This article regarding the Handmaid halloween costume illustrated the controversy behind the ‘sexy’ portrayal of a almost symbolic figure of women’s oppression. I think the article was quite biased as it suggests that ‘Yandy took things a step too far’ in the first paragraph, which sets the prejudice tone for the reader reading further. In addition, it implies that the reporter indeed thinks that the outfit is inappropriate and defeats the purpose of the show, as he/she relates the costume to a ‘porn parody’ of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale”. The use of words such as ‘unsurprisingly’ further reveals the author’s bias towards the ‘offensiveness’ of the outfit.
As the article goes on we can see that the author does not elaborate at all when talking about the ‘defenders’ of the outfit and only shows some selected tweets. Making the readers more inclined to share the perspective of the author as he/she does not explore the interpretations of the other tweets. Personally, I feel that the outfit itself does not necessarily ‘defeat the purpose of the show’. “the Handmaid’s Tale” does certainly explore oppression and sexual slavery of women, but the act of banning such outfits is somewhat similar to the absolute control portrayed in the book. My take on this costume is similar to one of the tweets in the article that says, ‘I can’t decide if this misses the point of The Handmaid’s Tale, or encapsulates it completely’. Yandy has stated that their costume aimed to express women’s empowerment, and I think the freedom of expression is equally important as otherwise, our society will just become the other extreme of Gilead.
However, I do think that such outfits should not be taken lightheartedly. As some tweets point out, this is nothing different from sexy nun or sexy angel costumes which perhaps reveals the sexualisation of women in our society today. Culturally, I think sexy nuns/angels are quite significant as they are religious figures that have been subverted, or sexualised, that shows the disregard of Christianity in our modern society.