There’s no doubt that skimpified Halloween costumes have become a holiday staple, as we’ve seen sexy takes on everything from doctors’ scrubs, police uniforms, and even domesticated pets; however, there are some costumes that just shouldn’t be sexualized, especially if they represent sexual and political oppression.
Case in point: This “Brave Red Maiden” getup by online retailer Yandy.
The company thought it’d be a good idea to rework the modest ensemble featured in the Hulu original series the Handmaid’s Tale. The show, based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, takes place in a totalitarian society in which women are dehumanized and kept only for reproductive purposes. These women, known as handmaids, are identified by their red clothing and white bonnets—a look that inspired Yandy’s aforementioned Brave Red Maiden design.
The costume’s description read: “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 minidress, a matching cloak with an attached hood and a white bonnet headpiece.”
Yandy was immediately blasted for sexualizing an outfit associated with sexual abuse and slavery.
Yandy has since pulled the costume from its website.
“It has become obvious that our ‘Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume’ is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than expression of women's empowerment,” the company said in a statement. “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.”