Every Halloween, children across the US, and increasingly in other countries, dress up as their favourite heroes and villains.
So what happens when a child’s choice of costume doesn’t match their assumed gender? That’s the subject that the heart-warming My Heroes, a two-minute digital PSA, explores.
Written by Alexander Day and Brian Carufe, directed by Almog Avidan Antonir and produced by Landwirth Legacy Productions, the video aim to challenge gender stereotypes when it comes to children’s Halloween costumes.
It depicts a suburban family whose two excited children, presented as a boy and girl, prepare to dress up to go out into the neighbourhood to “trick or treat,” but not as the world may expect.
Day told Mambaonline that the video was inspired by media reports earlier this year about actress Megan Fox’s four-year-old son Noah wearing a costume of the snow queen Elsa from the Disney film Frozen.
“This Halloween, and in life, little boys and girls all over the world will be unable to dress up as they want because of fear they will be teased or bullied or have unaccepting parents,” said Day.
“This video is for them and I hope that little boy or girl out there sees this and realises they are our greatest superheroes for being themselves.”
The father in the clip was purposefully shown to be accepting but a little wary of his kids’ choices. “He fully approves but is more worried that other people will be uncomfortable or tease them,” explained Day.
The film was initially produced as a potential advert for a national costume chain store but when the filmmakers were unable to get through to the company, they decided to release it as a standalone statement.
“While we made the film knowing it would resonate with the LGBT community, it carries a message that’s universal, namely being comfortable and confident in every life choice regardless of the opinions of others,” said Carufe. “That’s a message all brands should be able to get behind.”