Sexy Ursula the Sea Witch costume: sexy fat characters have to be skinny

Discuss

117 Responses to “Sexy Ursula the Sea Witch costume: sexy fat characters have to be skinny”

  1. jorgenfleisterman says:

    Maybe a role-reversal protest is in order? If Disney is going to make money off of a skinny Ursula costume, maybe women of larger sizes should make their own (i.e. don’t pay Disney for) costumes of the not-so-little mermaid… 

    • Tavie says:

      I could walk around NYC in a seashell bra with my belly and backfat hanging out and tell people I’m The “Little” Mermaid (with ironic quotation-fingers to illustrate), but I don’t want to be KILLED for Halloween and I’m pretty sure if I left the house with my offensive fat uncovered, some gang of teenagers would simply murder me for being fat in public. Sure of it.

      • DataShade says:

        I don’t mean to be too insensitive, but this reminds me of a punchline from a totally unrelated Tom Papa joke: “Oh, ‘they’ said so?  Who’s ‘they’?  Is the white guy doing bong hits over there ‘they’?  Because I gotta say … ‘they’ don’t look too bright.”

  2. mwparker2 says:

    To be fair, wouldn’t a fat, “sexy ursula”, just be a regular ursula.

  3. Wow, mwparker2
    Are you speaking for All Men when you say that skinny is more attractive, because I’m pretty sure some men would disagree. Don’t assume that what you think is attractive is true for everyone.
    Also, fat is unhealthy? You can be skinny, with weak noodle arms, zero muscle, and terrible eating habits, so I find it pretty ridiculous that there are still people who think skinny is automatically healthy.

    • mwparker2 says:

      Yeah, I realized it sounded dumb and changed it right after initially posting.  Figured it would be better to go for the joke than the troll.  But turns out, you saw it and I got the best of both worlds. Love the righteous indignation!

      Either way, I’d put a fair amount of money on Most Men (though I’m sure not All Men) preferring the girl in the photo to a girl closer to ursula’s measurements.

    • welcomeabored says:

      Word.  The last woman to confide in me that she had blood sugar problems was borderline diabetic, 5’7″ and size 4.

    • Luke Bogash says:

       On the other hand, just because 5 percent of the fat population may be healthy does not mean they all are.

      But the odds are that someone who is thin has a healthier lifestyle than an obese person.

      • Natasha Simms says:

        So you “know” the percentage of healthy fat people, what is the percentage of healthy skinny people?  Cause unless you have that I’m not buying the skinny is auto healthy argument.

  4. waksawak says:

    I feel the outrage is greater than market demand for this.  

    The world: Attention oversized women we have won the battle for the plus sized Ursula costume!The world’s plus sized women Thanks, but we never wanted it in the first place!

    • penguinchris says:

      You’re right about the manufactured outrage, but, it is also true that finding costumes for larger sized people (both women and men) is quite difficult – so I’ve heard anyway. I have never bought or worn a pre-made costume and prefer to put something together myself, but the point is that it is actually an option for me to just go buy something because of my “normal” body size, and the large number of people who are larger than me simply don’t have that option.

      While it’s silly to become outraged about this, it is certainly enough to frustrate a lot of people (especially considering the ever-increasing average size of Americans), and if nothing else getting outraged about it enough to get spread around the internet might hopefully lead the people who run costume companies to get a clue – there’s a potentially large untapped market here.

      Regarding “Thanks, but we never wanted it in the first place!” – I think you may be surprised at the number of people who would be all over reasonably-priced costumes of characters like this for large women. I recently saw a big discussion on reddit started by a larger woman looking for a good costume, and despite the best efforts of a lot of people to look for things there really weren’t very many good options that weren’t prohibitively expensive for most people or just really difficult (doing major customizations of preexisting clothes or just completely making something yourself from scratch).

  5. S says:

    unfortunately too many women have been made to feel inferior all their lives and now do not find themselves sexy because they don’t fit the super skinny mold. Personally, I don’t really like really skinny women. Its like dating a teenage boy with boobs.

    • sarahnocal says:

       No one can “make” anyone “feel” a certain way. You are in control of your own emotions.

      • S says:

        That’s a load of bull. If you are living in a society that says you and all who share your physical attributes as inferior, you tend to develop quite a lot of image issues. Its the same for many people with dark skin in just about every country on the planet. If the world considers you inferior, you have to fight that every day.

