You got it wrong with your recent Naughty Leopard Halloween costume for toddlers. I know you have pulled it from the shelves already, but in order for us to be sure this won’t happen again I think it is important that we review your missteps. First I would strongly recommend that you let your creatives out of the office and send them on a field trip to the nearest ...ZOO. Oh, you thought I was going to talk about the fact that you characterized a toddler costume as “Naughty” which is generally accepted to refer to sexual promiscuity when used in the titling of a Halloween costume? That’s easy to find out by just googling the word “naughty,” let alone googling the words “naughty Halloween costumes.” But no, I am not going to spend any time today discussing your blatant exploitation of children, the sexualizing of their outfits, or the capitalizing on salaciousness just to make a buck. No, I want to address the serious issue of your teams’ lack of understanding of the leopard. Someone must speak up for them and challenge your misrepresentation of this beautiful animal with your Naughty Leopard Halloween costume.
Let’s start with your most obvious mistake: the color. Leopards do come in a variety of colors that range from creamy pale yellow, to grey, to deep gold, always speckled with densely packed black rosettes from their massive head, along their paws, to the tip of their long tail. (Do you even have a tail on this costume?) Note I said nothing about the colors purple or fuchsia. There is such a thing as a rare Strawberry Leopard, but that’s just a leopard with a slight red hue to its golden coat, no fuchsia accents at all. The underbelly of any Leopard is a soft downey and even lighter in color than its top coat, without any sequins or sparkles to speak of.
Now you chose a black base for your Naughty Leopard Halloween costume. However, a melanistic leopard, (a leopard that is black), is often referred to as a Black Panther, not a leopard at all. It’s still technically a leopard, panther is a generic term, but most people don’t want to get close enough to determine whether the big cat is a leopard or a jaguar. (I’m sure you can appreciate that.) So in truth, your costume could have been titled a Naughty Panther, but only if you believe that it is naughty to wear crinolines, fuchsia accents and sequins. Although, I guess that would really depend on what part of the jungle your panther-leopard-jaguar comes from. Maybe the cat just wants to feel like a princess and isn’t being naughty at all, just like an actual toddler.
All in all I think with a little research, and an outing or two, your team might have decided to name your costume a Princess Panther. I believe it would have served you far better and avoided this hubbub all together. Then again you wouldn’t have gotten as much free publicity that way now would you? So, perhaps your creatives were on target and I’m the one who is getting it wrong. Maybe you guys at Walmart are not stupid at all you just assume your customers are.
Now that’s naughty.
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