Halloween faux pas

As I look back on photos of the girls in their costumes on Halloweens gone by, I just gotta say, they were certainly the cutest little girls ever. Not that I'm biased or anything, of course. Their costumes -- the choosing of which was always a trying affair -- always ended up being perfect reflections of their personalities that year.

I'm so glad to have in my boxes and boxes of family photos evidence of the cute and crazy costumes they wore throughout the years. The photos make me smile. For the most part. Except for the photos from Halloween 1992. Those photos make me cringe. Well, not all the photos -- just the one of Megan.

When I look at the picture of Megan from the Halloween when she was coming up on her ninth birthday, I just want to kick myself. My daughter was beautiful -- as always -- but the idea, the costume, was the most politically incorrect thing I've ever condoned and contributed to.

First let me say that the costume was a gift from my youngest sister, my sister who had married a Pakistani and had lovely authentic garments from Pakistan. Megan, in particular, fell in love with the purple silk saree and matching pant outfit my sister had given the girls. It was never meant to be a costume, simply a sharing of the culture she had married into.

So with nary a thought to offending anyone, only the idea of agreeing to Megan's pleas to show off the fancy finery from a far-off land, I let Megan use it to dress up for Halloween. As a Pakistani woman:

Dressing in the silky goodness to show her friends would have been all fine and good, I think. If we had stopped there. But we didn't. I actually went so far as to darken her skin.

The clincher: I topped it all off with a red dot, a bindi, smackdab in the center of Megan's forehead.

Oh, how authentic, I thought at the time.

Oh, how unbelievably offensive, I realize now!

What I find more unbelievable, though, looking at the incident in hindsight, is that no one called me out on it. No teachers, no principal, no incensed parents.

That may be the most frightening part of it all.

That or the fact that it literally took me years to realize how cringe-worthy Megan's pretty purple costume really was.

(Maybe I can blame my cultural ignorance on, to some small degree, growing up with Disney's Song of the South playing in my ear. Maybe?)

Today's question:

What's the worst Halloween costume you've ever seen -- or worn?