As a mom and a woman, I am mortified every time I step into a Halloween store. My daughter is 4. She has big dreams. For a school project this year she decided to be a doctor when she grows up. At no point did she ever say “I want to be a sexy doctor”. So why is it that when I walk into Halloween stores, I am surrounded by over sexualized versions of what my daughter actually wants to be.
Getting Back to Basics
When I was kid, my brother, sister and I, were all Big Bird three years running. It made Halloween easy on my parents and hey we really liked Big Bird. The photos are precious of all three of us covered in yellow plastic sheets and plastic masks. There were no girls or boys versions of the costumes. We all wore the exact same thing. Now a days, these costumes would be banned. Plastic masks restrict sight and I am pretty sure those costumes weren’t flame-resistant.
In the mix of making everything safe, we somehow veered off into girls versus boys Halloween costumes. Somewhere further down the road little girls costumes took a turn from girly to downright slutty. If you are like me and have no idea how to sew, here are some of the options for girls who want to be Big Bird:
You’ll notice the first two targeted at teens and tweens and little girls look more like party dresses than Big Bird. When is the last time you saw Big Bird in knee socks? Just try and find the third appropriate costume in any party store. I searched four and found they only carried the first two and an even more sexualized version for mom.
When Did Halloween Go from Scary to Slutty?
To be fair, this trend isn’t just for little girls. I, like most of you moms, am left to decide each year if I should be a sexy pirate or slutty Snow White. When did Halloween take this turn and what are we teaching our daughters by sexualizing their favourite characters ourselves? Here’s an example straight out of Frozen.
I don’t remember Olaf wearing a unitard or high heels during Frozen.
The Worst of the Bunch
Here is a collection of the costumes I found for girls under 14 that completely cross the line.
My sister was a witch one Halloween and was mortified at the age of 8 that my mother gave her a huge green wart on the end of her nose. My mom was confused and Ann explained she wanted to be the beautiful witch from the Wizard of Oz not the ugly one. My mom took one look at her and said “Witches are ugly. Get outside.”.
No way were my parents letting us out in the street in these sexy Halloween costumes for girls.
So what’s a mom to do? First off, lets start by saying no. Let your daughters be what they want to be but take the sex out of it. The easiest way for those of us with young kids is to simply buy the male versions of the costumes. Another way is by sticking to the stores that aren’t sexualizing Halloween or simply opting for a DIY project.
Charlie this year chose to be a butterfly. By placing a long sleeve white shirt under the costume and white tights it became a much less sexual and more child friendly choice.
Secondly, lest start to fight back. Canadian mom and Huffington Post contributor Raina Delisle took on Value Village in person and on the internet last year for the inclusion of these two costumes in their stock.
What did Value Village do? They removed the stock from their stores.
Although stores like Old Navy and The Children’s Place can be criticized for the gender choices of their costumes in that the boys’ costumes tend to be sharks and dragons while the girls’ costumes are cupcakes and strawberries, both stores should be applauded for the lack of actual sex in the costumes.