      • Maybe no “one” can make anyone feel a certain way. But what about every “one”? Societal messages bombard us constantly. Pardon the heck out of anyone who is incapable of fighting that onslaught through sheer force of will.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        No one can “make” anyone “feel” a certain way.

        Is that a dare?

      • Read up on Edward Bernays. If you don’t think your subconscious, irrational desires are being exploited, especially for profit, you are ignorant.

    • Aloisius says:

       A women’s large is not super skinny. Size 14 is about a 39″ bust, 32″ waist and 42″ hips.

      • Agreed. That is giant for a woman that is under 5’11.  I say this as a 6’0 man that has 15 lbs to lose. That is bigger than me.

        • Nytespryte says:

           That’s hardly giant.  I don’t think you’re very familiar with how measurements map to weight in women.

          I’m 5′ 4″ and when I was about 135 pounds, which meant I was starting to look almost chubby., my measurements were about 37″, 31″ and 39″  That’s one size smaller, a 12.

          Healthy range for 5′ 4″ is generally considered to be between 108 and 145.

          I’d guess I’d hit size 14 at about 140-145.  I would be a bit chunky.  I’d look slightly overweight.

      • Theresa says:

         And you think that is LARGE? That’s the average woman. So says a healthy (no diabetes, no high BP, no high cholesterol) larger woman. And the fact is this – the costume character is LARGE. The costume should come in sizes to accommodate LARGE women. How many 2x French Maid costumes are there? None? yet a larger woman cannot wear a costume of a larger character? THAT is the point!

    • Kramski says:

       Hey, I support and encourage everyone to state their love for bigger women as fervently as possible, but it would be nice if that could be done without disparaging my body type as “teenage boy with boobs” or “skeleton.” “I don’t really like skinny women” is just fine and does the trick in my opinion.

  6. “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.”

    Um, doesn’t this mean there ARE plus-size outfits, just not of Ursula or is the outrage that there aren’t plus-sized, Disney, AND sexy Halloween outfits? I wouldn’t think that there aren’t any plus-sized sexy outfits. Seems a little too niche to me…

    • Robert says:

      So what’s going on is this: Ursula is a fat Disney character. Disney contracted Disguise Costumes to make a sexy costume, since that’s what Disguise Costumes does, and they called it “Sassy Ursula”, part of their “Fabulous Flirts” collection. However, it doesn’t come in plus sizes.

      The conclusion is that either Disguise Costumes or Disney or both decided that they could not make a sassy, flirty Ursula unless it was not plus. Certainly there may be other plus-sized costumes in this collection… but not this one, which makes no sense because Ursula is a fat character! This is a horrible message.

      • mazzacane says:

        Here’s a possible conclusion, which I think makes more sense than the one you’ve drawn, which makes, in your words, “no sense”.

        There are fewer plus size customers than S, M, or L customers so they only make plus sizes for their most popular costumes.  Ursula is not one of their most popular costumes, so no plus size Ursula.

        I don’t know if that’s the case, but seems like a more probable course of action for a corporation whose primary concern is making money, not dictating body image something something whatever.

        • ocker3 says:

           You may be surprised if you look into how many outfits of certain styles are made in what sizes, and how those numbers don’t match up with what proportion of the population are those sizes. Supply and Demand meeting in the middle is a theory, there are lots of other factors that come into play in reality.

          One is that the outfit on the mannequin or in the catalog is usually quite slender, while the average woman is not that small size. So women get an inaccurate idea of what an outfit will look like on them, buy it, wear it, realise it doesn’t look on them like it looked on the skinnier person, and just put it away, not return it. And most won’t realise this is why they now don’t like the outfit.

        • There are fewer plus size customers than S, M, or L customers so they only make plus sizes for their most popular costumes.

          The mental contortions that are required for you to come to this conclusion are astounding. Have you not heard of the “obesity epidemic”? 35% of American adults are obese. 33% are overweight. The dearth of clothes (and not just costumes either) in plus-sizes cannot be explained away by market forces. The fact that clothing selection in stores so drastically contradicts the market is evidence for anti-fat prejudice. If the corporation’s primary concern was making money, there would be far more 2x-6x clothes and far less S.

          • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

             Obese people aren’t walking around naked so someone is making clothes for them.

          • Come on, Mark. Really? By that logic, the fact that I can find a clock where the time is marked in radians (thinkgeek.com!) is evidence in support of the claim that most people prefer to read time in radians. Of course fat people find clothes to wear. However, there is a much smaller selection of clothes made for fat people, and “normal” (e.g. not “Big and tall”) retail stores often fail to stock, or stock a much smaller number of large-sized clothes. It just doesn’t jibe with the observation that the majority of Americans are overweight or obese. And god help you if you are a fat woman and want to wear something even remotely fashionable; god help you twice if you’d like to buy off the rack.

          • mazzacane says:

             Well, I’m not talking about the general population, I’m talking about Disney Halloween costume customers, about which I know very little, and I assume you know very little.

            And again, I don’t know the facts, I’ve got no statistics to throw around, only this:  I have faith that the Disney corporation wants to make as much money as possible, and based on their stature, are probably really really REALLY good at it.  That’s what makes me think that it’s much more likely that this is a profit based decision than a prejudice based decision.

          • If your logic was true, white businesses would have served black customers in the Jim Crow South. They didn’t, because economic factors are not the only ones that affect a business’s decisions. Disney, of all the companies to choose, cares about some things a lot more than money–it’s image being one of them; promoting a certain stereotype of female sexuality is another.

            EDIT TO ADD: And yeah, you’re right if you say that Disney’s image eventually comes right back to money. But the point is that just because you can sell X product to Y people doesn’t mean that you will do that, if you think it will contradict other values that you care more about. Chick-Fil-A could make more money by being open on Sunday, right? But they don’t. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? There are a LOT of fat people out there, and a LOT of them wish they could get sexy, fashionable, size-appropriate clothing to wear. And yet there are stunningly few businesses actually meeting this need. Frankly, I’m kind of amazed that I’m even having to explain this point. Do you somehow not know any fat women?

          • mazzacane says:

            Well, I guess I can’t reply to Joshua’s reply (now I see why everyone complains about Disqus), but this is what I’d say if I could:

            Could Chick-Fil-A make more money being open on Sundays?  I don’t know, maybe not, lots of restaurants are closed on Sundays for secular reasons.

            Also:  I don’t have any friends who are fat women.  Is that so crazy?  I don’t know what the obesity rates are in LA, but fat women are pretty few and far between out here.
            What I do know is that I’m a male who is smaller than a size S, and though I have a lot of money I’d love to spend, I have a lot of trouble finding XS clothes.  I don’t blame prejudice, I blame economics.

            And yeah, there may be more obese people than unusually petite people, and other exceptions to the rule, but I still think institutional analysis is a more pragmatic way of explaining the lack of a plus size Ursula costume than anti-fat prejudice.  The fact that they would produce some costumes in that size and not others seems to support that.  They obviously have no problem with fat Cinderellas etc., why would Ursula be any different?  If you were right, I’d expect there to ONLY be fat Ursula costumes.

          • @boingboing-79f52c0968ea638d097f8d5e67540579:disqus We can’t know whether you are right in the specific case of Ursula unless we could get into the minds of the person or people who made the decision. So all we can talk about is generalities, and in general, clothing and costumes are dramatically skewed towards not-fat people, even though fat people make up about 70% of the U.S. population. 

            For example, on the disguise.com site that is the subject of this article, I count a total of 17 “my size” costumes. Now, don’t get me wrong: the fact that they have a category of costumes specifically designed for fat people is commendable. But look at how many “fat” costumes they have relative to “not-fat” costumes! I can’t even begin to count all of them, so let’s just take the “classic adult” category. In a single category of “not-specifically-for-fat-people” costumes, there are 25 costumes, of which one comes in XXL and three come in XL. So that’s approximately 1/6 of costumes in that category that are accessible to fat people. In the “deluxe adult” category, there are 27 costumes, none of which come above a Women’s Large, and six of which come in Men’s XL.Reconcile that for me with the fact that 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. Do an “institutional analysis” for me. Do the 70% of Americans who are overweight or obese not want to buy Halloween costumes?

            EDIT TO ADD: And in the interest of rhetorical fairness, I’ll grant you that many overweight Americans would fit into a Large, but even if you ignore them, you’ve still got about 36% of Americans who are obese, who are not being served.

