This weekend while in New York celebrating the Brave Girls Alliance Take Back Media campaign I had the opportunity to visit the New York Comic Con thanks to our friends at the Anti-bullying Coalition who generously invited the BGA to share their booth space.
The response from the attendees of Comic Con to the BGA’s message of needing healthier, non-sexualized, non-stereotyped, empowering media for girls was incredible. From both men and women, boys and girls, everyone we spoke to nodded in agreement and shared with us their own stories and frustrations. I was really impressed by the response, especially because many parts of the comic and gaming world are known for being sexist and objectifying towards women. Because of this, I was unsure of how our message would be received. The support was overwhelming.
I had a blast talking with all of the geeks and super heroes and villains. All of their costumes were fantastic and creative. I loved the conversations with the young women who told me they had taken the sexualization aspect into account and modified their costumes so that little girls could look up to them (Thanks Wonder Woman! I mean Queen Helene!). We spoke about how ridiculous it is to think these characters could really battle bad guys wearing next to nothing. The women told me how they were tired of the “ComicCon girl” trope (the girls who wear next to nothing and pose for pictures) and how a lot of female comic fans are feminists who are fed up with the unnecessary sexualization. I thanked them for making geek culture a safer space for my daughter and other girls to come into.
I think the Halloween costume industry could learn something from these women at Comic Con. Their costumes were incredible, detailed, and unique. Some could be considered sexy, but in a way that feels authentic and not like that commercialized porny look that modern day Halloween costumes have. The teen and child costumes I saw at Comic Con were all tasteful and age appropriate. If these ladies can pull it off, I’m sure the companies making Halloween costumes can, too.
Want to help spearhead change? Join up with our efforts and petition on Causes here.
Sign the petition to Target asking them to be the retailer that takes the lead saying “No!” to sexy Halloween for kids.