Be a Sexy Sesame Street Character.


You read that right. Halloween costumes are in early this year, and between being sexy mustard, the sultry Nemo costume and now this, it’s as if the holiday has turned into a contest of who can think of more ludicrous shit for women to wear. Via Gothamist, we find that a costume shop is selling a line of sexualized Sesame Street costumes (with teen sizes too!).
I was obsessed with Cookie Monster when I was a kid — I’d pretend to be him by shoving all of the food on my plate into my mouth at the dinner table and sing the “C is for Cookie” song at the top of my lungs (as the food then fell out of my mouth). Who knew my aspirations to be the Cookie Monster when I grew up could be fully realized by wearing a short blue furry dress and knee highs?
h/t to Erin.

and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

38 Comments

  1. Kathleen Hagerty
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    The Big Bird costume on the far left is HILARIOUS!!! I have to say, I’m generally not a fan of the “sexy” Halloween costumes for women, but these are kind of cute. I like the flapper-style Big Bird on the right, too.

  2. Gexx
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Ok, is it bad that I’m digging the yellow dress from the Big Bird on the right? I think it’s adorable. In fact, if it weren’t for the hat and the platforms, but keep the pumps, I would totes wear that to something dressy.

  3. paperispatient
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t have thought of dressing up as a Sesame Street character for Halloween; could be a cute idea.
    That said, I DEFINITELY would never have thought of being Sexy Elmo for Halloween.

  4. Sandi
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I was obsessed with being Oscar the Grouch. I had a big box of toys I would sit in for hours, pretending I was Oscar in his trash can.
    And… I like these. They don’t seem all that sexy to me, they’re just dresses? And I’d love to be flapper Big Bird!

  5. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m sooo TIRED of them sexualizing everything from my childhood.

  6. katie
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Can you imagine if they made a Snuffalufagus costume?!?

  7. stabbygail
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I know they’re supposed to be sexy, but honestly I think they just look kind of cute, as if the women pictured were the cast of a wacky kids’ show instead of “sexy” versions of the cast of a wacky kids’ show. Wow, costume makers, it’s almost like we don’t need to/can’t sexualize every damn thing!
    My personal favorite inapporpriately sexed up costume is still the Ms. Krueger Naughty Nightmare costume.

  8. Lucy Gillam
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    At least they know enough to put Dorothy on Elmo’s belt.

  9. Lilith Luffles
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know.. they seem more ridiculous than sexy to me. The teens look awful, but the rest are either kind of cute or just plain weird. If I could get that big bird one on the right in black, I’d totally want it.

  10. Brittany
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    These don’t bother me because teens and children aren’t posing for them.
    I think they’re cute.
    The problem for me isn’t that there’s sexualized Halloween outfits for women, it’s the fact that 90% of the costumes I see for females are low-cut. I’d like a little variety here. I should be able to choose if I want to look like a naughty nurse or just a damn nurse.

  11. tallest-spork
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I sort of think they’re adorable. My opinion might not count, though, since I’m planning on dressing up a Sexy Cthulhu this year…

  12. julianmorrison.myopenid.com
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Laugh-out-loud silly, surely, but sexualized? Just because the skirts are short?

  13. FLT
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Also, these are GUY muppets.
    Are these somehow trans positive?
    (I doubt it. This is just weird.)

  14. ooperbooper
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Oddly enough, I have a Big Bird dance costume from my first grade ballet recital that is almost identical to the one pictured… only I also had an awesome sequined tutu.

  15. Femgineer
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t find these “sexy” or “sexualized”. The costumes just look like cute dresses with a particular character’s accessories. The costumes feel more like an non-sexualized adult woman’s interpretation of a child’s costume.

  16. bzzxz
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    What’s next, Sexy beef stew? Sexy paramecia? Sexy moustaches? The possibilities are endless!

  17. MishaKitty
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really see what’s so bad about these costumes. They’ve taken Sesame Street costumes and turned them from normal costumes into dresses. And not the kind of Halloween costume dresses that you normally see that are so ridiculously tight you can’t breathe, your ass is hanging out and your boobs are completely exposed. These are just regular dresses. Are we now saying that all dresses women wear on Halloween are sexualized and bad?

