Gender Differences in Superhero/Heroine Halloween Costumes

I’ve written a lot about superheroes and the history of their costumes. The book looks back at how their costume designs have changed over the years to reflect The Times and the development of the characters. To set my essay apart, I also tried to insert humor to comment on how these heroines were sexualized. Often, clothes are designed to show off sexuality, not functionality.

With the approaching of the Halloween, I can’t help but notice, mass market selling many superhero costumes are falling into the same trap. The costumes of female superheroes, like the fat Thor costume, tend to be more revealing than those of male superheroes. Here are the costumes of heroes and heroines that can be found everywhere on store shelves. Walk down almost any clothing aisle and these clothes are available for purchase.

Batman / Batgirl

In the comic books, Batman and Batgirl both wear full-body suits. The main way to distinguish their clothing is by their “developed” bodies. Batgirl also likes to let her long hair flow over her cape. For Her Halloween costume, however, she always wore a short skirt with the silhouette of her trademark bat wings. Her arms are almost completely exposed, except for the Batarm guard. It’s a long way from wearing a hazmat suit to protect her from physical harm to keeping her secret identity a mystery. When the costume is designed to cover her body, it only stops at the chest line, not all the way up to her neck.

Captain America

This might make sense if you consider the origins of Captain America Costume for the USO. The female version looks like it was inspired by the USO girls’ costumes. However, when Captain America started fighting, they upgraded his costume and added a little padding. The female version of Captain America has a star cut off his chest to show more cleavage. It won’t do her any good in battle.


Catwoman may be the only costume on Halloween store shelves that has become more respectable. I think there are several reasons for this. For one thing, it might be impractical to create a mass-market garment as tight as the one in the comics. Second, most women aren’t born with the exaggerated curves of the comic book villain. If they do, they certainly can’t show her acrobatic skills or wearing high heels jump around in the city.

The Flash

The Flash’s costume is less revealing than that of other heroines. Men have a full body suit with built-in upper body muscles. Women wear tight sleeveless dresses. The dress may be short, but the outfit comes with red stockings. Most runners don’t wear skirts, but they don’t wear high heels either, so they probably didn’t design the costume with her superspeed in mind.

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