Halloween Horrors

In a previous post, I discussed the disturbing trend towards sexualizing our little girls way too early, usually through inappropriate clothing.

I should have realized that Halloween costumes would soon follow this trend. The number of “sexy” costumes available for preteen girls, and even little girls, is appalling.

When I was a kid, costumes followed traditional styles of ghosts, monsters and princesses in big dresses, with some plastic TV cartoon character masks thrown in.

I remember one year I was a ghost, which is the Halloween equivalent of trick-or-treating in a burka. Another year I was a California Raisin, yet another warm and stuffy costume with limited visibility. I was also a witch one year, but certainly not a sexy witch – more like the green and scary variety.

Perhaps the most skin-baring costume I ever wore was when I dressed as Wilykit from Thundercats in 4th grade. One shoulder was bare, and the dress was short, but I wore dyed tights instead of painting my bare legs to provide a little bit of modesty. And one look at me, with my hair cornstarched to stand straight up and sprayed a bright red and my white and black makeup, would tell you I wasn’t going for a sexy look. Weird and slightly frightening, but not sexy.

So while shopping for Cordy’s Halloween costume, I am appalled at some of the choices out there. Sure, there are the cute, furry, full-body costumes. But for every cute plush kitty costume, there’s a “sexy kitty” costume as well.

What’s that? You want examples? I thought you’d never ask.

Exhibit A: Raggedy Ann Look at that cute little rag doll!

You could never make Raggedy Ann sexy for a toddler, right?


Exhibit B: Pirates Sure, pirates are the big thing this year. And with a smash movie, even girls want to be pirates. But there’s a difference between being a pirate girl:

…and being the pirate’s consort (with some serious vinyl boots):

Exhibit C: Cowgirls While I did find some decent cowgirl costumes, I had to point out two bad ones in particular. First, is this little girl just an early bloomer, or is the chest of this costume padded?

And then there’s the cowgirl costume named Lil’ Texy Cowgirl.

“Texy”, get it? Like sexy, without driving moms into a stampede by using the word sexy. Just switch the first letter so it is a Texas reference, and you’ve got a winner.

Now, I’ll admit that these aren’t too racy. Pretty tame compared to the costumes for older girls, truthfully. But they’re toddler costumes! Toddlers don’t even need to hint at sexy! What’s worse, dressing them like that now could be the first step towards these types of costumes. The distance between that first step and pre-teen costumes is not that big of a jump.

When did it become OK to dress our girls as sexy little women? And do you really want your 11 year old daughter wearing this?

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  1. Ya know, when I was that age I would wear my dance recital costumes for Halloween. Tights, a leotard, and a tutu, and they still weren’t as creepy as these!

  2. Reason # 457 why I’m glad I have boys. Sheesh!

  3. Well, we live in a society that “pretties” up girls and parades them around in pagents at the age of 3, why shouldn’t they look “texy” by 5 or 6… (eyes rolling)

  4. *sigh* This is one of the many reasons why I’m so thankful that my first child turned out to be a boy! =P

  5. The Flip Flop Mamma! says:

    Wow. I am shocked. Sexy costumes for toddlers? Seriously shocked. It’s insane. And who would let their child model these costumes???

  6. I’m with keri and karen rani . . .
    No “texy” costumes for my boys!

    I just have to steer them away from guns and military tanks to simulate war …

    I guess we are all trying to protect our kids from something :)

  7. I understand my husband not wanting our daughters to wear bikinis…my two girls will be “covered” for Halloween.

  8. That’s just wrong. Even the poses of the preschoolers are provacative. And I’m sick over the idea that those really sexy costumes come in pre-teen sizes. Just what I want to send my daughter out as: A street-walking witch.

  9. Ugh. Those are just gross. I’m really concerned about what’s going to happen when my daughter grows out of size 4 (for regular clothes, not just Halloween). Once you hit 5 and 6x, the sluttiness factor multiplies immediately. I think I’m going to have to order everything from Land’s End or something.

  10. This is just disgusting. Makes me glad we don’t celebrate Halloween. Nothing religious, it just never seemed fair to participate in the whole halloweening thing when our youngest couldn’t do it. Or enjoy it.

    So we’ve always boycotted. And we still will.

    Except, I buy candy. I boycott, but I eat.

    The manufacturers of those costumes ought to be ashamed. And the parents who buy such crap need to give their head a shake.

  11. fucking gross.
    bumblebee was a sweet little flower last year. this year I will make her costume again, and the only thing padded will be her diaper.

    btw – another costume-gone-wrong anecdote – in grade 8 I wanted to be charlie chaplin, but ended up looking like hitler – nice!

  12. Hahaha! Parade of the Tramps!

  13. This is so sad.

    Speaking of Halloween, I guess it’s time I start thinking about what wee Cakes will wear. Sadly, because of her inept mother, it will be some sort of store-bought outfit.

  14. Eeeek! Those costumes are scary!

    And sad.

  15. Eeeeww. What is wrong with people? I was just noticing at Target how much of the toddler/pre-school girls’ clothes are cut to emphasize BOOBS – which these girls don’t even have. “Hi, I’m four. Check out my rack.” Holy hell.

  16. The second raggety ann didn’t look too bad to me, because she has tights on, but the other ones sure look a bit revealing for little girls.

    It’s kind of sad to see such skin baring costumes especially when October isn’t that warm in the midwest.

  17. Okay that just makes me want to run and scream. So awful. What parent would dress their kid’s like that?

    Again, finding new reasons to be glad to have a boy!

  18. You know, the toddler costumes alone aren’t really that bad, BUT the provocative looks the models are giving is what makes it horrible! I agree with you…they aren’t that sexy, but they are pushing the limits and leading to other costumes that my daughter will never wear. She is a chicken this year, thank you. Chickens aren’t sexy! Or even texy!

    So what is Cordy going to be?

  19. Mommy off the Record says:

    Great post, Christina! I noticed this trend while shopping online for costumes too. I am particularly disturbed by the sexy Raggedy Ann costume and the apparent padding of the blouse on the “Little Texy Cowgirl”. Is this stuff for real? These designers should be ashamed of themselves!

  20. I used to be an active pagan and went to a huge Halloween (Samhain) celebration in (of course) San Francisco. About 500 people attend.

    The real holiday is so beautiful that it makes me kind of sad that this is what we have gotten out of it.

    Samhain is the time where you say goodbye to everyone who has died that year. Altars are set up with reminders of the dead.

    A reader reads their names and everyone chants “What is remembered, lives.”

    Then it is time to welcome all the new babies. All of their names are read and the feeling lifts and everyone is joyful.

    Then there is a big spiral dance, to remind us we are all still alive and that everything moves in cycles…

    It’s a little nicer than dressing up as a slutty nurse and getting drunk.

  21. I just found you somehow…not sure how I got here. I just wanted to say that I am right there with you. We took my daughter to Walmart to pick out a costume and we cam across this (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4960753)
    and this Harem Girl costume not listed on their website. It was disturbing. We ended up with a fairy costume that hangs past her knees.

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