It first hit me when I was in the locker rooms after working out. A fellow classmate who happens to be fourteen asked me what I was going to be for Halloween. Having to attend class and fight my way through costumed celebrators on Halloween, I answer "a tired grad student". This being my costume for the last time Halloween happened here. (more on that later). "What about you?" She answers that she doesn't know because she feels to young for the costumes.
I think about her words as I get home, shower, and hit the internet for a bit of research. I tend to avoid Halloween stores for several reasons but mostly because I make my own costumes. My last purchased costume was ten years ago. A quick Google search turns up what I want. I have stumbled upon the land of the short skirts, the land of too much sexy! Everything has been sexed up from Darth Vader to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Even Snow White is showing quite a bit of skin, seriously, she's a princess!
The more depressing part continues as you look through the teens and then the girls' costumes. I was unaware a short skirt was mandatory to dress up for Halloween! Where are the fun costumes that let girls be girls! Certainly we have Supergirl - dressed in her traditional colors but then also in PINK. Because girls are supposed to like pink. I have never worn pink willingly in my life. Partially because it doesn't work with red hair and partially because it's been defined as the "norm" for girls. And yes, why must a little girl look like such a sexed up Red Riding Hood?
I'm a little okay with the pink Supergirl. She's at least standing in a powerful pose. But the Red Riding Hood? Really? If anyone watches Once Upon A Time, there is such a better costume idea! After much searching through the "Top Costumes" (don't get me started on the "Unique Costumes" - the identical ones...) I have found girls' costumes that I would actually allow my children to wear if I had any.
Yes the boxer is in pink. But I'm a First Degree Black Belt in MMA, I'd rather have a daughter in that then something else. And the little magician is just so cute! And a Wonder Woman that's actually appropriate to a child! Yay! Personally I'm partial to Wonder Woman, I wore a toddler's version when I was really little.
To me, these over sexed costumes don't work. Partially because they're so silly. (Anyone ever seen a firefighter in a dress?) And partially because they're not fair. I have participated in costume contests where I spent hard work, time and effort to craft a unique Halloween costume, but have lost to a cookie cutter over sex prepackaged costume.
In addition, Halloween tends to be very cold around here, cold enough to require a sweatshirt and a turtleneck under one's costume (ah the fond arguments of my childhood). At least the smart ones tend to choose their costumes that way. Especially since last year we had no power and the year before that there was snow on the ground.
Am I knocking sexy costumes? No. I've worn them. I went as Catwoman one year for Halloween, fully covered in a purple catsuit. I froze, and kept my green cape on for most of it. But I made that costume. The only sexy costumes I have brought are for non public wear. So no, I'm not knocking sexy costumes, but they have their place, and that certainly isn't on a child. I was 21 when I was Catwoman. When I was 14, I went as Zorro, the male version.
Now I'm plotting to finish my Queen of Darkness Costume which is Victorian influenced. But I can still be sexy, because that's about character and attitude, not what you're wearing. So until they bring back the good costumes, I'm gonna continue to promote creativity and dressing up like a super heroine, because that is much better than cookie cutter overdone costumes.
PS: Pictures of Halloween Costumes, save my Catwoman Costume are from www.partycity.com. They are not used for any financial gain and all may be found online. I have not individually linked each pic back nor written citations. Catwoman is my costume based off the DC version from the 90s.