The iconic red and white costumes of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” series have occasionally leaked into real-world protests in recent years, the outfit used as a symbol of the oppression, sexual slavery and rape that women around the world have had to endure and not just in the fictional (but all too realistic) brutal dystopian theocracy of Gilead in the TV series.
Several months ago, sleepwear company Lunya created a mini-PR disaster with the announcement of a washable sexy silk lingerie line based on the series and named after its lead character Offred. It seems another tone-deaf company has gone ever further with Halloween costume company Yandy having had to issue an apology for one of its designs.
That design? The ‘Brave Red Maiden Costume’ which is essentially a ‘sexy version’ of “The Handmaid’s Tale” costume complete with white headpiece, same color garments, and a caption that reads “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”.
Social media reaction was swift, complaining the costume commodified a symbol for women’s oppression and rape. By last night, Yandy had to issue an apology and pulled the costume from its online store, even admitting that the design was in response to the visualization used as part of protests done by women around the world.
Even original “Handmaid’s Tale” author weighed in, saying on Twitter: “I can’t put a stop to it. MGM or Hulu might say something; but, after appearing at so many protests, the outfit is out of the box by now. Not sure this version will sell many, however. Who exactly would wear it, and on what occasions? Anyway the shoes are wrong.”