• Wed, Oct 10 2012

Sexy Ursula Costume Sparks Controversy Over Limited Sizing

It’s October 10th and the offensive “sexy Halloween costume” stories have only begun! Seems a little late, doesn’t it? Well, the first sexy version of a regular controversy this season involves, surprisingly, Ursula from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. That’s quite progressive, you might say, a sexy Halloween costume of one of Disney’s very, very few non-tiny female characters? No, you don’t have to have a waist like Ariel to be slutting it up this Halloween!

As it turns out, actually… you do. The sassy sexy Ursula costume (official Disney merchandise, mind you) only comes in sizes 4-14. One outraged blogger, named Tavie, sums up the issue succinctly:

Heads up – if you’re a fat woman who wants to dress up as a popular fat character for Halloween, good luck trying to find a plus-size Ursula (from “The Little Mermaid”) costume.

Disney DOES partner with a company called Disguise Costumes to offer those ubiquitous, often inappropriate “sexy” versions of characters, and they do offer an Ursula costume – but Ursula can’t be fat and sexy at the same time, so if you’re an actual plus-size woman, better look elsewhere.

The “Sassy Ursula” offered in their “Fabulous Flirts” collection comes in sizes S, M & L – with L equal to a US 12-14. (The company does have a small range of actual plus size “Disney Princess” costumes – you can be Fat Cinderella or Fat Belle if you want to, but you can’t be Ursula. Better luck next time, fatties.)

It’s outrageously exclusionary – it basically tells fat women that we’re too fat to play a fat character; it also tells fat women that in order to be sexy, a character must be made skinny.

Okay, on the one hand, we completely agree. Let women of size be sexy on Halloween like everyone else! Let them dress as one of the few characters that isn’t extremely thin! Makes sense.

…But that was our initial instinct.

So, we had some questions: what is plus-size, first of all? We thought it began with 12, in which case: okay, they offer some plus sizes. Just not a lot. Moreover, as she points out, there are plus size options for Cinderella and Belle, so it’s not like Disney’s trying to shut out their entire plus size costumer base.

Second of all, isn’t Ursula’s size frequently cited as extremely insulting and body-shaming, because of course one of the few Disney women bigger than a size 2 has to be… an embittered, hateful seahag? Is dressing up as a sexy version of her on Halloween an act of owning her size… or is it further insulting that, in order to become “sexy,” the costume must look virtually nothing like Ursula in the film?

But, we guess, most important of all: why are we suddenly pushing for more sexy Halloween costume options? Aren’t they already the worst? We really shouldn’t be outraged that a company doesn’t offer enough of these stupid, tacky things.

Frankly, we’re much more put off by the same company offering a sexy Bambi: Et tu, Disney?

(via Boing Boing)

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  • Cee

    Ugh, can making everything sexy for Halloween just die out? I don’t mind ladies dressing sexy or sassy or whatever during this holiday but come on. When you’re a sexy Big Bird or a Sexy Hamburger (yes it exists) it’s just sad.

  • Nancy

    I just want there to be more good costumes, versus the sexy ones! I just think it’s more fun that way. And I want there to be more widely available costumes of actual characters. When I went costume shopping last year (we only have one halloween store here, at a time) the ONLY costumes for adult women were either a regular witch one, which I assume is mostly for mothers when taking their children trick-or-treating, and all the rest were vague sexy ones: sexy nurse, sexy Indian(their word), sexy pirate, sexy police officer, blah blah. Even almost all of the little girl costumes were some form of it! I really want a costume so that I can actually LOOK like a character.

  • Amanda

    I couldn’t be sexy if a fairy dumped me in a tub of sexy dust and left me there for 30 years. I am just the anti-sexy and it has NOTHING to do with the fact that I’m plus-sized. As such, I am so annoyed with all of these sexy Halloween costumes. I don’t want to be sexy, I can’t pull off sexy, and I like to dress modestly anyway. So why the HECK can’t I find a costume that isn’t labeled with the stupid term “sexy” in front of it?

  • jamiepeck

    I found this post highly insensitive to the furry community.

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      Shit. What’s the party line on furries?

  • Tina

    Plus size starts at 16 . 12-14 is in the reg. woman’s department. But, either way I’m sick of these outfits period. Why aren’t guys wearing this crap for us girls?

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      Thanks for clearing that up. I think one problem (of many) with the phrase “plus sized” is that it’s used so widely that it’s become completely devoid of meaning.

      So-called plus size models in the fashion industry, for example, are frequently size 8 or 10.

    • Ellen

      Interestingly, 16 and 18 are in the plus-size department AND the regular department in a lot of stores- Target, etc. They’re usually labeled as 16/18W when they come from the plus section, but there’s no W on the tag when they come from the regular section. Clothing sizes are weird.

  • Sarah

    I like sexy Halloween costumes because I think they’re fun. There are some shitty and tacky ones, sure, and it would be nice if there was more of a selection of non-sexy women’s costumes.

    But I’m more frustrated by the fact that I can rarely find a plus-size costume above 18/20. I’m a *big girl* and shockingly still quite sexy, but apparently if you’re any bigger than 18/20 (maybe 22/24) then there’s no chance of that.

  • Amy

    Last hallowe’en I dressed as a dinosaur dressed as a sexy cop. It was ridiculous and highlighted how ridiculous “sexy fill-in-the-blank” costumes are.

  • http://twitter.com/margaretbarreca Margaret M. Barreca

    It’s ugly anyway. Those costumes are always so tacky. If people actually want to dress super slutty/sexy on Halloween I don’t see why they don’t do something like a stripper or a pinup. There are so many girls determined to wear as little as possible, stripper would be perfect! And pinups are just plain hot, in the sexy, non-slutty way…. I wish Halloween costume options were more interesting. I think I’m going to resort to making my own.