Halloween is a FUN time of year. Children look forward to it, adults look forward to it but there is a growing trend that makes parents hesitant. A trend that is turning their little girls into risque characters. Over-sexualization of women is nothing new, it has gone on for centuries. Unfortunately, this habit is bleeding into children’s costuming with “feminized” versions of commonly strong willed and neutral female characters. What do I mean by this? Well, take bat woman for example. Bat woman wears almost EXACTLY what batman does with either a red OR gold bat symbol at the front of her suit. She has armor, a utility belt, a body suit covered in padding, muscles, a cape, mask and strong combat boots. Now, go to a WalMart or Target and look for a girls Batwoman costume and what do you find? A dress with a short, frilly tutu in the black and gold colors with a VERY pretty version of the bat symbol sewn in sequins on the front and a make shift, short cape. WHERE DID THE DESIGNERS GET THIS?!
It is frustrating when girls go to look for their favorite characters and cannot find the TRUE designs. There is also the matter that, while there are often male versions of female characters (e.g. boy tomb raider or boy x-men) there are rarely the same options for girls (c’mon, maybe we REALLY want to be batman). So how can parents get around this? For starters, they’ll have to get a little creative and be willing to be crafty. They will also need to have an open mind and consider the possibilities. To help out, here are a few common costumes that are overtly sexual which you can create for your little one in a single weekend…
The costumes above are two renditions of Batwoman when completing a Google search. The Bat Woman costume on the left was created by a user on CostumeWorks.com and is very simple to replicate. The costume on the right comes from HalloweenCostumes.com and is that short, overtly “feminine” and NOTHING like the Batwoman depicted in the comics. So how do you recreate image #1? Here is what you will need…
- A black turtle neck shirt
- A black pair of pants
- A couple sheets of craft foam
- A black ski mask
- Some yellow gloves
- Yellow leggings
- A pair of slip on shoes in yellow
- Some yellow and black fabric for the cape
- Some yellow fabric paint/puff paint
- Some velcro and adhesive (hot glue or super glue)
- Some yellow and black paint
You can use the black turtle neck and pants as the “body suit”. The craft foam will become your belt, pouches and arm guards. You can use THESE TUTORIALS to make the belt, pouches and/or arm guards. Once made paint them yellow and add a black bat symbol to the belt buckle. Take your fabric for the cape and have your kid lay on it. Trace the outline of the cape then cut out another copy (one in black and one in yellow). Glue ALL sides together EXCEPT the top. Flip the fabric inside out then glue the top sides together. Glue some velcro to the cape and to the shirt; now you have the cape!
Finally, for the shoes, take the yellow leggings and cut them off at the knees. Fold down the tops to create a hem and glue the inside. Place the leggings on then put the yellow shoes on (if you could not find yellow shoes feel free to paint them that color). The last pieces are the mask and bat symbol. Paint a yellow bat symbol on the shirt with puff paint/fabric paint and let it dry. Now take your ski mask, cut away the bottom part so more of the mouth is shown and grab your craft foam. Cut out two little triangles with rounded bottoms (like bat ears) and glue them to the top of the mask. Congratulations! You have an inexpensive, home made costume that is true to your kid’s favorite character!
This one is easy! The stores always have Wonder Woman in a skirt with the wrong color arm bands, a strange cape and all manner of incorrect leg wear (those boots are with a different style of wardrobe). So how do you modernize it and make it more modest? Why follow the example in image #2! Here is how you can go about making this costume…
- One pair of blue jeans
- One red shirt
- Some craft foam
- Some gold paint (fabric and acrylic)
- A pair of red boots
- Some red acrylic paint
- Some velcro
- A piece of rope
Take your gold puff paint and draw the Wonder Woman symbol onto the shirt (if you are not comfortable with this these shirts can be bough on Amazon). While the paint dries use THIS TUTORIAL to make the bracers she wears then paint them gold and add velcro to keep them closed. Next, take your foam again and use THIS TUTORIAL to make the belt. With the belt made, the bracers made and the shirt ready all you need to do now is paint gold trim on the boots, paint red star accents and create a little tiara with the wonder woman w for your child’s forehead.
There are HUNDREDS of ways to alter a way a costume looks. DIY opens worlds of possibilities to you and your children. Google is a great place to get ideas. Once you have those ideas please visit Pinterest OR Cosplay Tutorial for guides explaining how to complete the sewing, fabrication and accessory development techniques needed to create a custom costume.
Have a costume you would like for us to break down? Mention it in the comments and our very own Cosplay Savant will send you a guide on how to get started! Happy crafting!