In a couple of days Halloween season will be under way and with it the American fascination with sexing up toddlers to teens in inappropriate costumes.
Last week the ‘Naught Leopard‘ costume for toddler girls thankfully sparked some controversy. Wal-mart is taking it off the shelves and apologizing for unintentional offensiveness. As many have been saying, the costume itself is innocent enough but the addition of the word ‘naughty’ is disturbing.
In addition to sexing up the those barely out of diapers, there’s also the other side of inappropriate. In London, psyche ward costumes are now in hot water with stores in the UK apologizing. Then of course, what’s bound to be popular in Washington State, Colorado, and my home of Northern California, there’s the pot costume marijuana leaf and several other hard to fathom fair: or other disturbing costumes like stripper toddlers, hooter waitress babies, and little Hitlers and terrorists.
But you really don’t have to go to that extreme to find questionable costuming. Why, for example, have witch costumes becoming cheerleading skirt length? Back in the day, witches had long dresses, were intentionally disfigured (think wicked witch of the west in Oz). But now they are witch whores for all ages. There’s of course nothing wrong with being a whore. I’m happy to be among them. But I’m not sure my 8 year old needs fishnet stockings and a skirt that barely covers her ass.
In general we find that boy costumes are all about being powerful (superheroes) , dangerous (stuff with blood involved) or occupational (what I want to be this week when I grow up). But girl costumes in 2013 are still about the occupation of being a princess, or something sexy, or a sexy princess.
In Halloweens past my daughter has been Hermoine Granger, Cleopatra, Wonder Woman, Sailor Pluto, Princess Fiona as the ogre and once, when she was small she wanted to be Snow White and a pumpkin. I’ve obliged her every time. This year she wants to be Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer so she can “kick demon and vampire butt.” None of these costumes required a stripper pole. All of them pretty kick ass in their own strong female role model sort of way.
There’s also the idea of dressing up as something legitimately scary in our culture. Is anyone going to dress up as Miley Cyrus’ tongue? Climate change? A student loan? A woman faced with a vaginal probe in a backward thinking state? Because they probably should. Okay, I know, not KIDS costumes—teen costumes, college kid costumes. But still.
Moms out there? Any of you drawing a costume line? What have you seen out there that begs to be boycotted?