Facebook | Autumn Dayss

Woman's 'Anti-Vax Mom' Halloween Costume Stirs Up Controversy Online

emily.mcwilliams 30 Oct 2019

Over the years, there have been a number of inappropriate Halloween costumes or decorations that have been pulled from store shelves after backlash from the public.

This year, people online are divided over one woman's homemade Halloween costume which targets and mocks the anti-vax movement.

The effects of the anti-vax movement continue to be felt online and in real life.

Unsplash | Ibrahim Boran

There have been recent outbreaks of preventable diseases like measles in the United States as a direct result of people choosing to not vaccinate their children.

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Despite the severity of the issue, the stereotype of an "anti-vax" mom has been circulating online, sometimes in humorous contexts.

Unsplash | Walter Otto

This stereotype has been turned into a meme of sorts and many conflate the image of an anti-vax mom with another mom meme known as "Karen".

The "Karen" meme makes fun of supposedly high-strung, stay-at-home moms.

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Memes and online jokes that mock anti-vaxxers usually target moms specfically.

Reddit | ValgoBoi

Even though a number of anti-vaxxers are also men and fathers, the stereotype of an anti-vax parent is usually a woman.

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Now, some are wondering if one woman's Halloween costume playing off these memes has gone too far.

Facebook | Autumn Dayss

Autumn Dayss, a professional cosplayer, shared an image of her Halloween costume on Facebook.

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As a cosplayer, Dayss often dresses up as pop culture characters.

Facebook | Autumn Dayss

She shares these looks on her social media profiles through Facebook and Instagram.

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For her Halloween costume, Dayss went as "Karen and her non-vaccinated child".

Facebook | Autumn Dayss

When she shared the image on Facebook, it was flagged for containing "sensitive" content. The image was obscured from the public and a warning was given to anyone who came across it on the platform.

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To see the costume, people had to click on the image to remove the disclaimer.

Facebook | Autumn Dayss

Dayss' costume featured a small, plastic skeleton in a makeshift baby carrier.

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Online, Dayss' photo blew up and garnered 11,000 comments and about 112,00 shares on Facebook.

Facebook | Andrea Rekow

Some people praised her for the costume, saying that they found it funny and accurate.

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As Dayss' costume made its rounds on Facebook, there was a clear divide between anti- and pro-vaxxers' reactions.

Facebook | Megan Perry

Scrolling through the comments, there seem to be as many people praising the costume as criticizing it.

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The costume created a lot of controversy for its depiction of a dead, unvaccinated child.

Facebook | Annemarie Bester

Given that the anti-vax movement is an often debated topic online, people on either side of the issue went after each other and Dayss in the comments.

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Many condemned this costume for going too far.

Facebook | Sarah Lynn

Even for those who support vaccines, they thought the costume was tasteless for making light of children who have passed away.

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It seemed that the backlash to the costume was enough for Facebook to censor the image.

Facebook | Stephan Nori

When Dayss originally shared her photo, it didn't contain the sensitive material cover.

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People were divided over this costume making light of a serious issue.

Facebook

Politically incorrect Halloween costumes are nothing new, but this costume in particular clearly didn't sit well with people.

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Some defended Dayss and said her critics were being "too sensitive."

Giphy | FOX TV

"Why is this considered insensitive?" one person wrote. "You're telling the truth."

Another added, "All these sensitive Susans are killing me right now."

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Then, of course, the anti-vax jokes started making their way into the comment section.

Facebook

"Jokes about antivaxxers never get old," this person quipped. "Neither do their children."

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One anti-vaxxer shared this image in an attempt to disprove the validity of Dayss' costume.

Facebook | Amanda Holliman

This photo and its message prompted one pro-vaxxer to cheekily reply, "Shouldn't you be looking underground?"

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Although she hasn't responded to the controversy, Dayss did post a series of videos with the skeleton doll on Instagram and TikTok.

Instagram | @autumndayss

Although she referred to the doll as her "son" in the videos, they didn't have any other connection to her anti-vax costume.

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