Gendered (and sexually obectifying) halloween costumes are far and estranged from my heart. Then again, they were never ‘near and dear’ my heart to begin with. Read what Jennifer Siebel Newsom has written for this week’s Miss Representation action email!
“The recent “re-imagining” of Disney’s Minnie Mouse, the iconic animated character beloved by children the world over, is a frightening example of our culture increasingly sexualizing children and perpetuating a limiting standard of beauty for women and girls. The new Minnie, created for retailer Barneys New York, is depicted impossibly skinny and is stretched beyond recognition. In its efforts to sell a product to young women, Disney and Barneys are reinforcing the media’s already unhealthy and dangerous body ideals for girls.
With Halloween fast approaching, the season for scary displays of sexism is upon us. Costume shopping for October 31st has become a disturbing yearly experience – an unavoidable reminder of just how much money is being made through the objectification, sexualization, and degradation of women.
These days you can put “sexy” in front of nearly anything and make it into a Halloween costume for women (in fact, there’s already a “Sexy Minnie Mouse” costume); and, as a result, girls are learning at younger and younger ages that the point of Halloween is to show off their bodies.
Last year we wrote:
“Halloween seems to amplify our cultural trend of women being raised to manipulate their bodies and boys being taught to master their environments. With these costumes, are we again teaching girls to value themselves only for their beauty and boys to glorify violence? When are we going to provide a wider array of opportunities for our girls to portray characters that aren’t easily objectified or sexualized? Where are the costumes for my daughter that actually represent power or authority?”
We want to counter gender stereotypes again this year by presenting positive Halloween alternatives for our daughters and sons.
This week, submit your favorite positive costume ideas on Tumblr or send them to us via email!
You can also use #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to call out the most egregious and offensive costumes – not to mention companies – you find.
Over the next two weeks we’ll spotlight the best costume ideas from Tumblr and continue to keep pressure on retailers and corporate America to give our children healthy ideas on who and what they can become!
Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The MissRepresentation.org Team”
I think that non-gender-specific costuming is a fantastic idea. Costumes for girls or boys that are creative and empowering, fun, and spooky without being violent. I look forward to seeing what tumbles through MissRep’s Tumblr…
I’m feeling good about creativity in costuming, and just saying ‘no’ to sexual objectification.