Halloween is around the corner and most parents are looking for that perfect costume for their children.
However, if you've been to the store you may have been frightened by what you saw.
It probably wasn’t the high prices or cheap quality of the costumes that scared you, but the lack of fabric that left you gasping for air.
Joining this questionable selection of kids’ “dress-up” is the newest outfit to hit stores: Anna Rexia, which comes complete with a measuring tape prop (the name is obviously a play on words based on anorexia, the eating disorder).
Dr. Robyn Silverman calls this disturbing trend the “pornification” of children’s Halloween costumes.
The marketing of adult-like costumes to children, especially pre-teens and teenage girls, has become so pervasive that parents may be having a difficult time distinguishing what is proper from popular.
Parent Talk tackles the topic of sexy costumes and Speedo-clad caped crusaders and tries to find out why modesty and taste have been dressed down during this ghoulish holiday.
Tonia Accetta: It is not just the girls that are dressing sexy at Halloween, I have witnessed a few questionable boys also. Boys’ costumes in question include “Spartans.” Wearing just a Speedo and cape is not a full costume. And “Chippendales?” Wait until your kid is old enough to understand that one.
This time of year is fun and you should be able to express yourself without being taken too seriously, but keep your clothes on, kids!
I agree with the outrage over the teen costumes for girls, but with a few extra touches these costumes can be worn in a more appropriate way. I found the anorexia costume to be quite funny. I am not going to buy it for my daughter to wear, but I do still have a sense of humor.
Have fun with Halloween and be safe!
Tam Dorow: Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s fun with no pressures. You don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. No one is going to pity you or think you’re an unlovable loser if you don’t dress up, or eat certain foods or spend time with loved ones. It’s one day when you can express your sense of humor, personal interests or show your edgy side.
That said, there are things like good taste, decency and self-respect that prevail, for some.
We can’t all dress as swimsuit models. That would be boring. Remember a couple of years ago when people went about with body paint as their Halloween costumes? I’m glad the kids are not doing that.
I’ve seen a 7-year-old dressed as a genie wearing very little, baring her midriff. I was told her father purchased that costume for her. If a parent is void of decency and judgment, it's no wonder teenagers are too.
There are some pornified costumes out there, but there are also some pornified clothes I see worn daily too. My guess is the same people wear both.
If we as parents find it unsettling, we should ask ourselves why the young ladies want to dress that way. I think it’s more relevant to wonder why they dress sexy (and I use that term very loosely) every day of the year instead of just on Halloween. Is it any different than when ladies dress sexy? Do we expect children to uphold higher moral standards than adults?
Halloween costumes do a pretty good job of reflecting our society’s view of males vs. females. I’ve never seen men or boys wear sexy costumes. Some of them could have been described as in bad taste, or exhibiting strange senses
of humor. Often men dress up poking fun at others, but sadly sometimes
women dress up to objectify or belittle themselves.
Kurt Sauter: The sexy and provocative Halloween costumes for young girls are really strange. I am not sure why parents of young girls would allow their children to wear them, let alone purchase them.
The reason companies make the costumes is clear – they can make money. If they didn’t make money, they wouldn’t make the costumes. The parents are ultimately in control of where they spend their money and what they allow their children to do.
Maybe the kids feel peer pressure to wear costumes that their friends will think are cool or hip. That is where being a parent comes in. Don’t get swayed by pressure from your child so you can teach them how not to get swayed by peer pressure. We could eliminate the costumes by not buying them.
It is disheartening that there is a market for those type of things.
Suzette Valle: A few years ago, I saw a sexy 11-year-old Pocahontas in nothing but a loin cloth and bikini top clutching her freezing skin that Halloween night in the name of coolness.
I scratched my head in bewilderment thinking, “Did her mother really buy her that costume?” The answer was yes.
I suspect there is a bit of “living through your child” going on with the sexy costume trend. “Oh, she’s just a kid. It’s not a big deal if she’s wearing fishnets and a French Maid costume. It’s Halloween!”
If parents don’t teach their young girls how to be ladylike, then they may not be treated like ladies. And this includes exercising some decorum even during Halloween, when pretending to be someone else is supposed to be in good fun, not in bad taste.