Walmart yanks ‘Naughty Leopard’ toddler costume

Walmart  pulled a Halloween costume from its shelves. The costume in question was for toddler girls. Everything about the costume was a little girls delight. Lace, sequins, and colorful little ears on a hair accessory. The costume was adorable and it wasn’t the controversy. It was the name of the costume-Naughty Leopard. Parents were alarmed that a child’s costume was labeled in such a manner. Little girls should not have such a rushed entrance into the realm of sexuality. The name, in my opinion, is inappropriate. I do find it ironic that no-one has mentioned how gender expectation is all over this costume. The frilly lace, the sparkly sequins, the hot pink leopard print is all geared to attract a little girl’s attention. Lorber states “Gender signs and signals are so ubiquitous that we usually fail to note them-unless they are missing or ambiguous.” Parents became upset over wording and overlooked the obvious gender stereotype being placed on a toddler. It was automatically assumed that this costume was for a little girl. Not one individual in the public or the media saw the irony that the name more so then the actual costume, clearly aimed at girls, was the “problem”. I did see the irony. I also was amazed at how entrenched in our society gender has become. As a society we aren’t aware of how much gender is played out to each of us and how oblivious we are as it is occurring. I find the costume cute and wonder how many little girls will wear it. I also wonder if any little boys will wear it.


One thought on “Naughty leopard

  1. subject2interpretation

    It’s marketing and product placement also. It used to be that costumes were placed all together. Once section for kids, another for adults and gender identifying or neutral costumes were mixed in. Now the costumes are separated by gender sometimes as much as an aisle and age — with a new category for teen and the adult costumes are overtly sexual. With this placement, it is very difficult to get a girl to look at the “boys” costumes and it’s probably even harder for the boys to look at “girls” costumes. And monster costumes are usually boys, with the girls being cute or sexy costumes. Old stand-bys like doctors (evil or not) or fire-fighters or military are for boys. As you pointed out, even the animal costumes are gendered up. The point is, it’s a costume, a kid can be whoever or whatever he or she wants! Halloween makes me sad.


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