The image above shows two different options for boy and girl toddler police officer costumes sold by Party City, a Halloween costume and party supply store. In September 2015, Lin Kramer was frustrated while shopping for a costume for her 3-year-old and posted an open letter on Party City’s Facebook page asking the company to change their gender-segregated costume options in limited and stereotypical gender roles. The letter was picked up and spread online and in the news, and has sparked debates about gender, age, representation, and costumes.
What differences do you notice between the costume for boys and the one for girls? What objects are they holding and how are they standing?
Some people criticize the response of this mother and those that agree with her for being “overly politically correct,” and that a kid’s costume, or costumes in general should not be taken so seriously for their representative powers. Does it matter? Why or why not?
Look at the Party City website’s costume section. How are they organized? What differences are there in terms of what is available and for whom?
When do kids start learning about gender? How does that affect how they are treated? How does that impact what they imagine is possible for themselves?