A Handmaid’s Tale Halloween costume that many consider overly “sexy” and revealing is making headlines after the costume was pulled from shelves following significant backlash.
Online retailer Yandy listed a “Brave Red Maiden” Halloween costume for nearly $65, referencing the same outfit women forced into sexual surrogacy wear in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The provocative rendition includes a red cape, a short mini dress and a white bonnet.
“An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say,” the description read. “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,” the description stated.
For those who aren’t familiar with the series, The Handmaid’s Tale is a Hulu original drama, based on the Margaret Atwood novel, set in the future, dystopian world of “Gilead,” which has replaced the former United States. Violent religious extremists have stripped women of their rights and imposed a male-dominated dictatorship, rounding up women and forcing them into a life of sexual servitude and surrogacy. After an unknown disaster has left most of the population sterile, the few remaining fertile women are captured and given to high-ranking, powerful men as ‘handmaid’s’ to bear their children.
The handmaids are brainwashed and beaten, forced into a life of ritualistic rape each month when they are ovulating, and any child that they bear is immediately taken away to be raised by the household patriarch and his barren wife. The monthly “ceremony” involves the handmaid lying in the lap of the Commander’s wife, her arms pinned down while the Commander rapes her.
The show has become hugely popular, with thousands of women adopting the Handmaid’s garb as their own when advocating for women’s rights and protesting violence against women around the world. Recently, demonstrators donned the costume outside Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearing.
So, when Yandy released a “sexy” Handmaid’s Tale costume, people were offended that any company would try to sexualize something that is meant to identify a sex slave into something alluring and “slutty.”
Users swarmed social media, voicing their disgust at the costume. “Yes, this is what ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ was missing — more leg,” one critic wrote on social media.
Another wrote: “We’re now beyond satire. ‘Sexy’ ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ outfit. There’s nothing like fighting the patriarchy by sexualizing a show about misogyny and rape.”
Another user said, “This is so far from the point I can’t even,” while another added, “Our society doesn’t take the rape of real women seriously, why should they take the rape of fictional women seriously?”
Many users called those who objected to the costume hypocrites and pointed out the fact that there are still thousands of sexy Pochahontis costumes and other racist and distasteful costumes that nobody is demanding be pulled from shelves.
Yandy released a statement to its Twitter page following the backlash.
“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,” the statement read.
“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. Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our website.”
According to Fox News, this isn’t the first time Yandy has been in hot water for creating a sexy costume of a popular television series or character. Last year, the website was criticized for its sexy “Stranger Things” costume that depicted the character Eleven, as the actress who plays Eleven, Mille Bobby Brown, was 12 at the time of filming the popular Netflix series.