A “se.xy” handmaiden’s Costume inspired by Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel and now TV show The Handmaid’s Tale could have been yours for a red hot second. The halloween costume – sold by United states lingerie company Yandy – was reported “offensive” by the internet. Obviously.
Yandy duly removed the Halloween Costumes, saying: “Over the very last several hours, it is now obvious that our ‘Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume’ will be seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, as opposed to an expression of women’s empowerment.” Within the true spirit of Halloween, eliminating the costume from sale had been a misstep. The costume casts one of the spookiest images possible for modern women. The spectre of any handmaiden is really haunting, much more when compared to a ghoul or ghost or zombie.
For all those new to Atwood’s nightmarish world, a handmaiden is actually a woman that has an intact reproductive system within an era of growing infertility. Handmaidens are required to carry the offspring from the ruling class. They wear distinctive red dresses and white bonnets that obscure their faces.
The handmaidens are women who are valued simply for their reproductive function, they have got no autonomy, and they are essentially raped every time they may be assigned to bear a child. In Atwood’s dystopia, women in general aren’t permitted to read or write and are stuck in domestic roles. As Yandy indicates inside their apology, handmaiden’s costumes (albeit canonical, non-s.exy versions) have been donned all over the world by protesters demanding greater rights for females. The costumes were utilized in both Ireland and Argentina to campaign for abortion rights, these people were utilized in Britain to protest Donald Trump’s state visit, and they’ve been used around the US to protest several bills, including funding cuts to reproductive health centres. The idea is to draw a parallel involving the way women are silenced in dystopian fiction and the way women in today’s political climate feel silenced on matters in relation to their very own bodies. To some extent, the dystopia is here.
The Adult Halloween Costumes takes this iconic handmaiden image and propels it to the absurd. It shortens and tightens the figureless red robe and adds fishnet stockings and very high heel shoes. Besides it connote an (very real) world where women have no say over their reproductive health, but it also produces in the fore the reality that ladies are overtly se.xualised.
It’s not difficult to see why a lot of people wrote into Yandy saying that it absolutely was offensive, but surely there’s also something darkly humorous about this too. It’s bizarre that somehow the realm of retail has the capacity to spin a story about oknqdh and misogyny into an empowering garment. The first item description read: “An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no more use a say. However, we say be bold and speak your thoughts within this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume.” The irony astounds.
Past the laughter, whether they designed to or otherwise, Yandy sold the ideal Sexy Halloween Costumes For Women. It mixes the puritanical reproductive coercion in the Handmaid’s Tale using the objectification and commercialisation of female bodies. It displays a dystopian reality that could be inside our future, and may also describe our present. It’s a really scary method to observe Halloween.