Monday, October 15, 2012

Goddesses in the Dust: Young Girls' Trashy Halloween Costumes - Sexy Ghoul, Sexy Vampire....Sexy Mouse?

Unearthing the Divine Feminine, one archetype at a time...
What the hell?

Last weekend I was leafing through the circulars in the mail and I came across a Halloween costume catalog:


The two on the left were dubious enough, but it was the costume on the right that made me stop and wonder - what is she supposed to be in the full make up and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model pose? A sexy mouse? And then I thought, what age are these costumed intended to target? 9 year olds?

What has the world come to? Now it's not only mommy who wants to let out her inner wild thing at a Halloween party, it's little Ashleigh, Madison and Mackenzie too. Mind you, these costumes are all listed under the "girls" section...



I realize everybody loves to dress up at Halloween - and for the past few decades it seems that the main choice for many women is: Sexy fill in the blank - nurse, bunny, etc. etc. Hell, even I dressed up that way in college...once. (Although my most favorite of all Halloween costumes was modeled on the NouNou girl, a wholesome Swiss Miss type lass on the label of a Greek condensed milk product when I lived in Greece.)
I braided my hair, shoved a pile of laundry under my dress and attended a party as "barefoot and pregnant" accompanied by a friend who carried a goat's head (courtesy of the local butcher shop) impaled on the end of a pole. Needless to say, we received many looks, not so many of them favorable, as we trod through the streets of Athens that night.

Anyway, now it is 2012. And I want to say: Women - wake up!! How is letting your 9 year old daughters dress up like Hooters waitresses going to add to their self-esteem? Let me make this clear - I have nothing against adult women who want to dress up this way - but seeing ads with girls dressed up this way is just plain.......ugh. Whatever happened to classic skeleton and devil costumes without all the vamping? Kind of makes me miss the old days when I was a kid in Minnesota. As I trudged out to trick or treat on one particularly frigid Halloween, I looked great in my plain old witch costume.....

hidden underneath my snowsuit :-)

36 comments:

  1. I love the vision of you trick-or-treating with an impaled goat head - now that is original!

    Those trashy little girl costumes are scary but not in a good way.

    My cousin in NYC complained about 2 girls who showed up at his apartment door on Halloween, claiming to be zombie prostitutes. No candy for them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. zombie prostitutes? wow - that's alarming. no candy indeed.

      Delete
  2. Those costumes freaked me out. I cannot believe that any parent would allow their 9 year old daughter to wear any of them. The sad thing is - I know that there will be many that will see it as 'harmless' fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. loree, probably there are those who see it as harmless - you gotta wonder about the parent who would let their kid dress up this way.

      Delete
  3. It's a harsh world out there for our young girls! This is just one place; there are many many more, selling sexy items to girls as young as ten. I blame Barbie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i guess you could say this began with barbie - never thought of it that way, rosaria. but yes, considering it is a plastic doll with 'idealized' and sexually provocative features that is made for girls. i must say, however, that its impact on me was rather dubious as i disliked my barbie (she had the bubble haircut, not ponytail, which i wanted) the whole clothes thing bored me so instead i removed her head and earrings (back then they were pearls at the end of long needles impaling her head!) and thought it was funny to squeeze her face. paging dr. freud...(hahaha)

      Delete
  4. My daughter is 11 years old and I totally understand this post. Not only are the Halloween costumes outrageous, but the regular selection of clothes are as well. I have trouble understanding why people want to see little girls dress like trashy women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have trouble understanding this too michelle. the trend has been more and more towards the provocative over the decades. i will be interested to see how the tide turns, because trends by nature shift - sometimes reversing - so maybe we will be seeing more androgynous looks in the future.

      Delete
  5. There are too many moms who put a premium on investing their daughters with dignity for this sort of thing to go much further than a ridiculous circular. Not only would I not buy such a costume for my daughter but the two of us would have a laugh over it together as we munch on our Target popcorn doing the weekly shopping run.

