Instagram-favorite fast-fashion label Fashion Nova is coming under fire on social media for selling a “sexy” geisha Halloween costume.
A centuries-old Japanese tradition, geishas are women who have been highly trained in the arts of music, dancing and entertaining.
Given this hallowed tradition, critics are slamming Fashion Nova for cultural appropriation for its geisha costume, which costs $50 and consists of a kimono, skirt, obi sash and hair sticks. Some also worried that the costume could perpetrate a Western myth that geishas are sex workers.
“Now that it’s a spooky season that still doesn’t give you the right to dress up as a sexy native american or a sexy geisha or anything like that, happy halloween!” one Twitter user wrote.
“Cultural appropriation isn’t hot and a culture isn’t a costume, even when it’s got ‘seductress’ or sweetheart’ in the name,” @kittunmittun wrote. “Geisha girl is bad. I could go on. Just do better. This is ridiculous.”
While social media users and publications are calling Fashion Nova out for the geisha costume, the brand is not the first internet retailer to face backlash for its Halloween costumes.
E-tailer Yandy pulled a “sexy” “Handmaid’s Tale”-inspired costume from its shelves after receiving negative feedback on social media. The retailer has also faced calls to remove a series of Native American costumes from its site, as well its own geisha costume.
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