This isn’t my Halloween check list. No. My costume will consist of jeans, sweater, a glass of wine and a face full of chocolate. I will be going as an I’ll Diet Next Week Mom. ‘Why the wine?’ you may ask. Well, the vino is helpful in retaining my sanity while witnessing all the little girls who DO use the above check list. I wish I were exaggerating, but truth is there are times I feel I should be handing out condoms instead of Snickers.
For females in general, Halloween has gone from spooky to slutty. Forget the Dorothy costume unless she is sportin’ 5 inch platforms and exposed cleavage. Don’t bother with the creative, humorous or – God forbid - scary outfits. If you have girlie parts, this holiday comes with a pass to show them off. Naughty nurses, salacious nuns and skanky pirates will be out on the prowl this weekend enticing a whole lot of "eww" and very little "boo."
Don’t get me wrong. I see the appeal in feeling a little more sexy than usual; the excitement of piling on the makeup, wearing that long wig and balancing on stilt like heels. I mean, it’s only once a year, right? Or for lazy Spanx haters like me – once a never.
Anyway, this isn’t about what grown women choose to wear to adult parties. If you want to flaunt it – then you go, girl. What gives me the urge to upchuck my Junior Mints are the street-walker-dress-up-kits I see on the trick-or-treat circuit. Anything from Mousin’ Around Teen to Rebellious Referee Teen can be found on numerous websites and in stores.
During this fright-filled holiday, the grownup aisle becomes tangled with the kid aisle. Halloween costume designers have clearly erased the line between women and girls. Not even considering the weather, the dresses are so short and the necklines are so low that these kids must wear an entire outfit under their costume. Or, at least, they should.
I cannot count the times I have (out loud in full-on, grandma-style) gasped while looking through costumes for the girls. I am working on a future piece about the new documentary, Miss Representation, which is about the degree to which media and society dictate a woman’s identity and values. A large part of the film was dedicated to the topic of the sexualization of our young girls. I think these Halloween costumes are a prime example of this.
On this week’s episode of The Middle, the 9th grade daughter – who, let’s face it, is kinda on the geeky side – was a dressed as a die for a Halloween party. She soon found herself in a dilemma trying to decipher what exactly is "Halloween cool." As the other girls (in their revealing duds) chatted with boys, she was ignored in the corner and even used as a table for soda cans.
At one point all girls go through this moment of realizing we are judged by how we look and what we wear. Some begin to recognize this at seven, others get to hold on to their fashion innocence a while longer. Again, that topic is deserving of its own space. But honestly, did the sexualization of our girls have to even take over the fun creativity and spookiness of Halloween? Instead of trying to be the most gross and most ghouly, girls are supposed to shoot for prettiest and most suggestive.
I suppose in a society with Toddlers and Tiaras, thong underwear in child sizes and words like "Sexy" or "Hottie" embellished on the butts of tween sweat pants, can we really be surprised with the Provocative Kitten ensemble for 12-year-olds? But as much as what we, as a society, allow and accept remains a primary cause of this icky display, it really boils down to the parents. And I will never understand a parent who is okay with their young daughters demonstrating sexuality as they go door-to-door asking for candy from strangers. As they say on online: SMH.