            Furthermore, if you focus on women specifically, the “overweight fits in large” argument fails. The average woman in the US is a size 18. On the disguise.com site, that equates to an XL. To put that another way, the average woman in the US cannot buy any costume at all in the “deluxe adult” category on that site. How does that pass the analysis you are proposing?

          • You completely missed the obvious idea that fat/obese people are on average less confident when it comes to wearing skimpy clothing so the sales of said items, even if disproportionate numbers exist, would be in favor of selling smaller sizes.  Now, if they wanted to sell a mumu, they’d want to load up on 2x-6x.

            “. If the corporation’s primary concern was making money, there would be far more 2x-6x clothes and far less S.”
            To assume rational actors are acting irrational without any data is a sign of ignorance.  

          • Tavie says:

            Well, you may be right about general trends for fat/obese people (although I know plenty who have no trouble at all showing skin – so again, general trends) – but we’re talking about the availability of Ursula, period. There are none for fat people. And Ursula costumes aren’t necessarily skimpy. You can make an Ursula costume with purple arms and bodice that covers everything.

        • It is that and the fact that most women i know who are fat or obese would not want to dress sexy as an obese character for many reasons, but those are a different conversation(too long for this post).  They’d generally lean towards a skinny or midrange weight, even slightly chubby over an obese character.

          If you don’t believe me, count how many men you know that are insecure about going bald who dress up as bald characters for halloween. They’re, from my experience, more likely to dress as characters with more hair.

  7. bcsizemo says:

    I’m still stuck on the part of “sexy” Ursula…
    No seriously, the character wasn’t in my mind sexy.  Well technically most Disney characters aren’t inherently sexy, but still Ursula wouldn’t be a character that I’d propel to sexy status. 

    And frankly all the talk about fat people being left out or discriminated applies to every other body type that tends toward the end of one spectrum or another.  Body builders are typically labeled as roided out with anger issues (ie meatheads), the super thin girls are automatically anorexic (or doing coke), the labels go on and on.

    Look I’m “fat” and so is my wife.  Frankly I have nothing against anyone of any weight (except when they talk about being fat while eating junk food), but if I could have any body I wanted it wouldn’t be fat.  And I like bigger women, but I still wouldn’t classify my partners ideal body type anywhere near “fat”, bigger than a stick yes, but not waist bigger than boobs.  Besides someone up there said it best – if you and your partner are happy in your body then size is much less important.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Well technically most Disney characters aren’t inherently sexy, but still Ursula wouldn’t be a character that I’d propel to sexy status. 

      She’s just about the only animated Disney character who ever even remotely expressed any kind of reference to physical sexuality in dialogue: “And never forget the importance of… Body Language!” with an unsubtle waggle of the hips.

      As for “most Disney characters aren’t inherently sexy,” well, that may be true when it comes to Thumper and Goofy and (to a lesser extent) Daisy Duck, but when you start looking at grown women dressed up as any of the Princesses, you’re going to encounter some degree of sex appeal to some tastes that admittedly was probably not present in the actual movies.

      Except Ariel.  There’s a character who was sexier than 99.976% of all people who ever dressed up as her.  Rather atypical for Disney.

  8. Tavie says:

     DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THAT DOLL. ARGH. ARGH.

    • Chentzilla says:

      You mean this doll?

      • Christopher says:

        Good heavens! They couldn’t even make the freaking doll look like the character from the movie, but simply used the same skinny doll model for all their villains? That’s hitting the lazy-stupid-offensive trifecta.

        On the other hand it did remind me that probably the most vile Disney villain of all time, Cruella de Vil, was skinny as a rail.

      • Ethan Taliesin Houser says:

         Whoa, either she wanted to change the way she looked or she realized she had less energy and became worried about the health risks associated with obesity.  Either way, Ursula really made an impressive body transformation.  Inspiring!  Loose skin and stretch marks be damned.

      • ChickieD says:

        Wha? Tha? F*ck? What the hell is that?

  9. Tavie says:

    Well… I think Ursula was sexy. *shrug*

    • Tavie says:

      At least one person agrees with me:

      But! Ursula is sexy. Her breasts! Her butt! The way she moves! Her voice! I don’t honestly remember really… noticing this as a child, but it’s there and it’s largely treated as… normal. Ursula isn’t evil because she’s sexy, nor does she seem really to be evil because she’s fat. She’s just evil and fat and sexy, all in the same package, and I guess that’s kind of cool? I’m not sure.

