Survey finds more girls choosing superheroes over princess costumes


ALBANY, NY (WTEN) — Halloween is on its way and I’m sure kids know exactly what they want to dress up as, but for some girls this year, the popular princess costumes may be replaced with something different.

Where princess costumes once ruled the charts for children’s costumes, superheroes have swooped in at the number one spot.

“You’ve got Black Widow from the Avengers, Spider-Girl, Batgirl and Super Girl,” Joey Ortiz from The Costumer said.

A new survey by the National Retail Federation shows princess costumes have fallen from the top of the chart for the first time in more than a decade, with action and superheroes taking number one.

So, why the change?

Stacey Angell, a school counselor for North Colonie, largely credits Disney for the switch.

She said more empowered female characters have been making their way to the big screen, showing girls they don’t have to fall into any social stereotypes.

“I think girls are realizing more and more that they can be the heroine of their own story, and they don’t have to wait for anybody else to come and rescue them,” Angell said. “They can decide on their own what they can do and take control of the situation.”

Ortiz at The Costumer in Albany says there are girls coming in hoping to forego the frilly dresses and go straight for the sleek crime-fighting suits instead.

“Even though the pink Power Ranger is on sale, she’s always done well,” Ortiz said. “She falls into that superhero type genre.”

Although some girls may be choosing to dress as superheroes this Halloween rather than the traditional princess, there are some costumes that fall somewhere in between.

“She’s not a princess, but she’s not a superhero,” Ortiz explained. “In her own way, she’s something in between.”

Dorothy is another popular costume for girls but, when girls are still choosing to be princesses, they’re picking those empowered characters like Anna and Elsa from Frozen, who end up being their own heroes in the end.

“I think having that strong female character and her not relying on that stuff at the end of the other princess movies, was definitely relating to more little girls than some of the other classics did,” Ortiz added.

“If they want to be more police officers and more army men, and little girls want to be those costumes, then that’s great,” Ortiz said. He says, no matter what girls pick this Halloween, “they have their choice and nobody judges them for it, then that’s amazing.”

It’s important for them to be empowered to dress up as whatever character they want to be.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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