a studio light.

Fancy dress isn’t meant to be perfect and for normal people is almost never is. Wonky lipstick, bad wigs, costumes cut out of cardboard, spiders legs made of pairs of tights and newspaper. Celebrities might have the money and means to create magazine-level looks but, even then, I’d much rather see them taking a mirror selfie inside Kendall’s Chateau Marmont mansion (there were a few of these on Stories) than posed to perfection against a mushroom-toned wall.

As we veer towards the increasingly meta and celebrities become subtler in the stars they’re impersonating – Madison Pettis as Mariah Carey, case and point – we’re seeing fundamentally bad costumes. Rock up at a fancy dress party with curly hair and a black bodycon dress and see if anybody can suss you’re Mariah’s Vision of Love album cover without an accompanying swipe-through picture comparison. They can’t.

When celebrities are hiring professional photographers, hair stylists, makeup assistants and studio spaces to shoot their Halloween looks, it makes the pressure of the holiday feel fundamentally yawn-worthy. As one person on Twitter put it: “I’m over all of these perfectly manicured professional halloween photo shoots from everyone. Did you wear this costume to a party and drink too much or what?” 

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