    The work I put into elevating my daughter's esteem to the proper place can't be compromised by advertising. I don't protect my daughter from everything in the world, but I sure as hell teach her how to navigate it with grace. Starting with my own example.

    I just want to say to all moms out there, NO ONE has more influence over your daughter than you. Don't be intimated because your power is THE force to be reckoned with.

    Thanks for giving us a forum to express, Amanda. Excellent, timely topic for a post. And Happy Hallowe'en, my dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i agree 100% suze - that mothers are the ultimate role models for their daughters. however advertising has a powerful lure and i've seen girls go this trashy route in spite of their mother's influence due to peer pressure. and the seemingly all-pervasive world of social networking has just made everything even more difficult.

      Delete
  6. laughing my ass off about the snowsuit...after all, canada, eh?

    but truly, it makes no sense to me, neither the sexualization nor the commercialization. never mind buying a damned costume. remember making them?

    i picked up a santa clause suit for my son for $2.50 at a thrift store a while back and he is ecstatic. my daughter, well we'll throw together someTHING last minute involving make-up and imagination.

    i suppose if we begin to sexualize earlier and earlier we get to create an earlier and earlier bottomless market.

    let's cross our fingers that mothers have more sense than this.

    xo
    erin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. erin, the trend is disturbing. i had originally intended to include in the post that i feared this time next year i would see an ad for sexy tippy cup drinker or sexy blanket holder.......seriously, where does it end? the lid has been blown off pandora's box and we should all be concerned. the best anyone can do is what you are already doing, raise your daughter to be a strong, self-actualized and authentic.

      Delete
  7. ai yi yi. glad my girls are grown, it must not be easy for mamas nowadays. this really scares me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. scares me too lori - so happy i didn't have to deal with this either when my girl was this age!

      Delete
  8. I think of my granddaughter, aged six, and how she will grow in this world. Fortunately, they do not have a television set in their home, so that helps some. Plus, our grandchildren are home schooled. But the images of child sexualization are almost everywhere. It is frightening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. r-bear, your grandchildren may be spared a lot of this which comes through the media. they are lucky to have parents with the strength to pave their own path through a world that is filled with such mixed and dangerous messages for young people.

      Delete
  9. A quote from one of my favorite movies, Mean Girls, sums it up perfectly:
    "In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha!! that movie is cycling a lot now on cable and i just saw this scene you are quoting from. tina fey did a masterful job of capturing that whole ethos of girl cruelty (which is so sadly alive and not well in middle and high schools all over)

      Delete
  10. Life certainly changed since I was young. Yet, what do I know, as back home in Germany and not over here are many celebrations of Halloween. Last time I had a costume, my father made it with a blanket.

    Please have a good Thursday.
    (Here's the calendar I "use": http://www.un.org/en/events/observances/days.shtml)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ah - the calendar! thanks robert (and how interesting about your dad - wondering what kind of costume he made with a blanket?)

      Delete
  11. oh dear god good grief, amanda. i so agree. hell too, i watch scooby doo with my 3 year old grandson and i'm wondering about the violence--bim bam slam. . i wonder how pretending to grow up in either case lessens generational character. such a crazy time. i will be interested to see the costumes that travel in my neighborhood. i'm hoping i won't see any of these....

    love
    kj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. me too kj - don't know how far this trend can go but hoping it reverses. maybe one day looking one's age will be cool for kids and adults (now wouldn't that be great?!)

