Disney has long told children that you can make your dreams come true, and the company has finally realized that what you dream has nothing to do with gender. The Disney Store has launched their 2015 Halloween Shop, and there is no gender divide for the costumes.
Whether you’re navigating from the girls or boys sections, clicking on “Halloween Costumes” brings up the same page, labeled “Costumes for Kids.” Now, girls won’t be pushed into choosing a princess or a fairy, and boys can be more than a Marvel superhero or a bad guy from Star Wars. The message that Disney’s lack of gender categorization sends is “it’s okay to be whoever you want to be,” and that’s pretty great.
Making everything from toys to costumes less gender-biased has been a hot topic lately. It seems as if manufacturers are a little slower than the kids themselves to realize that there shouldn’t be a gender divide. I never bought the Princess Leia dolls as a kid, but I snapped up every Boba Fett action figure I could find. (Okay, I still do that, even as an adult.) Anything that catches a child’s imagination should be encouraged, regardless of sex.
In fact, the only divide to be found in the Disney Store’s costume section is in sizing – costumes are either “for kids” or “for baby.” My biggest complaint is that there aren’t any costumes designated “for adults.”
The question now becomes whether this lack of a gender divide will trickle over into year-round toys and clothing. If you look at the drop-down menu for girls on the Disney Store site, the featured franchises are very typically female: Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, and so forth. The boys section has more stereotypically masculine titles, like Cars and Big Hero 6.
What do you think about the breaking down of barriers between genders? Do we need more of it? As a future stormtrooper myself, I’m happy to see that people are realizing gender doesn’t matter.