So, this afternoon, I want to share a few of my thoughts on Halloween. You may or may not like what I have to say, but I’m going to just throw it out there anyways: why do women think Halloween is a great excuse to dress like a slut? Why do people think it is okay to let their young daughters dress like spooktacular sluts?
There. It’s out there. And, I can’t take it back. So, let me talk about it a little bit.
I have two daughters. One is young enough that she still thinks it is really cool to wear a home-made costume. She also still believes in fairy tales and likes princesses, so that means we get away with things like The Queen of Hearts, witches, and Medusa. Last year, she was a rockin’ Geisha girl. This year, she is the Queen of Hearts and she is looking forward to saying “Off with their heads!” a million times.
Last year, my older daughter, my mom, my husband, and I were the Flintstones. But, we didn’t try to be Boom-Boom-Va-Va-Voom Betty, Promiscuous Pebbles, and Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Ma’am Wilma. We were just Betty, Pebbles, and Wilma.
Speaking of my older daughter – she is 10 years old and over 5 feet tall. If you looked at her, you could easily mistake her for a 13 or 14 year old. She is built like I was, tall and lean with broad shoulders and strong legs. You know what that means? She is WAY too tall for an off-the-rack child’s costume. (we also have this problem with her wardrobe, but that is a topic for another post) She also changes her mind a lot, so she went from wanting to be an M&M, to The Cat in the Hat, to Thing One, to a witch, to a spider witch, to a candy corn witch, to a wizard, and now she has settled on being a nerd. All of these costume changes meant we spent a lot of time on-line and in stores. It was painful. Painful because of the costume ADD she was exhibiting, which cost me a lot of time. And, even more painful because once we left the realm of the Dr. Seuss costume options, everything she looked at was HIGHLY inappropriate. It’s not her fault — it is what is being manufactured and sold to our children. It is also what pops up in search engines and on the costume home pages. Frustrated, we offered to make her a homemade witch costume, but she wanted to buy one instead (I think she is entering tween-dom and as such, spending her parents hard earned money in an overpriced store is much cooler than spending their time on something homemade and age-appropriate). You would think a witch costume for someone her age would be a cinch, right?! WRONG! In what world is it okay to let your daughter wear a witch costume like this? Why does a girl’s abdomen need to be hanging out? Why do we have to sexualize a witch costume? And, who in their right mind thinks that creating a “Hottie Witch Costume” for teens is a good idea? It really pisses me off. And, it sticks in my craw that I never saw any “Hottie Warlock” costumes in my travels. What kind of message are we sending to our kids? Boys and girls alike.
So, we decided that a store bought witch costume was not going to work.
We also decided that a skanky spider witch costume would not work either.
Nor would the Kardashian-esque candy corn witch. Good lord — garters?! On a pre-teenager?! I am not religious, but if I was, I would be on my knees with my rosary beads right about now.
So, we moved on to the wizard idea. I thought to myself, “Wizard. How can they possibly make a wizard inappropriate?” In my head I was thinking Harry Potter with long flowing cloaks and lots of words in Latin. Not so much. It was like Britney Spears got a hold of Hogwarts. No bueno. I could not condone this. My daughter was feeling frustrated from being told no so many times. I was frustrated that it seemed impossible for my child to just be a child on Halloween. I wanted her to go out and trick-or-treat for candy, not look like she was going to offer up a few lap dances.
On to the nerd idea. Harmless, right? WRONG! Type in “nerd girl costume” into Google, and this link shows up on the front page. Holy mother of Moses! The internet was proving detrimental, so off to iParty we went. I dropped $16 (highway robbery) on a plastic pair of glasses with tape in the middle, a bow-tie, and a pair of plaid suspenders. I convinced her to let me take care of the rest at home. Thankfully, that appeased her, because I was about to call off Halloween altogether, unless she wanted to accompany her sister as the Mad Hatter or the Cheshire Cat.
Remember the good old days when the doorbell rang on All Hallows Eve and all you saw were ghosts, goblins, and maybe a Sesame Street or Disney character or two? I miss those days.
It is really hard to raise daughters today. The advertising they see, the magazines that are on the stands, the clothes that appear in their favorite stores, the movies in theatres, and the onslaught of disgusting reality TV commercials are compounding the issue. According to how America is marketing to our youth, they want our daughters to be dumb, buxom, trampy, and scantily clad. They want our sons to be misogynistic and macho. And, it appears to be working, based on what is on store shelves. Shame on you, America. Shame on you! No wonder why women get no respect in Corporate America, in politics, and often can’t even gain the respect of the men in their lives.
I find all of this disgusting, and I am not okay with all of it. And, as far as I am concerned, you shouldn’t be either. Feel free to weigh in with your comments.
(*I’ll also be sure to post photos of our age-appropriate Halloween costumes next week.)