While the David Ayer-directed movie “Suicide Squad” was widely considered a dud, there was one shining star: Margot Robbie as the Joker’s devoted lover Harley Quinn. Her skimpy outfit has already been a hit with women who want to dress as the character for Halloween, but it’s also become a popular costume among kids. While it’s arguably fine for a mature woman to dress as the sexy antihero, is it appropriate for young girls to don the same ensemble?
Halloween haven Party City has multiple versions of the costume. There’s the traditional outfit, which is black and red and looks more like a court jester, and then there is the “Suicide Squad” costume that says, “Daddy’s Lil Monster.” The costume, without the dyed wig, normally costs $29.99.
While the outfits alone aren’t scandalous, the character they represent might be. For parents who haven’t seen the movie, here are some of Harley’s quotes:
When everyone is starring at her: “What, I got a hickey or something?”
When the guards don’t want to “play” with her: “I sleep where I want, when I want, with who I want”
When The Joker tries to get her to seduce another man and he rejects her: “What's wrong? You don't like me? Fine! Don't waste my time then.”
When The Joker threatens to hurt her: “You think so? Well, I can take it.”
Party City describes the character in a different way than the movie portrays Harley Quinn, simply writing: “As the Joker's partner-in-crime, you're always up for a prank!”
Spirit Halloween writes: “Have your child dress up as their favorite DC Comics character with this officially licensed Harley Quinn dress!”
Sexualizing girls from an early age is nothing new. For example, Party City sold a costume last year of a police officer for boys that looked like a typical uniform, while the girls’ version was a V-neck top and a skirt. Sexy Halloween costumes could be telling children what they have to be, instead of inspiring them to what they could be, experts said.
“There are so many other qualities than gender,” Parent Toolkit expert and psychologist Dr. Michele Borba told Today.com last year. “The bottom line is we want to raise happy, healthy, strong kids. If we stereotype in gender, race, age, we really start to pigeon-hole them and it begins to set up bias that there are certain things they can’t be.”
“Suicide Squad” had an estimated budget of $175,000,000. It made $133,682,248 on opening weekend and a gross total of $323,676,752, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella