The Handmaid’s Tale is trending this week, but it has nothing to with Monday’s Emmy Awards, where the show was nominated in multiple categories.
Instead, it’s trending for a costume controversy. Yep, with October just around the corner, it’s almost offensive Halloween costume season!
Read on to find out why the show and a derivative costume swept Twitter on Tuesday.
I need a quick reminder about the show.
You remember Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s book of the same name. It’s the dystopian drama about a near future universe where the United States government had been overthrown by a totalitarian state in which women are stripped of basic human rights.
So what’s the costume?
Yandy, a Halloween costume superstore known for selling looks like “Officer Pat U. Down” and the classic “Sexy Cougar” costume, released a “Brave Red Maiden Costume” for $65, which is essentially a more, ahem, revealing version of the show’s handmaiden robes.
And it’s sexy because … ?
Apparently the formula for Halloween costume designers is: take literally any profession, pop culture reference, sports uniform, etc. — but make it sexy.
Why are people offended?
Oh, where to begin. If you’ve watched the show, you know that the handmaids are women who are held against their will and just barely kept alive for the sole purpose of procreation. Their red robes are signifiers of their status as oppressed wombs stripped of all humanity. So, you know, making the costume “sexy” is very contrary to the message of the show.
You can say that again. Even if you don’t watch the show, you probably know the handmaid’s looks because you’ve seen women dressing in red robes at political protests against any politician or piece of legislature which threatens women’s rights — specifically their reproductive rights.
So, how did the company react?
Following the outcry, Yandy issued an apology and removed the costume from its site.
“Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our ‘Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume’ is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment,” reads the statement. “This 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.”
Moral of the story: Women’s oppression is not sexy!!
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