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The Halloween Costume Interludes, Round Two: Sassy, Sassy Superheroes

2011 October 31

In which Team BadRep discuss Halloween costumes via email in a thoroughly serious and academically high-flying manner.

Round Two: Sassy, Sassy Superheroes

Jenni: I demand to know what the costume designers were thinking when they called these travesties Captain America costumes, or Ninja Turtle or Wolverine costumes. I mean, I don’t think you could get into a S.H.I.E.L.D. base dressed like that and claim to be Cap. Masters of disguise, these costume makers are not.

Photo: a young white brunette woman poses in a yellow and blue dress with blue shiny stiletto boots. Image used under fair use guidelines.

But you look nothing LIKE Wolverine!

I was the kid who thought ‘shoddy work’ when comic book inkers coloured in panels of Wolverine’s costume the wrong colour. What do you expect will be my reaction when you try to sell me that and call it a Wolverine costume? The only time I’ve seen a male superhero wear a skirt that short was when Deadpool put on Jean Grey’s costume and insisted he was an X-Man.

Rob: Just for the record, I’m planning to do that particular Deadpool outfit for a convention next summer.

Markgraf: Fuck NEXT SUMMER, do it for THIS WEEKEND!

Miranda: This Green Lantern one’s not so bad. Good: it still has those huge abs printed on it! No toning down the muscle power for the ladies. Less good: The lines on the front come over like a bra made out of sinew. Even She-Hulk does not possess this feature.

Sarah J: Sassy Thor Girl is quite amusing. The Mighty Avenger! It’s the coy way she’s cradling the hammer that makes it. And her angry thunder god fluffy boot-tops. Are they intended to represent clouds? Anyway, I think this is one example among thousands of the failure to translate power from a masculine to a feminine character. Thor is big and strong and powerful! Look at his beard, muscles and giant throbbing hammer! Thor Girl is… er… sexy? Sassy? Look at her fluffy boots of death!

A white blonde woman poses in the "sassy thor" costume - a short dress with fluffy fur topped boots.


Miranda: Yes! The failure to translate power thing you just said? I think that nails it. Look at how Marvin-Martian-girl has no war helmet. Also, I find it really weird how these manufacturers seem to think adding heels to things in the promo shots is logical – the worst offender by far is this shot of a Neytiri from Avatar costume. That character lives in a rainforest, rides a psychic dinosaur and is part of a tribe considering waging a war, in effect, on consumerism. The electric blue stilettoes scream “just took that dinosaur on a sweet trip to Topshop”. Which sort of ruins the whole nature-hippy vibe.

Rob: Also, this seems relevant.

poster showing a young Asian man holding a photo of a white person dressed as an Arab. Caption reads: This is who I am and this is not okay.Miranda: Yes. This is all, really, less about Halloween specifically and more about general societal trends around gender and bodies and clothing writ large. Why are we meant to be so uncomfortable with male flesh on display in this way? Sexy male costumes do exist, but they tend to be seen as much more out of place at a general house party than a woman in stockings and suspenders.

Jenni: By the way, I think these posters are amazing. They were created by STARS – Students Teaching Against Racism, at Ohio University, and I think they really get the point across about cultural appropriation and racism at costume parties.

Sarah J: Those posters are ace.

Miranda: Yes. Yet another reason why Sexy Chinese Takeaway should just go on fire.

Jenni: Take Back Halloween and their well-researched selection of costume ideas are still going strong, judging by this appearance on The Mary Sue. I mentioned them in the Halloween post I made on BR last year. Goddesses, queens, warriors and pirates – all costumes I’d consider!

Miranda: And for everything else, there’s always Angry Birds, which is just bringing everyone together in a transcendently glorious sexy-free world of cushioning and big eyebrows.

NEXT: What we’re wearing, and our absolute favourite WTF costume has yet spewed into the world

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Russell permalink
    October 31, 2011

    It doesn’t help that there are actually female “versions” characters running around for both Thor and Wolverine. Neither of them wear anything like those two, although I’m not sure you’d consider what they do wear much better. X-23’s outfit is at least vaguely practical, I suppose.

  2. October 31, 2011

    Awesome post! At least Sassy Thor Girl looks vaguely superhero-ish with the hammer and cape. But sexy wolverine…? She doesn’t even have proper claws! I’ve seen worse superhero costumes though.

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