Calling a series of overtly sexy Purim costumes that appear in a recently
distributed catalogue for children “scandalous,” Women's International Zionist
Organization (WIZO) chairwoman Gila Oshrat urged parents on Monday to boycott
companies that sell such outfits.
Oshrat said the costumes, which are
featured in the 2012 Purim catalogue of retailer Shoshi Zohar, not only dictate
to women to present themselves as sex objects but also send a negative message
to young girls that this is how women should behave.
She urged parents to
consider a social and economic boycott of companies that produce such outfits,
which are displayed prominently in most children’s toyshops at this time of the
“We have seen that the nation does have economic power and maybe it
is time for parents to speak out about this,” said Oshrat.
these kind of costumes available to women, it leaves them with little choice but
to wear a near-pornographic outfit,” continued Oshrat.
She said WIZO had
raised similar concerns last year about a line of Purim costumes sold by another
“There is no need for a nurse costume to consist of a short
mini-skirt and fishnet stockings,” said Oshrat. “Why do all costumes, whether
they are professional or an animal, need to be sexy?” “Is this the message that
we want to send our children?” Oshrat asked.
The catalogue was
distributed for free last weekend in national newspapers and is readily
available in toy stores and shopping malls throughout the country.
features 23 colorful pages of costumes for babies, young children and teenagers
and seven pages of adult costumes. Of the adult costumes, the majority display
various professions, animals or television characters and almost all include
fishnet stockings, microscopic skirts and revealing tops.
One of the
costumes, described in the catalogue as a “sexy cat,” includes a bondage mask
and whip, while the “sexy policewoman” includes a latex bodice and
“This should not be the way we educate our children,” said
Oshrat. “These kinds of sexist ads increase attacks against women and portray us
WIZO runs an annual campaign against television and newspaper
advertisements that are deemed sexist or degrading to women. Each year, the
organization awards a mock prize to the commercial it finds the most
In response to the claims that images and costumes in her
catalogue were bordering on pornographic, Shoshi Zohar said that her range of
costumes provide something for both secular and religious
She said that this year she had made every effort to select
costumes that were modest and less revealing than in the past. One half-page of
the catalogue does display “religious” costumes, but only for children.