The beginning of autumn heralds a lot of things, from back to school to the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. But nothing gets people quite as pumped up as the advent of Halloween, a time to dress up in costume and watch scary films. But Halloween brings its own problems every year, especially when trying to dress up as certain characters. Moreover, there's the problem of women's costumes recreated as "Sexy" versions, with iconic outfits re-imagined as skimpy micro-minis. But no costume for 2018 may be as tasteless as the sexy Handmaid's Tale costume, an idea both foolishly tasteless, as well as completely missing the message of the show.
For those who have not watched Hulu's hit series, it is a show set in the near future, where a fertility crisis and evangelical coup overthrowing the American government have created a class of women who are forced into reproductive slavery in order to carry the children of rich and powerful families who cannot have their own. These "Handmaids" are forced to wear sexless bright red robes denoting their status, oversized bonnets to hide their faces, and are ritually raped during their fertile periods.
To then re-imagine then as "sexy come-hither" characters is to miss the point and then some. But that's precisely what costumer sellers Yandy.com did.
My favorite detail on this costume is the name. Yandy, and many of the sites selling these "sexy" variations on iconic costumes, never have the actual licensing rights to the looks they are shilling, even though they price them at top dollar. (In this case $65.) This means they have to rename them something vaguely generic. In this case: "Brave Red Maiden." Alrighty then.
Twitter, of course, grabbed hold of this immediately, tearing it to shreds, from the terrible concept to the hilariously bad sales pitch.
An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say. However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume featuring a red mini dress, a matching cloak with an attached hood, and a white bonnet headpiece.
Others were amazed it took this long for someone to think this a good idea, considering how much attention and awards love the first season got last year.
By this morning, however, Yandy.com had gotten the message they were the winners of the Worst Halloween Costume Idea of 2018 derby. They have pulled it from the website while trying to insist that encouraging women to dress in a titillating manner for men on Halloween was some sort of version of "female empowerment."
The statement reads in part:
Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that [the costume] is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than empowerment. This is unfortunate as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image.
Let this be a lesson to retailers around the world this Halloween. You can try for the bad taste costume, but know you are under our eye.