  10. catgrin says:

    For those who insist on misunderstanding where the problem lies, I’ll clarify.

    If you go to disguise.com through the Disney link it can take some work to even find a plus size costume. For Disney-themed costumes there are only three you can find easily: Snow White, Cinderella, and Sally. All of those costumes are designed with near-full or full-length skirts, and the Sally costume is basically a sack with elbow gloves. Both princess costumes display arms up to the shoulder and hide legs down to the foot – the opposite of what most overweight women want to do to show their figures. If the costumes aren’t selling, it’s because they’re not designed for plus-size women to wear, and selection choices are terrible. This is coming from someone who isn’t a plus, but has aunts who are. 

    http://www.disguise.com/showitems.asp?dc=11&pagesize=all

    If when visiting disguise.com, you are fortunate enough to wear something smaller than a size 14, you have 21 options of Disney-themed “Sassy” costumes you easily can hunt down on the site.

    http://www.disguise.com/showitems.asp?searchterm=Sassy&pagesize=all

    It took a lot of work, but I found the ONE character-to-body type appropriate costume tucked away in a hidden corner of the Sassy collection that you can’t reach through the Disney link. It’s the Red Queen, and she’s located under the “My Size” collection. She comes complete with corset top to show off bust (a long-sleeve black or white t-shirt could be worn under to hide arms if needed) and short skirt to show off legs.

    Queen of Hearts #3194 in My Size
    http://www.disguise.com/productinfo.asp?item=1479&dc=

    Why there’s no Ursula, and why they made it so difficult I’ll never know.

    • Christopher says:

      Interesting. I never thought of any of the characters in Alice In Wonderland, including the Red Queen, as attractive in any way, but in my humble opinion that Red Queen costume is hot.

      And while I’m tempted to offer a weak defense of Disney by saying that possibly Ursula wasn’t that popular a villain I have to admit she’s probably significantly more popular villain than the Red Queen.

  11. Philboyd Studge says:

     Ursula? It looks more like gender-switch Bizarro Stormy.

  12. David says:

    In place of ‘fatties’ could you use “big, beautiful woman”?

    • Tavie says:

       Sorry, my original sentence read “Fuck off, fatties”, and in my attempt to soften it, my intention – to speak in the voice of the Disguise/Disney people – was lost. It was an evocation of the kind of tactful postscript that you see on many online dating ads – “NO FATTIES”…

  13. GeekDad Ken says:

    Cory – yet another, even geekier, example I’ve been complaining about for a while:
    http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/09/gender-discrimination-in-star-trek-halloween-costumes-2/
    There are no female Star Trek costumes available in sizes larger than Medium. Men’s you can get into XL.

  14. welcomeabored says:

    ‘Edna Mode’ would be more fun to play for Halloween, and easier to cobble together sans trademarked costume, but again, harder to pull off when you’re over two feet tall (the ‘size’ thing).  I think playing either character successfully has more to do with attitude (acting talent) than appearance.

    ‘Go!  Confront the problem! Fight!  Win! … And call me when you get back, darling, I enjoy our little visits.’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98J425wZvE0

  15. Annoying of boingboing to use the standard-cheesecake image to illustrate this post. “Ursula cosplay” has a dozen examples that don’t perpetuate the inanity.

    • penguinchris says:

      You’re missing the point; very few people have the skill (or the time and money) to create their own costume (which is what “cosplay” implies). Obviously a size-appropriate Ursula costume can be done, the question is why it hasn’t been done by the commercial costume place. It makes so much sense for them to make one, but they don’t.

      I think the answer is simply vast ineptitude on the part of the costume company, to be honest.

    • Amphigorey says:

      Er, what? The picture is of the costume that BoingBoing is criticizing. That’s the whole point of the post. Illustrating it with something else would be weird.

  16. atimoshenko says:

    I sincerely doubt that the owner of the South-East Asian sweatshop producing these costumes is carefully calibrating what messages his products are to send about body image and sexiness. I’m not even sure anyone there even has a clear idea of Ursula. They’re just producing those sizes (and designs) the production of which are justified by demand forecasts (established at looking at past demand). Considering how razor-thin the margins are, if there were ever stock-outs of plus-size sexy costumes, no one would be leaving money on the table.

