Margaret Atwood Reflects on the Sexy Handmaid's Tale Costume

You may remember, during a simpler time (almost exactly a year ago), when the ...but-make-it-horny retailer Yandy dropped its “brave red maiden” Halloween costume. The little getup riffed on the patriarchy-mandated costumes seen in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale by opening up the robe to reveal a mini tube dress—take that, boys! At first Jezebel didn’t know how to feel about about the costume, but then, after Yandy withdrew sales of the costume, we decided it was fine. Whew, what a ride.

Margaret Atwood remembers it too. As I’m sure you know, she wrote the novel on which the Hulu series was based, and on Thursday’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, on which she promoted her new Handmaid’s sequel The Testaments, she reflected on the costume by calling it the “French maid with the duster version of The Handmaid’s Tale.” She did not seem particularly bent out of shape about the costume’s narrative contortions, simply saying, “They sort of missed it.” You might say they missed it on purpose or they missed it...with sexy results, but sure. Missed it they did.

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“As a writer, that must be very frustrating when someone does so badly on the book report that they think that that is an okay costume,” said Meyers. In response, Atwood deadpanned, “I have a sense of humor.” Hard to say if she tailored the delivery to be funny, and yet. After my immediate reaction (“Wow I want to watch that on a loop until the world overheats”), I, too, reflected: Margaret Atwood’s sense of humor could be walking down the street, and I wouldn’t know a thing. I love this.

Also, she read Seth Meyers’s palm.

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Rich Juzwiak

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.