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Gender Stereotyping in Costumes

Instead of learning about the history of Hallowe’en this year, 4th Class decided to look at costumes and some problems which can be seen from costume companies and shops.

We began by taking a look at a variety of costumes online and noted any stereotypes, bias and assumptions from the costumes made for girls versus the costumes made for boys.

We noticed that nearly all the costumes the girls were dressed in were ‘sweet’ or ‘cute’ brightly coloured clothes which often included skirts or dresses. In contrast, most of the costumes for boys were ‘scary’ or ‘strong’, had dark colours and only offered trousers.

We were also shocked that all of the boys were standing in powerful or tough stances whilst many of the girls appeared to have their arms firmly stuck to their hips or their necks strangely tilted to the side!

We also looked at Cultural Appropriation and how it can make us feel when people think our culture is their costume.

We had a lengthy discussion and walking debate on the possible effects this harmful marketing could have on children and how they act or view themselves.

We then came up with ways in which we could help stop the effects of stereotyping in costumes and clothes and make sure that dressing up is fun, empowering and respectful for everyone!