    Call up the factory and order a million size 50 sexy Ursulas, and not only would they be happy to oblige, but you’ll quickly see their competitors start to send out feelers about additional demand for the same. 

  17. catgrin says:

    I really didn’t see this exact comment made, so I’ll throw it out there.

    One reason that people don’t design and sell to plus sizes is that it’s more work for less pay. You’re designing in three dimensions, using darts and pleats to accommodate a woman’s shape. That, in addition to extra time and fabric needed to make those folds happen, is why larger women’s clothing usually has a surcharge attached.

    The people who make the design.com Halloween costumes clearly don’t want them to be difficult to make. They want to design clothing that’s as flat as possible. It means less fabric gets wasted, and less time in construction, so they get more profit off each garment.

    I’d guess that’s why the selection for plus size women is both so poorly designed and has so few pieces. The problem is that the company is making a terrible mistake. By making really awful products with no choice all they’re doing is ensuring that no plus size woman will seek a costume from them. They lose ALL profit. If they had simply made a decent selection of well-made items, they might not see the same profit per piece they would from “standard” size garments, but they would at least see some profit, AND they would see it from a large population. The end result is that the company has missed an opportunity for greater overall profit.

    Oops.

    • atimoshenko says:

      You are forgetting fixed costs (the need to train people or set up different production lines) and opportunity costs (whichever factories are making these costumes, their main products are almost certainly non-costume clothing). Their concern isn’t margins – the margins are minuscule as they are – their concern is volume. They will manufacture any costume in any size provided that the demand volume is sufficient to cover the costs of setting up production.

      • catgrin says:

        As I stated above, design.com only created costumes that were poorly designed for larger women in the Disney line. The Red Queen costume was not Disney licensed, and came from another part of the site. The three costumes in the Disney plus size line were all designed in ways that would hide attributes and show flaws on most plus size women. Since they never created a quality product to test, they have no way to gauge true demand using their own line.

        A Google search for “Halloween costumes plus size” (using the quotes) returns 108,000 results. There’s clearly a demand and market for the product.
        In fact, just Party City’s site has a wide variety of appropriately designed and scaled costumes for both plus size men and women. They’re just not Disney licensed. If a woman wants a “flirty” or “sexy” plus size Snow White costume, then she can get it there – along with the Queen of Hearts (in sexy or formal), Mad Hatter or Alice in Wonderland (naughty or nice). 

        http://www.partycity.com/category/halloween+costumes/plus+size+costumes.do

        Halloween Express chose to have 196 options (including a few unlicensed Disneys) for just plus size women.

        http://www.halloweenexpress.com/plus-size-costumes-c-434.html

        This is NOT a question of demand and cost. Demand exists. It simply isn’t being met by product.

  18. Brittany Wilson says:

    Having worked for Halloween USA (which is now Halloween City, I think), it’s worth mentioning a couple of things, the first of which is that the skinny costumes run smaller than normal size (good luck fitting in the L if you’re a 14) and that the “plus” size costumes also run small. From chatting with customers, it seems like there are just no options if you’re bigger than an 18 by even an inch, unless you want to be a giant foam chicken.

    Additionally, every single costume we sold was made of cheap polyester and priced at $50 or more, especially in the sexy/flirty/slutty line. To me, that’s just not worth it, skinny or no.

  19. ChickieD says:

    Anybody but me think this costume is about the lamest Ursula costume there could be? If you hadn’t told me it was supposed to be Ursula, I’d think it was a barmaid costume or something. 

  20. Don says:

    This reminds me of how Margaret Cho was told she had to lose weight to play herself on her own sitcom.

  21. CLamb says:

    Following the link leads to a page that shows further distortions of Disney characters to make them into thin women.  There is a “Sassy Bambi”;  this changes both gender and species. 

  22. Jen Onymous says:

    There is so much Wrong going on here that I don’t know where to even fucking START, even with the excellent head start that fellow Boingers have given me here in comments.  Lemme have a go at it though:

    –FIRST:  general giant UGH to all of the “sexy (insert job description or character name here)” costumes.  Just ugh.  Also note that these kinds of costumes are 100% aimed at women (ie you can get a Sexy Darth Vadar costume for women, but no men’s version consisting of a mask and a black vynil marble bag).  Blah blah freedom of choice blah it’s OK for women to be sexy in public BLAH yeah I know. 