      Delete
  12. I just had a discussion with my sister in law about this - she said the same, trying to urge her 10 year old daughter not to try to look all grown up too early. She wanted to start wearing make up as all her friends did.;)
    Yes, times have truly changed, the word sexy and looking sexy had no meaning in my eyes and perception until i was well into my 20s. Maybe it is the media, the internet and the easy accessibility to everything that grants young girls access to information about so much more than we ever did.;)
    Hope you are well dear Amanda, have a great weekend,
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i think the instant accessibility of the internet and social networks has a lot to do with this. if something becomes a trend or popular it can grow a lot faster now. seems like everyone wants things done faster, but sometimes that may not be the best idea.

      hope your weekend was lovely dear zuzana!! xoxo

      Delete
  13. Yes it is disturbing. And it's not just Halloween costumes I'm afraid. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. probably true, ruth. i think wearing a costume gives people an opportunity to let another aspect of their personality have free reign, so it's just more prevalent at halloween.

      Delete
  14. I don't mind the costumes as much as some of the actual outfits :-o

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ruth made a comment as well about young girls dressing more provocatively in general. i guess my question is: what kind of parent thinks this is a good idea?

      Delete
  15. You said a mouthful. I just saw a doc on the CBC called Sexed Up Kids. It was horrifying. I have a 14yr old and it's a tough go because everything in the media points to making little girls look like older women, slutty older women. Great blog. Love Greece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. must look up that documentary. thanks for the information and for dropping by my blog!

      Delete
  16. Powerful and asture post! I see this trend escalating...a friend of mine's daughter (aged 10)...asked her Mum *how can she become more sexy*? At 10! As an almost-Halloween Birthday Girl, I grew up with Costumed Parties.... the *sexiexst* costume I ever wore as a child was one of my Mum's old Pan Am Flight Attendant Ones...but, the skirt and jacket were too loose and long to be considered *sexy*..and I wore flats! I love your *Greek-Swiss Miss* costume - and the Goats head! (Oh yes..) As an adult, I went to a party dressed as a Unicorn. White Leotard and tights....(and ok, yes, heels..but I was in my thirties), Hair braided with silver and lilac extensions down my back...silken *silver hooves over my heels and on my hands*..and of course, a Horn - with elabourate gilt brocade. (Approriate makeup - and a Unicorn's Snowy Beard.) did anyone get who I was? NO! Not until I explained it....

    It's all too sad these days..at least Boys don't seem to have to be *sexy-macho*....but I fear for the future of young women..

    Happy Autumn anyway, dear Twin!

    Love you...and thank you for all your support during this trying time in my life!

    Always,

    ♥ Robin ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. robin!! i've missed you (and we missed attending the willow ball this year as june and july!! - oh well, there's always next year!) i bet you looked fab in your mom's pan am uniform - but the unicorn sounds unbelievably extravagant! do you have photos? would love to see that get-up - beats my swiss miss and goat's head combo by a mile :-)

      sending love and hugs that all goes well dear twin - thanks for dropping by!! xoxo

      Delete
  17. I wonder if this is a class thing, as in girls from wealthy families are more inclined to keep up with fashion and have learned already to use sex to their financial advantage. They have money and need something to do with it? I've heard about young girls getting plastic surgery and wonder why they would do so if not for their parents wanting it for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good question rubye. i plan to watch the documentary that rowan (above) mentioned in her comment to see what if any economic factors weigh in on this disturbing trend. regarding plastic surgery, you're right. young girls can't get it without their parents' permission, and you have to really wonder if they give they do allow it what is going on in their heads.

      Delete
  18. Ack! Had I gotten that flyer I think I would have sent it right back! It's disgustingly absurd. Or absurdly disgusting. Or just plain disgusting. I can't imagine any mother buying this kind of costume for her daughter. It's too disturbing to fathom. Yet... it happens--people not recognizing what going on here--the sexualization of young girls.

    I make my daughter's costume every year. One year she was an ugly doll, one year a soft serve ice cream, etc...
    Honestly, when the Halloween catalogs start coming out, I throw them in the trash before my kids can see them. (Well, actually, there's a lot I throw out before my kids put their eyes on it!)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Even if for most people "sexy" is the in-thing these days, I'd still wish for my little girl to dress up as a prim and proper princess rather than wear all those skimpy outfits.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting♡