Yes, every girl will dress up as Harley Quinn this Halloween. Who cares?

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Yes, every girl will dress up as Harley Quinn this Halloween. Who cares?

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They’re identical. That’s the first thing I think when I see the photo: same hairstyle, same outfit. They’re even standing in the same pose as they all pout at the camera with both hands placed firmly on their hips.

This is a picture taken at the Billboard Music Awards of 2003, however it has found itself a new relevance in recent months. First tweeted by the Common White Girl Twitter account (a page that boasts over 6 million followers), this image of Beyonce and her doppelgangers has become one of the most shared memes on the internet in the lead-up toHalloween 2016. The caption? ‘How Halloween is going to look this year when every girl dresses as Harley Quinn’.

And that’s only the beginning of it. Just a simple search into Google can find you an army of people expressing their disapproval and at times utter disgust of the trend. “This is how all these hoes are going to dress up this Halloween” reads one, with another dismissing the girls who dress like her as being nothing more than ‘basic’.

One of the most damning, however, suggests a drinking game where participants take ‘a shot for every girl dressed as Harley Quinn’ and then ‘take two for every girl that shouldn’t be dressed like Harley Quinn’. So why all of this uproar about a pair of pigtails and a baseball bat?

There is no denying that Suicide Squad was one of the most hyped movies of 2016. Its first official trailer currently sits at upwards of 75 million views on YouTube, and when it was released at the beginning of August it broke Box Office records. Despite receiving poor reviews, the film has raked in over $700 million in earnings and gained a certain level of notoriety in comic circles.

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However, although it contains an ensemble cast of A-list actors, critics and fans alike were able to agree that there was one character that stood out above the rest. Since the first promotional pictures came out in May last year, Harley Quinn’s new look took off in a way no one could have predicted. Seasoned cosplayer Ashley Wood admitted even she “can’t think of any female costumes that [have become as] popular as Harley”. Girls from all over the world were flocking to copy her flirty look, conventions filling up with likenesses before the movie was even released.

This initial popularity, however, was only strengthened by Margot Robbie’s stellar performance in the film itself. Sexy, mischievous and flat-out dangerous, Robbie’s interpretation of Harley Quinn charmed audiences with her one-liners and gravity-defying stunts. She was likeable, funny and her outfit was goddamn cute. Why wouldn’t you want to dress like her?

Well, according to the internet there are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t break out two-toned hotpants this Halloween. In an article published to Fusion.net Charles Pulliam-Moore writes that “everyone” will be dressing as Harley Quinn this year, so he suggests some “Gotham-adjacent” looks that you can wear instead. And he may not be wrong; according to a study by Google, Harley Quinn is set to be the most popular Halloween costume this year with Joker coming in at a close second.

But the weird thing is, despite being the predicted most popular male costume, the Joker hasn’t had anywhere near the amount of backlash that Harley has when it comes to Halloween. Have you ever heard someone call a guy dressed as Joker ‘basic’? It’s nothing more than a sad double standard.

If you don’t fit society’s definition of ‘beautiful’ then, like the meme says, you ‘shouldn’t be dressed like Harley Quinn’ and should be wearing something more conservative. But if you do fit these impossible standards and rock the outfit you’re a ‘hoe’ and will be accused of using the holiday as an excuse to be a ‘slut’.

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It’s not up to losers on the internet to decide who you dress as for Halloween. Erin Holland is one of the many women planning on picking the costume for Halloween. She’s been cosplaying as Harley since early this year, and said the criticism was almost unavoidable: “People make these comments about any female costume, as they do with how females dress on the day to day or when they go out at night.

“There always will be people out there that make these comments. I try not to worry about them”.

Llewelyn Foley, a Joker cosplayer that has been active in the Perth community for over a year, added: “So what if every girl dresses as Harley Quinn?. They aren’t dressing up for your benefit. Who they want to wear is absolutely no one’s business but their own”.

Ultimately, whether it be on Halloween or in your everyday life, you should be wearing whatever makes you feel comfortable. If that’s an oversized giraffe onesie that’s fine, but it’s equally OK if you want to wear short shorts and a crop top. The whole point of Halloween is that you can be whoever you want to be, so don’t let anyone try and stop you. Those fishnets will make you look amazing regardless of what anyone has to say.

Featured image credit: Histori. Photography by AdaLee

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