  18. uberhausfrau
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    interesting that the costumes are all sexy male muppets. where’s sexy prairie dawn, or sexy abby cadabby? i guess sexy miss piggy would be redundant.

  19. TeenMommy
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Maybe my brain has just been warped by the incessant parade of elmo on tv, elmo toys, elmo books, and elmo clothes that my daughter has received since I told her grandparents she loves Elmo (or “Emmo” as my daughter calls him), but I sort of like the Elmo costume. My daughter would probably like me better if I dressed in it anyway.

  20. Nancy Shrew
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who digs the Big Bird costumes. These don’t gross me out the way the sexy Rainbow Brite/Strawberry Shortcake costumes do.

  21. schismtracer
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’m just jaded, but none of the Sesame Street costumes say “sexy” to me. “Feminine,” (“anthropomorphized?”) sure, but there’s no midriffs or cleavage or such.

  22. Melimalle
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Something about a binge-eating monster being “sexy’d up” for Halloween has me in stitches. But seriously. Characters created for the education and entertainment of children aren’t really appropriate as sexy costumes are they?

  23. Erika
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    I guess I’m a terrible feminist, because I love these. Big Bird as a flapper? I’m so there.
    I also like to wear mini skirts and knee/thigh highs pretty frequently. I don’t think I’m necessarily sexualizing” myself when I do so (I mean, I’m a sexual human being anyway) and I’m not entirely sure why that is necessarily problematic if it isn’t coerced.

  24. BackOfBusEleven
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I love that first Big Bird costume. I don’t see how any of these costumes are necessarily sexy. They’re fitted, but I wouldn’t call them sexy.
    And costumes are supposed to be ridiculous. That’s why they’re costumes reserved for fun parties and not regular clothing.

  25. Nettle Syrup
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Uh, that doesn’t look very ‘sexual’ to me… unless you define anything showing a tiny bit of knee as being sexual. I like the sesame street costumes.
    As for the Nemo, though – WTF??

  26. Melissa
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Dear Annoying Halloween Costume Makers,
    It’s February. I’m not supposed to have to deal with you until October. Go away.
    Me

  27. Pantheon
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Those skirts aren’t even that short, as halloween costumes go. It looks like you could probably sit down in them safely, which is saying a lot (compare to all those Leg Avenue costumes).
    This isn’t new, either. I knew someone in college who dressed up as a much more sexualized version of big bird– she wore a big bird head/halter top that left her stomach bare, and very tiny yellow shorts. These dresses are actually not so bad. They’re not that short, they’re a little baggy and they have leg warmers.

  28. Nicole
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Yeah I really don’t see the issue here. I’ve written before on the community page about how I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sexualized Halloween costumes; I think they’re fun and a chance to be silly and find sex in anything. (I do understand that the lack of alternative options for women who don’t want to dress up sexy on Halloween is an issue though, and I get that there’s an overabundance of the sexy theme on Halloween – I just don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with that theme itself.)
    All that being said, these costumes are more just feminized than sexualized. They’re girly but are they sexy? They’re a little leggy, sure, but most come with tights, and they’re not skintight or showing deep cleavage – these are pretty tame. I think they’re fun. And I’m totally with Gexx that the dress for the Big Bird costume on the right is so cute that I’d wear it as a non-costume.
    Also, sexy mustard is hilarious. I want to be something completely ridiculous this year, like a sexy USB port.

  29. MLEmac28
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I think this is actually making fun of the “sexy costume” fad.
    Last year, My (male) friend was a “sexy sock monster”. He wore a cut off shirt and short, tight shorts and sewed socks all over them. He was making fun of how costumes for adults are “sexy” versions of stuff which isn’t usually sexual. We’ve joked that next year I should be a “sexy” Rosie the Riveter, except that I don’t think many people will get the irony.
    Also, I’ve learned to appreciate costumes that give me some breathing room. I usually go to dance parties, and my long red coat I used for my Carmen Sandiego costume last year was really a hindrance.

