Halloween – Little Girl Costumes

Random_Tangent sent me this email:


Apparently, you can’t tell kids “No. You’re not wearing that until I’m dead.” these days.

Am I wrong? Should you really be conceding a debate to your eight year old because you’re not haute couture?

I need a rocking chair and a lawn to protect

And it caused an enorbus rant, reproduced for your amusement. I omitted the part that actually addressed his question — is fashion above parenting? Answer: NO — because that would make too much sense.

Instead, I digressed about the language many of these news pieces use to describe the costumes — and how the author mentioned in the link above frets about the “reputation” of little girls not wearing sufficient clothing, because the idea that a six-year-old can get a “reputation” (from clothing no less) is not insane.

So now you know how much fun it is to email me.

It makes me nervous when I hear these costumes (or any costumes) called “slutty” or “skanky” — not that you’ve done this, but I’ve heard a piece on the radio that used these words, and some other occasions in different contexts.

The problem for me with most of these revealing kid costumes is that they’re sexualizing humans that aren’t sexual beings. It’s not the revealingness itself, necessarily — I’m all in favor of, say, the “naked time” Dana Carvey’s kids enjoy, or a belly-button revealing “Jeannie” or mermaid costume. (We can get into whether appropriating a living culture makes a suitable Halloween costume later.)

The problem for me is when the model on the package has a come-hither pose or look on her face, or even a brooding look. If you are a little kid, your selling point is fun. Not sexy. Not badass. Fun. Smile!

This picture comes from a CVS in my neighborhood.

Ship Wrecker

She’s seriously, like, seven years old, and posed in heavy prom makeup and a revealing costume with a frown and her head cocked back like, “You got a problem with me being a pirate?” SEVEN YEAR OLDS CAN’T BE BADASS. They also can’t be come hither.

Plus I think the name — “Ship Wrecker” — is a play on “Home Wrecker.” Seven year olds can’t be home wreckers.

Plus I don’t think “It’s all about me” is a good message.

It’s just like the little girls in the pageant in “Little Miss Sunshine” — the essential joke is that (and stop me if I’ve already said this) the entire pageant, with the poses and walks and two-piece bathing suits, is hypersexualized, and Abigail Breslin’s outrage-inducing literal striptease is not sexy at all!

When kids dress up for their own enjoyment — awesome. When kids dress up for adult enjoyment — bad. When what kid wants to wear competes with what adult thinks is appropriate, adult wins.

‘Nuff said.

Suggested alternative to the whole issue:

New Favorite Costume


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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4 Responses

  1. Drew says:

    I saw Goody Prudence with the Devil!

    Is it bad that I kind of dig that outfit?

  2. Tory says:



  3. Sarah says:

    And then there’s this.

  4. Drew says:

    She kinda looks like Faith.

    That’s probably all in the eyeliner.

    And with the whole drama queen line of products:
    Say what you will about the massive body image issues that Barbie has wrought, but there’s no way it’s as bad as what those hydrocephalic prostitutes the Bratz are doing to the psyches of young girls.

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