-- A mom’s “open letter” to Party City criticizing the choices in Halloween costumes the chain store offered her young daughter has gone viral.
Lin Kramer posted the letter on Facebook earlier this month after looking at Party City’s website for Halloween costumes for her three-year-old daughter.
Kramer, who could not be reached for comment, wrote that she saw 53 Halloween costumes available for boys, compared to 45 costumes available for girls. In addition, according to Kramer, the girls’ costumes had words like “precious” and “queen” attached to them, and only three were related to occupations, compared to 16 costumes related to occupations for the boys.
“It is worth noting that I have generously included in this number the 'cheerleader' as a possible occupation, despite it being well known that even NFL cheerleaders are not paid well enough for this to be their only source of income, as well as the 'cowgirl,' although, unlike the 'cowboy,' she is clearly not appropriately dressed to be employed on any sort of working ranch,” Kramer wrote.
The mom also took Party City to task for the vastly different ways it accessorized and labeled the costumes of the same occupation – police officers in this instance – for boys and girls.
“When you look around at the police officers in your city or neighborhood, the uniforms they wear are probably substantially similar to the costumes you have elected to offer for boys. However, the same cannot be said of the costume you market to girls,” Kramer wrote. “Generally speaking, real life uniformed female police officers do not wear short skirts and low cut shirts, but instead wear exactly the same slacks and shirts as their male counterparts.”
“When describing the girl costume, your marketing team elected to use language like ‘cute cop’ and ‘sassy and sweet,’ while for the boy costume, they chose to note the ‘realistic scaled-down police shirt’ and assert that ‘this protector of the peace has it all under control!,’” she continued.
Kramer’s Sept. 14th post was quickly shared and even caught the attention of Party City, which posted a comment to Kramer’s post.
“Hi Lin, thank you for reaching out to us,” the company posted. “We appreciate the insight and will consider your feedback for the future. Thank you.”
Kramer took to Facebook again last week to say that Party City had since deleted her "open letter" post from their Facebook page.
“When I initially penned an open letter to Party City, I never dreamed more than a handful of people would take the time to read it… but then I also never dreamed Party City would respond by deleting it! In so doing, they ignited the passion of people who already had an interest in seeing *this* particular change happen, but they also unwittingly inflamed the collective conscience by their unnecessary censorship,” Kramer wrote.
Party City told ABC News in a statement that the girls' cop costume is one of the chain's "most popular."
"Party City, with more than 60 million customers per year, appreciates and values all feedback provided by its many consumers," the company wrote. "As the leader in Halloween, Party City supplies a broad assortment of costumes suitable for all styles, tastes, and budgets. We believe parents are as involved in their children's costume choices as they are in selecting their everyday attire. The girls cop item, mentioned by Ms. Kramer, is one of our most popular costumes."
The company’s website shows the girls’ cop costumes – shown with girls in short skirts and a toddler suggestively holding handcuffs – available for prices ranging from $29.99 to $39.99.
Fellow outraged consumers have continued to comment on Kramer’s post.
“I noticed that yesterday on their site! The vast majority of costumes for girls seemed to include wings and/or a tutu,” one commenter wrote.
“Shockingly, none of the female police officers I know wear dresses at work. Great letter,” wrote another.