Is Target.com Being Sexist, or Ignorant About Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or Both?

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It’s just….I can’t….just look at the above tweet.

So, apparently, Target.com is selling the above costume as a generic “villain trooper.” Except, that’s not a generic villain trooper – it’s a very specific character from one of the most highly-anticipated films ever, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

captain phasma

It’s Captain Phasma, a new female character in the Star Wars universe played by Gwendoline Christie. So, this Target costume fails on multiple levels.

First, it shows how ignorant they are about the merchandise they sell. If you’re gonna sell an item, you should probably know as much about what it is as possible. I wouldn’t have a costume that looks like this…

bojackhorseman_column_splash650

…and sell it as “Anti-hero horse costume.” It’s Bojack freaking Horseman, and I’d want to sell it as such, because I’d figure Hey, people who are into this show are looking for Bojack Horseman costumes, so if they know this is a Bojack Horseman costume….

What’s messed up is that, in this case, ignorance is the best case scenario. Because the alternative is that they knew this is a Captain Phasma costume, but fell into the “Star Wars is for boys” trap and thought it might not sell if they a) advertised it as a Captain Phasma costume, or b) if they sold it as a girls’ costume. I’d like to believe this is just sheer character ignorance on their parts, because the implications of the alternative are not good.

It would be something else entirely if they offered this Captain Phasma costume for boys and girls. That would be a great progressive choice (ie: boys can dress up as cool female characters, too!). However, that’s clearly not what this is, as there’s no “girls'” alternative to this costume (which is crazy to need in the first place, since this is a female character to begin with!).

Oh, Target. *sigh* You were doing so well. Most of the time.

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Image of Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.