Walmart yanked a toddler Halloween costume out of the store after an uproar from parents who thought the retail giant was "sexualizing" toddlers with the “Naughty Leopard” Halloween costume. Along with taking the costume out of their stores and down from their website, Walmart offered an apology, according to ABC News GMA on Sept. 26.
Many might say they see nothing sexy in this Halloween offering, it consists of a black tutu with purple trim and a headband with matching ears. It doesn’t even faintly resemble a leopard. Maybe if the name of the costume didn’t carry the word “naughty” it would have fared better. Actually the name sounds naughtier than the costume looks.
The word “naughty,” which was once something you would call a child not listening to their parents, has taken on a new connotation in recent decades. You'll find the word describing scantily clad women more often than you do a sweet little kid. Walmart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt said today:
“We are in the process of pulling the product off our shelves and we apologize to any customers that may have been offended by the name.”
Pop Sugar called the costume “disturbing” and it was a commenter from the Consumerist that got the ball rolling when it reported on the costume after an angry reader brought it to their attention. Whatever you may think of the costume, it pushed that envelope to the point where Walmart seemed to leave themselves wide open for this type of reaction from parents.
The name alone doesn't sound innocent, it sounds more like the beginning of a movie rated at least "R." It's too bad, but the word "naughty" is one of those words that have been hijacked from the English language and slowly taken on a new meaning. It could have been worse, the "naughty" teacher or school girl is something that would really conjure up the x-rated visions in the mind's eye.