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The worst The Handmaid’s Tale themed events, from grim weddings to sexy Offred costumes

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 has been delayed due to expansion of world, says Elisabeth Moss

Have these people actually read The Handmaid’s Tale? Or watched the television show? There’s so much here that we don’t understand.

You know The Handmaid’s Tale, right?

Grim dystopian story of a patriarchal society that has stripped away the rights of women and reduced them to nothing more than sentient wombs. Ringing any bells? You know, bestselling Margaret Atwood novel and award-winning television series starring Elisabeth Moss that provides a chilling and unsettling into a future that is all too possible and based on real events.

Sounds exactly the kind of thing you would want to use as a theme for a party, doesn’t it? Like, say, a birthday celebration. Or a Halloween party. How about a wedding? Or even a pregnancy photoshoot, in which the woman is dressed in the signature red of a Handmaid while the man plays the role of commander. Sounds really fitting, doesn’t it? Because there’s nothing you want to be reminded of more when celebrating your unborn child than systemic rape and forced impregnation. Super cheery.

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To the people, like Kylie Jenner, who insist on throwing The Handmaid’s Tale parties and even The Handmaid’s Tale weddings, we only have one question: have you read the book? Have you watched even a single episode of the television show? Because we’re not certain that you have. Because if you had read the book or watched an episode of the television show we don’t think you’d spend a single second planning a themed party in which everyone cavorts about in a blood red Handmaid’s robe.

In a new interview with New York magazine, Atwood responded to Jenner’s party. “I had to look up who Kylie Jenner was, I’m so old,” Atwood said. “My readers deal with those things. They notice them before I do. I expect that Kylie Jenner heard from some of them along the lines of ‘We appreciate the thought, but you kind of missed it.’ There were some themed tequila.”

Atwood continued: “People often do this in a very well-meaning way; they’re not trying to be unpleasant. It has been the occasion when I’ve been speaking somewhere and I will be greeted with Handmaid’s Tale cupcakes because the person doing the catering is such a fan. Will I turn up my nose at such cupcakes? No, I will not. I will not do that.” 

Here is every single terrifying time someone threw a completely out-of-place The Handmaid’s Tale themed event:

  • When a couple announced their pregnancy by posing for a Handmaid’s Tale themed photo shoot

    Anyone who has any knowledge of The Handmaid’s Tale story would know that posing for a pregnancy photoshoot dressed as a Commander and his Handmaid is a pretty terrible idea. But despite the warnings from people on Facebook, Leah Hampton and her fiancé Marquis have said they “don’t give a fuck” about what people are saying.

    It’s not like pregnancy in The Handmaid’s Tale is the result of systemic rape at the hands of a society which continually oppresses women or anything, right? Totally appropriate to show the kids when they grow up.

  • This The Handmaid’s Tale wedding

    Pity the two Canadian photographers who thought it was a good idea to host a The Handmaid’s Tale-themed wedding photoshoot. Their creative vision, which includes the happy bride and groom kissing surrounded by women dressed in Handmaid’s outfits, was staged in Cambridge, Canada, where scenes from the show are filmed. In fact, that exact walk where the picture takes place is the one from which Gilead leaders hang the bodies of those who protest their regime. Congratulations to the happy couple, eh?

    In fairness to the photographers, the Handmaids in the image were photoshopped in. But that doesn’t take away from the unsettling creepiness of the picture, which appears to completely misunderstand what Atwood’s novel is about.  

  • Kylie Jenner’s The Handmaid’s Tale party

    This one has to be seen to be believed. Back in June, Kylie Jenner threw her best friend Anastasia Karanikolaou a The Handmaid’s Tale-themed celebration at her house.

    The décor of the party was Gilead, with posters from depicting the regime plastered to the walls of Jenner’s home. Waiters dressed in costumes handed out drinks and nibbles while guests donned the red robes and bonnets of Handmaids themselves.

    Honestly, we have no words.

  • This “sexy” The Handmaid’s Tale costume

    Body-con red mini-dress. Slinky red cape. White bonnet pushed back on the head. Nothing says trick or treat like this “sexyThe Handmaid’s Tale costume, debuted by online store Yandy in 2018.

    Understandably, the Halloween costume instantly sparked outraged across social media.

    “Our society doesn’t take the rape of real women seriously, why should they take the rape of fictional women seriously?” wrote one. Another added: “Nothing like a sexy rape victim for Halloween fun.”

    The costume was eventually pulled from stores after social media erupted with fury. “Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment,” the clothing retailer said.

    The statement continued: “Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our site.” 

Images: The Handmaid’s Tale/Hulu

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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