  30. FLT
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Well, yeah, they are sexualized.
    These muppet characters are male. But just as their is no male equivelent– no sexy male doctor to go with the sexy nurse costume, no sexy janitor to go with the sexy maid–it was inconceivable that they could make a muppet costume for men.
    We’ll infantalize women–again–and make them “sexy” at the same time. Couldn’t have a man in an Elmo costume, now, could we?

  31. plasticrose
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I think these are cute, and although they’re silly, I actually would wear the flapper-girl big bird one. It’s awesome. I don’t find them sexualised, they’re merely form-fitting, and therefore less cumbersome, more comfortable and easier to wear than a more standard big fluffy cookie monster outfit.
    I personally get really pissed off at typical ‘sexy’ halloween costumes – especially highly sexualised versions of children’s characters because it’s just creepy, but in this case, they’re just short skirts. The models aren’t posing in sexualised ways. I think it’s fine. They’re quite heavily gendered in a stereotypical way what with the bows etc, but there are unisex alternatives for girls who aren’t down with that. So I think it’s fine.

  32. MishaKitty
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This last Halloween I saw a whole group of people, guys and girls, dressed as Seasame Street characters. So I don’t know why you’re saying we couldn’t have a male Elmo. I saw one just a few months ago. He looked great!

  33. SociologicalMe
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I see what people are saying about them being kind of cute, but I get a creepy, adult-woman-dressed-as-a-schoolgirl feel from them. Look at the models’ poses: they’re all very little-girly, especially the Elmo one with her toes pointed together. The poses aren’t outright sexual, but they’re all indicating submission or a lack of power- things like standing off-kilter rather than with feet firmly planted, tilting your torso with one shoulder back, having your mouth wide open like the cookie monster one, etc. Also, even though the dresses are definitely on the modest side compared to some Halloween costumes, they’re a hell of a lot skimpier than an authentic-looking costume for any of these characters would be. As an adult, I’d go to a party as cookie monster- but I’d be wearing blue fur head to toe. So yeah, these dresses on their own aren’t overly sexual, but these adult dresses plus the reference to childhood TV characters weirds me out.

  34. NapoleonInRags
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but what weirds me out is that it is suddenly OK to use ‘modesty’ as a criteria for womens’ comportment and attire the minute Halloween costumes are part of the equation.

  35. FLT
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry Misha, I didn’t explain myself well. Of course I have seen many kids dressed as muppets, and many boys. What I meant was the costume designer specifically targeted women and teens to look like “sexy” versions of characters that were boys.
    And as Sociological pointed out, the models are all in sexualized, submissive poses.

  36. paperispatient
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I think FLT means that you likely wouldn’t see a man in the Elmo costume featured on this page and that sexualized costumes are generally worn by women and not men (not 100% of course, but I’ve only ever seen men in joke-sexy costumes).

  37. MishaKitty
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Okay, I see more what you’re saying now about seeing a SEXUAL male Elmo (again I disagree though. this male Elmo was definitely sexualized, moreso by far than these women. but I went out for Halloween in Boystown in Chicago so…). But again, as I said before, I don’t see these women as sexualized. I see them as women in dresses. And for me that doesn’t always equal sex.

  38. SociologicalMe
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I think I understand you (I’m a little confused by your wording- what does “attire the minute” mean?) and I definitely don’t like the idea of all women being expected to be modest, according to some standard set by someone else.
    That said, there has been an ongoing thread of conversation in the feminist blogosphere about the over-sexualization of women’s halloween costumes. So the general idea is not that women HAVE to be modest, but that they are not given the choice to be (at least not if they want to buy a commercially made costume). This is, I think, why so many commenters are coming back with “well, these seem kind of modest.” They’re thinking in comparison to previous posts about costumes that left nothing to the imagination, and that were discussed as part of a trend.
    There has also been a trend of taking characters that are targeted toward very young children, and turning them into costumes that are more adult and seemingly more sexual, or more sexually aware. So if a small child wants to be Big Bird for Halloween, can she just be Big Bird, or does she have to be Sexy Big Bird? If we’re only talking about adult costumes, then are these costumes teaching kids that when girls grow up they must, necessarily, be sexy (in a particular, narrowly-defined way)?

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

252 queries. 0.933 seconds