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Halloween costumes to avoid this year

By Melonyce McAfee, CNN
updated 1:49 PM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Supermodel Heidi Klum throws a Halloween party every year, and her costumes are famously elaborate. In 2008, Klum dressed as Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction, leading some Hindus to decry her appropriation of an important religious symbol. Click through the gallery for more costume fails. Supermodel Heidi Klum throws a Halloween party every year, and her costumes are famously elaborate. In 2008, Klum dressed as Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction, leading some Hindus to decry her appropriation of an important religious symbol. Click through the gallery for more costume fails.
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Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
Skip these Halloween costumes
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • It's been tragedy-filled year since last Halloween: plane crashes, Ebola, domestic abuse
  • Topical Halloween costumes tend to be popular but can also be tasteless and hurtful
  • One reveler dressed as Ray Rice, who was kicked out of the NFL for domestic violence
  • It might be wise to skip insensitive costumes in favor of more creative choices

(CNN) -- Freeze! Step away from the stack of face masks and hazmat suits.

"What's more topical than Ebola?" you're thinking. "It's the perfect inspiration for a Halloween costume, right?!"

No. Just ... no.

Using tragic current events as fodder for Halloween costumes is nothing new, but it's often a hackneyed and insensitive choice.

"Prom night toilet baby" was a popular costume after a spate of girls gave birth to secret babies at school, and a bloodied duo strolled into a party dressed as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman just last year. This year, for just $59.99 on one costume e-tailer, sexy Ebola containment suit can be yours.

Knee-slappers, right?

They might evoke a chuckle from the crasser among us, but do you really want to be the hero of the most obnoxious person at the party or, worse, the most-hated person on Twitter?

Photos have already surfaced of a bro dressed as former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice and dragging around a lifeless doll meant to stand in for domestic violence victim Janay Rice.

Janay Rice, a real person with actual feelings, weighed in on the tastelessness: "@TMZ it's sad, that my suffering amuses others."

Don't be the guy wearing the cruel, uncreative costume.

Dallas is reeling from the first Ebola cases transmitted on U.S. soil. Predictably, some local resident chose to decorate his front yard as a biohazard zone. It's unclear how the families of those who are fighting for their lives feel about the stunt, but you'd think fellow Dallas denizens would have a little tact.

"Money can't buy empathy or good taste (shaking my head)," Sandra Mundie James wrote to CNN Dallas affiliate WFAA on Facebook.

That about sums it up. So maybe shelve the brilliant ideas that involve dead celebrities, biohazards, missing plane passengers, terrorists and domestic abusers.

Yep, it's been a rough year, but why memorialize it around a spider-filled punchbowl at the office party?

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