Halloween is here, and along with the fun-size Snickers and strategically placed fake spiders comes the debate over what your child, your partner, your dog, and lastly, yourself, will dress up as for All Hallow’s Eve.
While it’s a yearly conversation for those who celebrate, one dad is looking to change not just how we think about the holiday, but how we celebrate, too.
John Marcotte of HeroicGirls.com has launched the #MoreThanCute campaign in an effort to encourage girls everywhere to “dream big” and embrace costumes that are “more than cute” — and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
What inspired the campaign? Well, while shopping for Halloween costumes for his daughters Anya, 10, and Stella, 8, Marcotte quickly noticed the limited options available. Both of his girls wanted to be superheroes for Halloween, but while the boy superhero costumes mimicked those seen in the comics, the “girls’ costumes were too often hot pink, or contained bizarre accessories like a tutu and a fairy wand,” Marcotte told Babble via email.
And whether intentional or not, this sends a significant message to every girl who is looking for a costume. It says that what society values most from them is looking “cute” (and then later “sexy” as an adult), while boys are given the option to be “scary, heroic, or funny,” according to Marcotte.
So this Halloween, Marcotte is sending a message of his own: girls’ costumes can be #MoreThanCute.
Marcotte is encouraging parents to share photos of their daughters’ costumes on social media to inspire others to dream bigger than society’s expectations. “I’d love to empower parents and kids who might have misgivings to rebel against overly cute or inappropriate costumes and to be who they truly want to be for Halloween, whether that’s a princess or a superhero,” says Marcotte.
What we love most about this campaign is that it is not only encouraging girls to think outside of the box by donning more traditionally “male” costumes, but it also sends the message that it’s OK to wear all the frills and princess attire you want — as long as girls know they have the choice.
“There is nothing wrong with cute,” states Marcotte. “But it should not be the only choice on the shelf for girls.”
Which is a powerful statement feminists have been trying to make for decades. It’s not the roles that are necessarily the problem, but the absence of choice. Marcotte explains that he wants kids to understand “that their gender is just a part of their identity, and it does not have to be the most important part in all cases.”
Since the campaign began, hundreds of parents have tweeted pictures of their kids as well as posted photos to Instagram using the hashtag #MoreThanCute. The response to the campaign has been “simply overwhelming and almost exclusively positive,” says Marcotte.
He hopes this campaign will spark a discussion among manufacturers and retailers about the types of costumes that are being made for little girls and what kind of message they are sending.
Marcotte and his daughters plan to support the campaign in style on Halloween, as Anya and Stella trick-or-treat dressed as Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.More On