The hosts of themed fancy dress parties could be unwittingly discriminating against less creative and imaginative people, who are statistically less likely to turn up wearing a decent costume, a recent study has concluded.
Research carried out on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed that a large proportion of the British public feel ‘a palpable sense if dread’ when invited to fancy dress parties: ‘Most people simply do not have the time and money to invest in knocking up a Buzz Lightyear outfit out of cereal boxes and plastic containers for example; their creative abilities notwithstanding.’
‘Researchers interviewed over 13,000 married couples, many of whom told the same harrowing story,’ Baroness Margaret Prosser of Battersea OBE, deputy chair of the commission, revealed. ‘The pressure to concoct a realistic costume that is also witty and clever in its interpretation is immense. Statistics have proved that even the minimum standard Charlie Chaplin moustache is beyond most people.’
Mr. and Mrs. B of Nantwich is a case in point. ‘Our neighbour invited us to a Star Wars themed party a while ago – it was terrible. The lengths some people went to – a full length Wookie costume, a brightly burnished C3P0 and some guy done up like Darth Maul, spikes and all. And then there was us: my ‘Han Solo’ husband in his work shirt, trousers and a black leather waistcoat from his Quo days which wouldn’t even do up any more; and me in my brown ‘Jedi’ dressing gown – I felt a right fool!’
To combat this problem, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has announced a series of roadshows, designed to encourage party organisers to think about the needs of those less fortunate than themselves and include a non-dress up option on their invitations. The Commission will also be distributing fancy dress information packs – full of useful hints, tips and cut-out fake noses for the budding, if inept, costume creator. The precise contents of this pack will be unveiled next month at the EHRC’s annual summer ball – theme: the Baroque Court of The Sun King, Louis XIV.