While perusing the Party City website, we came across a theme in women’s costumes – tight and small. We are dismayed by the prevalent sexism and lack of costume choices for women in Party City stores. To start, there are no popular superhero costumes (Batman, Captain America, Batgirl, etc) that are not skin tight, high hemmed, and/or with low necklines. Comic book women are notoriously underdressed or clothed in latex, but even then, you can see their muscles (see recent Batgirl issues for reference). Although the men’s costumes have padded muscles for the costume illusion, women’s costumes (even those imitating male characters) just have very short skirts. This blatant sexualizing of the character to fit a woman is unreasonable. While men get to actually don the character’s uniform, women wear dresses with character icons on them. There’s no reason why women can’t wear Batman’s uniform with the pants. In addition, a glance at the "women's careers" section makes it clear that the only job for a woman is a prostitute. There are no police, only “Please, arrest me.” No doctors, only “sexy nurse.” The uniforms that actually resemble that of a doctor, astronaut, chef, and so on, are found in the men's.
This is ridiculous. Women are not objects to be sewed in and sexualized any time of the year.
We feel that it is necessary to make more options more plentiful and accessible to the majority of the population-- many adolescent females have difficulties with self-esteem, especially with regard to their bodies, and the major presence of impractical costume choices for women helps to serve as a constant reminder of these insecurities to some girls. In addition, boys aren’t the only ones who want to look like Captain America for a night. We understand that Halloween is a time for people to dress up however they want, and that many choose to dress the way you’ve presented in your women’s choices. We do not respect these choices any less, The problem is not that these costumes are being sold. The problem is that they are the only option. We simply ask that Party City increases its selection of realistic costumes that express a variety of comfort levels and interests.
In conclusion, with your company's costume choices, women are completely sexualized and have no option to dress in their own comfort level. The sexism of the careers section is demeaning and sends the message that doctors, policemen, and astronauts are not women’s jobs. It would be much appreciated by the female population if you provided non-sexual, realistic costume options for half of your clientele. Thank you very much for taking time to read this letter.
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