Monday, October 1, 2012

Little Girl Costumes

I came across this blog post on girl versus boy costumes. I don't know if the writer has a daughter, but she was still disgusted with the catalog of costumes that came to her house. The girls are posing prettily in their costumes with their dress shoes on, and there is a bubble over one of the girl's heads that says, "I'll be the cutest girl in Gotham!" in reference to her Batgirl costume.

I can't raise my kids in a bubble. They're going to get exposed to these ideas. That doesn't mean it's not going to upset me. It upsets me that girls learn from a young age that it's important they look attractive and cute at all times--even on Halloween.

I'm pretty sure the adult version of this is all the "sexy cop" and "slutty monster" costumes for women. I just went to Google and searched for "costume shop." I clicked the first link that popped on my search list. As of this posting, the first three costumes shown on their website are the Princess Leia Slave costume, the Army Babe Costume, and the Charming Cheetah costume. The Princess Leia Slave is, of course, wearing almost nothing. The Army Baby and Charming Cheetah are also quite revealing. What's are the first male costumes on the page? A Stormtrooper, a whale, and the Pope. All three of those costumes completely or almost-completely cover the person head-to-toe in costume.

Here are the first costumes shown on that website for men and women:

It's true that a lot of women say that they dress that way on Halloween because it makes them feel good about themselves. My point is that we're teaching women, from the time they are little girls, to feel good about themselves by making themselves look good (cute or sexy, depending on their age) for others. It's upsetting to me.

In case you're wondering, here is an image of the first costume that pops up under "girl" costumes on that same site:


Growing up, my mom always had a rule for Halloween. My sister and I had to be something scary. We understood that to mean that we couldn't dress in costumes like a bride or a princess. Our costumes through the years included a devil, a tiger, a pumpkin, a ghost, a witch, a vampire, Jason (from the horror films), and a black cat. OK, I was a panda and a sheep for a couple Halloweens, too.

Here we are back in 1991:

I plan on implementing the same rule for my daughter.

It's true that I love to doll Jo up in dresses, and I look forward to the day that I can braid her hair and put ribbons in it. However, I don't want to teach her that her ambition in life is to attract a man or to value herself as an object for viewing pleasure. The truth is this: Beauty fades. That's why it's so important not to put too much emphasis on that stuff. My daughter (and yours) should should be valued for her interests, her humor, her intelligence, and/or her skills.

Where do your opinions lie? Do you think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill? Does it disturb you to see what kind of costumes (or every day clothes) girls and young teenagers are wearing?


Anonymous said...

I think it has less to do with WHAT the costume is for (princess, superhero, cowgirl, etc.) and more about how the costume LOOKS. Is it overly sexy? Lowcut? Short? See through? I don't care what costume my kids choose - scary or not - but it does matter how it makes them seem or appear, especially at a young age. It's the same thing with clothing. Modesty goes a long way.


Jacky said...

I don't think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. I have taken numerous women's studies classes in college and they analyze the exact issues in society as you have. I think you are making a good observation. The problem is, how do we fix society? You daughter is lucky to have a mother who is going to give her a chance at life to not be another statistic!