Sexy costume versions of nonsexy things have become a Halloween mainstay: sexy cats, sexy librarians, sexy corn on the cob . . . there was even a sexy version of the highly specific Pizza Rat meme from a few years back. But when I saw that an online costume retailer had released a sexy version of Eleven from Netflix's Stranger Things, it made my stomach turn.
There is something automatically unsettling about sexualizing popular characters in kids' books, television shows, and movies — watching women take on cleavage-bursting versions of my toddler's favorite Disney princesses doesn't make me feel great, but even when I watch a woman shiver on a cold October evening in a tiny coconut bra and skintight mermaid fin, I tend to shrug it off. Although these princesses, in actuality, are only in their teens (Ariel is technically just 16 when she decides to undergo major cosmetic surgery and marry a dud of a prince, but that's a frustrating realization for another time), they are depicted as being much older. Also, you know, they're animated.
Eleven, however? She's a child. A real, live-action child expertly portrayed by then-12-year-old Millie Bobby Brown. Not only that, but the elementary-school-age character is a silent, scared, abused kid with a shaved head and a bloody nose. We do not need a sexy version of this. We just don't.
Yet, Yandy.com has created one, generically titled "Upside Down Honey," that features a supershort pink dress, thigh-high roller-skate socks, platform stilettos, and a blond wig. Although we can't imagine who would spend $60 on a costume you could easily DIY far more authentically with some thrift store finds and an empty Eggo waffles carton, it was clearly greenlit to sell.
Go ahead and be a sexy giraffe or a sexy Transformer. Just please don't objectify little girls and boys (I'm looking at you, sexy Harry Potter). That's never a good look.