Maybe the running complaint about the kinds of costumes we offer little girls for Halloween is an old one, but it’s not going anywhere until things start to change. There is absolutely no excuse for the absurdly sexist way even young girls are treated when it comes to dress up. One mom decided to write a message to Party City voicing her complaints. The company allegedly responded by deleting her comment, and banning her from their Facebook page.
Really, Party City?
“While Halloween costumes are undoubtedly about “make-believe,” it is unfathomable that toddler girls and boys who might be interested in dressing up as police officers are seeking to imagine themselves in the incongruent way your business apparently imagines them. Toddler girls are not imagining and hoping that they will grow up to become a ‘sexy cop’ — which is clearly what your girl costume suggests; rather, young girls, just as young boys, see and admire their family members and neighbors offering service to their communities and delight in the idea of doing the same. I am absolutely appalled that your business reinterprets girls’ innocent and well-intentioned dreams into this costume.”
That’s just a small snippet of Lin Kramer’s note to Party City: a note that got quickly deleted. Not only that, Lin was banned from commenting on their Facebook page. Banning someone from a page is a pretty extreme move that’s usually reserved for trolls and racists — not moms voicing legitimate complaints.
Lin has a point. Boys get to look like cops, girls get to look like cops in frilly skirts: because there are so many of those, obviously. If you are rolling your eyes already thinking she’s overreacting, take a look at the police officer costume for toddler boys:
and now the one for toddler girls:
So, a toddler boy can dress up to look like an actual cop. But a toddler girl has to dress up in whatever the hell this is. I mean, come on. This is unnecessarily sexist and stupid. And it’s for toddlers.
“30% of the costumes you market to boys are based on occupations, while just under 7% of the costumes you market to girls are based on occupations,” she wrote in her letter. Boys get the option of being firefighters, mailmen, doctors, construction workers, combat soldiers, and UPS drivers. Girls don’t have any of those options. Here’s where you may argue, “Well, they can just buy the boys costume.” Exactly. So why label it “boys.” What is the purpose of that. Why not have the costume in both sections and allow it to be unisex?
Party City reinstated Lin’s commenting privileges on their page, but has yet to comment on the incident. In the meantime, people are slamming them on their Facebook page, as they should. Has Party City’s merchandising department been frozen in ice since 1952? It’s 2015 – stop inadvertently telling our little girls they can’t be whatever they want to be.