Congresswoman’s hat adopted as new Halloween costume

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Rep. Frederica Wilson, the Democratic congresswoman from Florida who has gained a new wave of publicity over her recent criticism of President Trump’s condolence call to a Gold Star widow, is now gaining notoriety in another way – people are wanting to adopt her unique look as the latest Halloween costume.

Wilson is frequently seen wearing bright, colorful, sequin-covered cowboy hats that match her outfit, and a Washington Examiner report noted that she has stated she has “hundreds” of hats.

When Wilson was first elected in 2010, she tried to challenge a rule that prohibits the wearing of hats on the House floor.

‘”It’s sexist,” Wilson said. “It dates back to when men wore hats and we know that men don’t wear hats indoors, but women wear hats indoors. Hats are what I wear. People get excited when they see the hats. Once you get accustomed to it, it’s just me. Some people wear wigs, or high heel shoes or big earrings or pins. This is just me.”‘

When asked how many hats she owns, Wilson responded, “I’ve never counted, but I’ve been wearing them almost 30 years. It’s almost like a fetish. … I have hundreds.”

Now Wilson’s hats are being adopted as a new Halloween costume, and one is even advertised on eBay, under the heading, “Frederica Wilson Glitter Sequin Trim Cowboy Hat – Halloween Florida Congress.”

Retailers such as Walmart and Party City also have a selection of similar glitzy hats in their costume sections, although they are not identified with Wilson’s name, the Washington Examiner noted.

Now a warning is being issued about anyone wanting to copy the look for Halloween. Since Wilson is African-American, Sociologist Anna Akbara warned that anyone better not use “blackface” paint to go along with the hat.

“There’s nothing inherently offensive about dressing up as present-day political figures, but if that or any other costume involves dressing in blackface, that is always a bad idea. There are no exceptions to this,” she said.

Akbari said people considering costume ideas should ask, “Am I mocking a racial or ethnic group that has been historically disenfranchised and discriminated against? If so, just don’t do it. It’s a pretty simple litmus test.”

Twitter has lit up with suggestions on wearing Wilson’s hat as a Halloween costume.

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