    –NEXT YES to whomever pointed out that all of those premade costumes, sexy or not, run small for women.  So do clothes in general.  When I was lifting weights and working out 5x a week between jobs, I got my BMI down to 19 and I looked like freaking Wonder Woman with smaller boobs and a crewcut.  BUT my Big Ol’ Russian Jewish Ass still meant that I needed size 16 jeans, flat belly or not.  Finding ANY clothing, nevermind costumes, was and is a chore.  OTOH a good friend of mine is self-admittedly morbidly obese, and he can get a suit off the rack that fits him for around $100 in a multitude of places, no muss no fuss. 

    –YES to fat chicks still being able to be sexy.  It’s just that right now, societal norms openly mock anyone over the “perfect” weight for WANTING to be sexy, so clothing/costume options are limited. 

    –BUT a stunning number of men like women with some meat (and fat) on them.  Obviously, YMMV, but one thing I’ve heard from guys I’ve dated/had relationships with (friendship, lover, etc) is that they hate picky eaters and borderline anorexic women.  Yes, it’s obviously self-selecting (guys who want a supermodel ain’t gonna ask for my number) but still….

    –Finally, I am all for creative costume designs that start at home.  You don’t have to know how to sew, just take an idea and run with it.  One of  my favorite costumes of all time consisted of a black suit–ie normal guy’s suit, for the office–white kid gloves, and a sign around the neck saying “-ly” .  He was going as an adverb.

    • Christopher says:

      Just to add a bit to the excellent points you’ve already made, I’ve been seeing on a couple of different web sites a “sexy watermelon” costume. Why it’s always being modeled by a woman is beyond me, since I think watermelons are pretty gender-neutral, and I think an attractive guy dressed up as a watermelon would be just as sexy as an attractive woman dressed up as a watermelon.

      Never mind the “sexy peacock” costume I’ve also been seeing, which, inexplicably, is being worn by a woman. Clearly that costume was designed by a heterosexual male who knows nothing about peacocks, but presumably has a feather fetish (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  23. What I have noticed is that “girl” costumes are all about THE SEX and “boy” costumes are about the costume.  How come girls HAVE to be SEXY?
    Ursula should be FAT and FABULOUS.

  24. ChickieD says:

    Well, if we are going to have the slut-o-ween debate, then I’ll pop in on that. My daughter is 14 and it is horrifying to go costume shopping with her. Even the stuff geared for girls much younger than her are trashy beyond belief. Not only are the costumes totally inappropriate, for actual trick-or-treaters these short skirted and bare armed outfits are too cold to wear in late October. Most of the younger girls I have seen wearing off the shelf costumes are adding in leggings or shorts and a top underneath to give more coverage and warmth. 

    I can buy that a college student might want to dress up “sexy” for Halloween, but I cannot fathom that most 8 or 9 year olds would. I’m not sure what is driving this trend toward trashy Halloween costumes, but I don’t think it’s market demand. I think this is what the costumers are cranking out and people make do with the limited choices.

  25. TheMadLibrarian says:

    I don’t cosplay, but I do dress for Halloween (it tickles the patrons).  There are places you can order custom costumes online, and they ain’t cheap. I bought a bespoke Star Trek uniform, the ‘maroon monster’ tunic and jacket from Wrath of Khan, and just the top by itself was over $100.  If you don’t fit in a standard prepackaged costume, which means these days on the smallish size, you’re screwed.

    • Christopher says:

      Please come and work in the library where I work. Most of us used to dress up for Halloween, but the number of people who do has declined so much that last year, when I was “The Fly” (from the Vincent Price film, not the Jeff Goldblum one) I was the only person in costume.

      This year, as much as it pains me, I may skip the Halloween costume entirely.

  26. Josh Slavin says:

    How do people so easily ignore the cognitive dissonance between making fun of Americans for being fat and lazy and wasteful and consuming too much and then being righteously indignant about not being able to buy a “sexy” Halloween costume for overweight/obese people?  I get that Ursula was a fat character, but that doesn’t mean a business has to make a product that there is not a market for.

