The Handmaid’s Tale might just be the best show no one looks forward to actually watching, as the Hulu original is a brutal look at a dystopian future where global infertility has helped spark a religious revolt in the United States, establishing a brutal regime and forcing women into sex slavery.
It’s a beautifully shot, well-acted nightmare of a show that parallels some of the more restrictive women’s rights initiatives that seem to be creeping down the pipeline these days. It’s a weird cognitive dissonance when the quality of the show makes you want to keep watching, but it might not be the escape from reality most TV is.
But fans of the show, and just women in general, cried foul when a Halloween costume company decided to use The Handmaid’s Tale‘s striking imagery to make a “sexy” version of the Handmaid outfit. Costume company Yandy issued an apology for one of its designs after women complained the costume commodified a symbol for women’s oppression and rape
Because of copyright infringement, the costume was called the “Brave Red Maiden Costume” but what Yandy was grinding at is pretty clear here.
In case you weren’t sure if this was a strange Little Red Riding Hood costume gone wrong, Yandy leaves little doubt about the inspiration.
An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say. However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume featuring a red mini dress, a matching cloak with an attached hood, and a white gotten headpiece. (Pantyhose not included.)
As expected, given how often the outfit has been used to protest dystopian decisions in the real world, there were plenty of negative complaints about the costume.
By Friday night, Yandy had issued an apology and pulled the costume from its online store.
Perhaps the most bizarre part of the company’s apology is when they admitted the design was in response to the visualization used as part of protests done by women around the world.
“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. This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level,” Yandy wrote on Friday. “Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image.”
There will probably be a few sexy handmaids at your Halloween party now, whether they buy the costume or not. But if you’re going to try the look, make sure you at least get the shoes right.