Kids are trading tiaras for capes in the latest national survey.
Every year, the National Retail Federation conducts a survey to determine the most popular Halloween costumes. After an eleven-year reign, ‘princess’ has been dethroned — by superheroes.
According to the survey “More than three million children will dress as their favorite action or superhero, 2.9 million will dress as their favorite princess and 2.5 million plan to dress as a cat, dog, bunny or other animal.”
“Princesses don’t do a whole lot, their stories can only be reworked in so many ways. Girls have always loved adventure and being the heroine,” according to Melissa Atkins Wardy, author of Redefining Girly. “Girls have not changed. Instead marketers have gained a better understanding of who girls are and are no longer feeding them a gendered narrative.”
Wardy isn’t the only person who has noticed marketers are feeding girls a ‘gendered narrative.’ “I resent that the Disney Corporation has had such a far-reaching and lasting impact on children all over the world, redefining ‘girl’ as ‘princess,’ ” says Lori day, author of Her Next Chapter. “Girlhood has been branded. Perhaps finally the pendulum is swinging back.”
“It’s great to see this kind of change happening, but it didn’t happen overnight,” said Michele Sinisgalli-Yulo creator of the Princess Free Zone blog and brand. “Many voices have contributed to changing how companies exploit gender when marketing to children, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
As Wardy puts it, “There are many ways to be a girl. We’ve done princess to death, now girls want to show us other facets of their personalities.”
Especially if that facet wears a cape.
Most Popular Children’s Costumes
- Animal (Cat, Dog, Lion, Monkey, etc.)
- Batman Character
- Star Wars Character
- Tie: Witch AND DC Superhero (excl. Batman)
- Frozen Character (Anna, Elsa, Olaf)
- Marvel Superhero (excl. Spiderman)