As we all know, Halloween is a time for society to sexualize otherwise standard costume ideas: sexy pirates, sexy firefighters, and sexy goldfish are all costumes that exist. But for some women, when you spend 364 days a year being objectified by the media, there is only one place to go express your Halloween identity. I am speaking, of course, of supermodel Heidi Klum’s paradigm-shattering decision to dress as a worm this Halloween.

There are a couple of things we already knew about Klum: She pulls out all the stops for Halloween and she loves taking fashion risks. These powers combined this year as Klum hit the red carpet of her 21st annual Halloween party dressed as a giant worm with husband Tom Kaulitz escorting her as a fisherman.

Not only does this eclipse their 2018 his-and-hers Shrek costumes, but it also stands as a real test of Kaulitz’s true love — as a legion of meme-ers were quick to point out — and lends itself immaculately to one of the most online references of all time: the “Would You Still Love Me If I Was a Worm” meme.

Other memes zeroed in on Klum’s uncanny stare, afforded by the incredibly textured faceplate of the costume and punctuated by eerie yellow-lens contacts covering the model’s natural eye color.

The Internet was rightfully flooded with references to cultural touchstones, from low-hanging meme fruit comparisons to Dune to invocations of Peeta from The Hunger Games, who has a penchant for camouflage make-up.

This costume has it all, including, it seems, uncanny art historical references.

Even the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (?!) got in on the action, promoting their own strange native clam as a prospect for next year’s costume.

But Klum’s triumph this year is so multilayered, so fascinating and unexpected — so purely strange — that it has now co-opted an entire visual category, and can be likened to anything, anything at all.

A tweet by @sharonwrites (screenshot Valentina Di Liscia/Hyperallergic via Twitter)

One thing you’ll have to concede about Heidi Klum: The rest of us can’t even touch her.

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Sarah Rose Sharp

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, Columbus and Toledo, OH, and Detroit —...

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