Each year during Halloween, parents get to help their children select and create the perfect costume. John Marcotte, the father of two girls, was getting more and more frustrated by the costumes available for girls. While the costumes for boys featured brave, smart, scary, or cool characters, the costumes stores sold for girls were all just focused on being adorable, cute, and pretty.
To fight back against these stereotypes, Marcotte began the social media movement #MoreThanCute. Marcotte’s campaign encourages parents to help their daughters find costumes that are something more than just cute, and then post pictures of their daughters costumes to various social media outlets.
Marcotte is strongly supporting this movement because he worries about the message Halloween costumes were sending to his daughters. Though it may not be intentional, the types of costumes stores sell for children reinforce unpleasant stereotypes. Firemen, astronaut, and scientist costumes teach boys to be strong, adventurous, and brilliant, while fairy and princess costumes send the message to girls that their appearance is the only thing that matters.
In addition to the #MoreThanCute campaign, Marcotte has also founded an organization called Heroic Girls. This website is “dedicated to empowering girls by advocating for strong role models in alternative media — particularly comics.” Children are easily influenced by what they see in the media, so it is important to have powerful female role models for girls to look up to.
The #MoreThanCute campaign has received an overwhelming number of supporters. Searches for the hashtag reveal a variety of girls dressed as superheroes, artists, doctors, and even boxers. Both parents and children are glad to get the chance to show off their costumes and speak out against silly and stereotypical Halloween costumes.