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handmaid's tale costume

What the hell is up with this sexy Handmaid’s Tale costume

Not under my eye you won’t

It’s not that long until Halloween, so what’s your plan of action? A phallic Mario Kart character? Or how about a sexy human vessel suffering under a dystopian totalitarian society?

Yandy, an online lingerie and costume shop, released a ‘Brave Red Maiden Costume’, a direct reference to Margaret Atwood’s horrifying book-turned-TV-series The Handmaid’s Tale. The costume includes a short red dress, a red cape, and a white bonnet, similar to what Elisabeth Moss and the other Handmaidens are forced to wear to reflect their low status… but… sexy. It retails for $64.95. 

“An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say,” the description reads. “However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume.” 

In the series, Handmaidens are fertile women that are forced to have sex with noble men in horrifying rituals with their wives and bear children, as most other women in Gilead are infertile.

The costume company has since released a statement following outrage online.

“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,” the clothing retailer’s statement reads. “This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level. Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our site.” 

“Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image. We support our customers being comfortable in their skin, regardless of who they are or what they choose to wear. Our corporate ideology is rooted in female empowerment, and gender empowerment overall.”

The costume has now been pulled from the site. 

Back in July, an online wine retailer pulled their Handmaid’s Tale-themed wine series from their store – the three very distasteful wines on offer were named ‘Offred’ after the protagonist, ‘Offglen’ and ‘Serena Joy’.

Women around the world have used the white bonnet and red cape as a symbol to protest oppression, particularly around the #MeToo movement and abortion rights. Women in the Isle of Man, Argentina and Northern Ireland used the costumes to protest their restrictive abortion laws, and in London people dressed in cloaks to demonstrated during Donald Trump’s UK visit. One of the first demonstrations to use the Handmaid’s Tale costume was in Missouri, where people organised against plans to cut Planned Parenthood funding, and another saw women challenge sexual predator Roy Moore following allegations in Alabama.