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Five of the worst sexist costumes on sale this Halloween

It’s time to get your Halloween 2021 costume. And the horrendously sexist options are out in full force. Hotpants Ghostbuster or Mrs Kreuger?

If you haven’t already, it’s almost time to get your Halloween costumes for 2021 ready. It could be a chance to stretch your imagination or step into a new skin… but too often, for women, it just involves showing some skin.

“Google ‘Women’s Halloween Costumes’ and it’s an assault of a specific kind of sexy – skin-tight, corseted and short. Costumes designed and marketed to men and boys are based on actual characters, and designed to be well, scary,” says Francesca Cambridge Mallen, founder of Let Clothes Be Clothes, a grassroots campaign to challenge gender coding in clothing.

“We would ask retailers to think more about the messages these ranges send, and whether they offer real choice to consumers. Until they do, I’ll be sticking with the old white sheet with cut-out eye holes this October.”

From unnecessary “sexy” adaptations of male movie roles to reinforced gender roles for kids, these are some of the worst offenders for Halloween 2021.

Women’s bones aren’t pink

Halloween 2021 costume pink skeleton
An anatomically inexplicable choice. Image: Asda

How cute, a family set of Halloween pyjamas so that you can all channel your inner Funnybones. Except, wait a minute… why have Asda rendered the women’s bones in a candy pink? Anatomically inexplicable.

Who you gonna call? Ideally, not Hotpants Ghostbuster

Halloween 2021: the sexy ghostbuster
This ain’t gonna catch no ghosts. Image: fancydress.com

Supernatural comedy classic Ghostbusters is one of the most beloved films of the 1980s, still a firm Halloween favourite for all the family. As another sequel hits the cinemas, now is surely a fantastic time to don your boilersuit and strap on your proton pack.

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Or, if you’re a woman, it’s apparently time to shimmy into a pair of impractical hotpants and a crappy baseball cap. We ain’t afraid of no ghosts, but we sure are scared of constrictive and demeaning gender stereotypes.

Even supernatural serial killers have a Her Indoors

Halloween 2021: the wives of movie monsters
Get the dinner on, love. Images: fancydress.com, partydelights.co.uk, joke.co.uk

You’ve been out for a busy night slaughtering teenagers in their dreams – but who’s going to make the tea for you when you get in? Don’t worry! With this set of frankly bizarre costumes, even the worst monsters of modern horror will have someone at home to wash the blood stains out of their murder wear.

The utterly dispiriting Mrs Krueger and Mrs Voorhees absolutely deserve to be thrown in a lake but for true stomach-churning bafflement, Miss Chucky – a ‘sexy’ take on a murderous toddler doll – rules the toy box. Horror fans will note that the Child’s Play films already did this gag, better, in Bride of Chucky.

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Men are doctors and women are nurses – for zombies too!

Halloween 2021: zombie doctor and nurse
Gender discrimination doesn’t stop just because you’ve been bitten. Image: Amazon

Though 46 per cent of registered doctors in the UK are women, studies show the vast majority of Brits still picture a man when they hear the prefix Dr. A 2019 study by LinkedIn found only five per cent of people presume a doctor will be female.

This Halloween, you can lean into these depressing statistics by confirming that even once you’ve become a shuffling undead husk, gendered roles are still firmly in place. Men are the doctors of brain-guzzling, while women are the nurses of tearing mortal flesh. Because of course they are.

Cowboy or princess? For Halloween costumes in 2021, you (don’t get to) decide

Halloween 2021: Argos reinforce gender roles
What a (lack of) choice. Image: Argos

“Choose your character,” promises the front page of Argos’s homepage for kids’ Halloween costumes… and then offers precisely two “choices”: princesses for little girls and Toy Story’s Woody for wee boys. Great.

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If this is reality, just plug me back into the Matrix

Halloween 2021: sexy Trinity
It’d probably be easier to beat Agent Smith if your pants weren’t on show. Image: halloweencostumes.co.uk, grandado.com

Set to return in The Matrix Revolutions this January, cyberpunk hero Trinity is skilled in martial arts and computer hacking. She fights for all humanity in an iconic figure-hugging black leather costume, which you might think was sexy enough. You’d be wrong, though, because even she must be pornified. And so here we are, looking at her knickers.

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