    • Tavie says:

       Nice trolling, well done. A+.
      1) Making fun of Americans for being fat and lazy… is not… a great thing… to do. So if that’s the basis for your argument, yeah, fine trollery, very lovely.
      2) No one complained about not being able to “buy a sexy Halloween costume for overweight/obese people”, the complaint is that there is no plus-sized costume available for a plus-sized character. Sexy is subjective, by the way, but it’s not “There are no sexy costumes for fat people!” it’s “There are no large costumes of a fat character available”. So – willfully ignoring the message of the post? Ignoring it to bash fat people? Again, nice trolling.
      3) No market for fat costumes? See various comments above refuting that. No, wait, rather – ignore the entire comment thread and just post a lazily offensive set of digs. Trolling A+.

  27. mattcornell says:

    I think it’s great that Boing Boing is arguing for expanding the diversity of bodies that can be considered sexy. Now, if only you’d stop posting concern trolling articles about obesity on a regular basis…

  28. ocker3 says:

     I’d be happy to date her if my other criteria were met (intelligence, humour, etc), however I’d also be happy to date someone curvier, and have in the past. Show me a slender woman who doesn’t feel sexy and a curvy woman who feels sexy and I’ll pick the one happy in their skin any day.

  29. ut let’s just be actually honest with ourselves and say that everyone who is fat would rather not be…if a pill came out tomorrow that made the weight disappear, it would be sold out ten seconds later. You know it and I know it.

    The fact that there is enormous social pressure to value thinness, both by attempting to be thin, and by expressing a preference for thinness, has little to do with people’s actual preferences. It’s, frankly, impossible to really know the percentage of people who find fat people as sexy or more sexy than thin people. It’s similar to how there is enormous pressure for politicians to express a belief in and practice of religion. There’s no way to know for sure how many politicians really believe in the religion they espouse.

    I wrote extensively on this topic once: http://jackbootedliberal.com/2010/02/social-construction-of-sexy/

  30. blueelm says:

    Just chiming in helpfully that porn does, indeed, have loads of fat women.

  31. DeargDoom says:

    … expressing a preference for thinness, has little to do with people’s actual preferences.

    Oh dear.

  32. atimoshenko says:

    Society is made up of individuals. Social pressure is just the prevalent drift caused by the aggregate of individuals expressing their individual preferences. Of course, preferences are not exogenous to the system (they are, in part, shaped by the preferences of others), but those are our ‘real’ preferences – there is nothing more ‘genuine’ or less ‘artificial’ being somehow suppressed.

    So yes, our preferences are shaped by all sorts of arbitrary factors – from what our friends say to being reminded of the last two digits of our Social Security numbers – but that’s just how the human brain forms preferences.

  33. pKp says:

    Just look under the BBW tag.
    (which incidentally stands for “Big Beautiful Women”, a surprisingly positive and tasteful porn-related abbreviation as these things go).

  34. robuluz says:

    Ahhh, porn. Is there anything it doesn’t have?

  35. DataShade says:

    @ robuluz

    Dignity?

  36. robuluz says:

    @DataShade:disqus  Personally, I would have gone for ‘an engaging character arch’ or ‘an appropriate use at a funeral’, but yours works too.

  37. robuluz says:

    @Antinous_Moderator:disqus I’m fine, thanks!

  38. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I could provide you with a remarkably long list of things that I’ve been unable to find despite extensive searching. On the other hand, I could provide you with a video of Smurfs fucking.

  39. blueelm says:

    This is the excuse used to dismiss most fat women when they are raped and the excuse most predators use when telling fat women they ought to be grateful. People take “WHAT” they can get? 

    And this is why fat or thin, the problem here is the objectification of women and the implied ownership of female bodies by male gazes.

  40. Tavie says:

     Yup, everyone has the time, knowledge and skill to sew elaborate Halloween costumes.

    (For the record, I’m not actually dressing up for Halloween, but I am annoyed by the lack of availability of a plus-size Ursula costume if I or others of my body shape DID want to dress up and not have to learn how to sew first.) (I’m spending Halloween with my widowed father, as this is his first Halloween since my mother died and it would’ve been their 42nd wedding anniversary. So, yeah, if I had time to sit and learn how to sew and make a fricking strapless gown with tentacles, I’d totally do it.) (Sorry I’m such a lazy, uncreative fuck.)

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