I was fairly creeped out by these “sexed up” Sesame Street character costumes for women. I can’t think of anything worse than women dressing up as “sexy” versions of children’s cartoon characters. Turns out I’m really naive because there is a whole industry of selling these kinds of costumes. I don’t get how this is even remotely sexual and I would rather scrub these images right out of my brain. The thing is lots of retailers, including Amazon, sell these kinds of costumes. If you google search Minnie Mouse costumes, you will get links to these kinds of outfits. They are easily available for all kids to find. It’s just another way sexualise childhood for girls.
I also don’t think it’s difficult to over-emphasise the problematic relationship between these kinds of costumes and the “new” Minnie Mouse campaign of Barneys New York. She is ultra thin, tall and glamorous. She is everything that Minnie Mouse, and the other Disney characters, were not. Despite quite a lot of activism to get Disney and Barneys to stop running this sexualised Minnie Mouse campaign, the companies have dismissed concerns:
“We are saddened that activists have repeatedly tried to distort a lighthearted holiday project in order to draw media attention to themselves,” Disney and Barneys said in a joint statement to the News.
“They have deliberately ignored previously released information clearly stating this promotion is a three-minute ‘moving art’ video featuring traditional Minnie Mouse in a dreamlike sequence set in Paris where she briefly walks the runway as a model and then happily awakens as her normal self wearing the very same designer dress from the fashion show.”
Neither Disney nor Barneys want to acknowledge the problem of the sexualisation of young girls. They see only a 3 minute video where Minnie Mouse pretends to be a model. I see a culture which punishes women who don’t conform to the Patriarchal Fuckability Test. I see a culture which prevents little girls from being children by focusing on their appearance rather than their person. I see a culture which tells women they aren’t important unless they are pretty.
Disney and Barneys might think it’s just a silly video. I see the increasing pornification of society. It breaks my heart to see little girls being taught that they are worth nothing unless a man wants to fuck them.
There is a petition here requesting that retailers stop selling sexy Halloween costumes for young girls. I don’t know what it will change but I signed. Because I wanted my voice to be heard.