The Shmooze

A Call To Boycott Sexy Purim Costumes

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share

Some like to call Purim the “Jewish Halloween.” Whether or not that is really a correct analogy, it seems that the same costume scandals that come up around October 31 also plague 14 Adar.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) is urging consumers to boycott companies selling sexy Purim costumes. WIZO Chairwoman Gila Oshrat called them “near-pornographic,” and castigated toy stores for openly promoting and displaying them.

This year, WIZO is targeting the Shoshi Zohar costume company, whose 23-page full color Purim costume circular went out to families with national newspapers last weekend. Last year, it campaigned against another company that similarly promoted “scandalous” costumes.

While a look at the girls’ costumes offered on the Shoshi Zohar website reveals that some of them have too-short skirts, a perusal of the women’s costume section validates WIZO’s claims that the outfits are indeed risqué and hyper-sexualized. “There is no need for a nurse costume to consist of a short mini-skirt and fishnet stockings,” said Oshrat. “Why do all costumes, whether they are professional or an animal, need to be sexy?” she asked in relation to the get-ups, which range from policewoman to pirate’s wench to “pussycat.”

WIZO is especially concerned about the objectification of women and the negative messages that these costumes may be sending to children. “This should not be the way we educate our children,” said Oshrat. “These kinds of sexist ads increase attacks against women and portray us as cheap.”

Shoshi Zohar has responded by saying that she does not see what the issue is. She claims that she is simply offering a range of costumes to meet the demands of both the secular and religious communities.

The religious costumes on her website are for children, and they depict biblical characters, as well as Hasidim. It goes without saying that they cover the body fully and loosely and do not include any fishnet stockings, handcuffs or whips.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Women's International Zionist Organization, Shoshi Zohar, Purim, Halloween

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.