Why Was This Sexy ‘Handmaid Tale’ Costume Considered A Good Idea?

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



One would think a gagged and bound Kim Kardashian costume would be the worst that costume retailers would come up with.

Apparently not.

Online lingerie and costume retailer Yandy featured a “Brave Red Maiden” Halloween costume consisting of a model wearing a skin-tight minidress, a long red cape, white bonnet, complete with sky-high heels. The outfit was priced at almost $65 and overall looked to be highly sensual. But what’s troubling is that the costume was ripped off straight from “The Handmaid’s Tale” and its more modest version is worn by women who are forced into rape and surrogacy in the dystopian series.

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

The Hulu TV show, which has been adapted from Margaret Atwood’s highly disturbing — and highly realistic —novel features handmaids, whose actual purpose is to act as concubines to the husbands of elite households. They are groomed into sexual servitude, raped, impregnated, forced to give birth and have their child taken away soon after. They are also not allowed to choose a profession, handle bank accounts or own property and those who show any sign of resistance are threatened, beaten, tortured and even killed.

In current times, the blazing red cloak of the handmaids from the series has become a symbol of protest against women oppression. Most recently, it was donned by protesters demonstrating outside Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing as a reference to the judge’s anti-women, anti-abortion views.

It is stunning how Yandy was able to turn an outfit designed to strip women of autonomy into a sexy Halloween costume. Naturally, the move was not taken well by social media users.







Yandy responded to the controversy by pulling the costume from its listing and issuing a half-baked apology in its place.

“Yandy always has stood, and will continue to stand, at the forefront of encouraging our customers to ‘Own Your Sexy. 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. 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. This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image,” said the company.

That’s a very strange explanation. It seems Yandy is saying that they took a symbol of oppression in a dystopian novel — which is currently being used to defend women’s reproductive rights around the country — and turned into a thigh-baring costume to, may be, give some sort of misguided tribute to women?

This company who says it promotes female empowerment is also the one which took out the pregnant Kylie Jenner costume and which currently also boasts revealing and highly insensitive Native American and Viking women costumes.




Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Quinn P. Smith/Getty Images

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