Disney Store has stopped classifying its children’s Halloween costumes by gender.
Instead of presenting ‘boys costumes’ and ‘girls costumes’, it will now simply present its 2015 Halloween costumes ‘for kids’ and ‘for babies’.
Each year, its Halloween outfits are assigned a theme; this year’s theme is titled ‘I Am Awesome’.
The move comes after the store was criticized in the past for stocking a lack of Black Widow merchandise as part of its Marvel Avengers collection (concentrating instead on the male characters from the comic book series). Marvel is owned by Disney.
Although not related to Disney store, in June a fancy dress march took place in New York of parents and children after a young girl was told be her school that she could not dress up as Spider Man. It’s one of several recent news stories that have highlighted the desire of some children to dress up in costumes that do not necessarily conform to their sex.
Last month, Target announced that it was removing gender signage from the toy sections of its stores. The move came about after a mom in Ohio complained about the store selling separate ‘Building sets’ and ‘Girls Building sets’.
Although widely applauded, Target’s announcement was also met with a certain amount of outcry on social media, with some commentators criticizing the move and saying they would boycott the store.
This may have led to Disney to decide to introduce the change in policy without any great fanfare. The new ‘For Kids’ collection was picked up yesterday by pop culture sire The Mary Sue.
Gay Star Business has approached Disney for further comment.
The move to selling Halloween costumes ‘for kids’ was welcomed by Sarah Garrett, a mom of two and the organizer of Out With The Family and the annual Alternative Parenting Show, due to take place in London this Saturday.
‘It’s surprising that there are still gender specific toys and clothes. This move by Disney is long overdue. There’s so much pressure on girls and boys as it is. It would be great if the stigma attached to girls wearing boys clothes, and visa versa was removed, and gender stereotypes were no longer reinforced in this way.’
As a company, Disney has often been vocal in its support of LGBTI rights. It was one 379 companies that signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court at the beginning of the year in support of same-sex marriage.
In July, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida played host to the Out & Equal Workplace Conference, and Disney has performed consistently well in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. It scored 100% (the top ranking) in the most recent index.
H/T: The Mary Sue