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Not Okay: Halloween's Gone Trampy

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Forget pirates and pumpkins ... this year, the kids are going slutty.

Can you believe the costumes out there? It's easier than ever to dress your 6-year-old in a skanky costume: almost all of them are revealing and sexy. Halter tops, bare midriffs, miniskirts, and knee socks are what moms are finding when shopping for a costume for their girls. Is this bordering on child pornography or what?

A girl isn't an Army cadet, she's a "Major Flirt" -- and who knew that female firefighters wore fishnet stockings?! One mom we know mentioned that her tall tween can't even fit into these teensy numbers and ended up having to shop in the adult aisle. There she couldn't find a single "covered-up" costume. What is going on here? Are retailers just following pop culture, or are our girls growing up way too fast? Whatever your answer -- don't be surprised if a 6-year-old dominatrix shows up at your door!

Does your kid insist upon wearing something trampy on Halloween? Here are six tips from psychologist and momlogic friend Dr. Lisa Boesky on how to deal with those fashion fights.

1. If your daughter is under 16, do not purchase a costume you do not approve of. She won't be happy, but she'll get over it.

2. If she is over 16, negotiate on how sexy to dress. She may want a micro mini skirt and you want ankle length -- compromise with right above the knee. Allow her one sexy item versus an entire costume.

3. Be aware of your own clothing choices -- your daughter is paying close attention. If you dress much younger than your age, don't be surprised if your teen dresses more provocatively than hers.

4. Ask your daughter how she feels when she dresses in a sexy costume. Why does she display so much skin? Really listen ... even if you don't like what you hear.

5. Ask your daughter to explain how her sexy costume corresponds to her actual behavior. Does it send the message that she is available sexually? Is she even aware this is what boys might assume?

6. Have her father -- or another man she trusts/respects -- talk with her about how boys view girls who dress overtly sexy (slutty, bimbo, airhead, material, etc.). He should emphasize the "sexiness" of subtlety and leaving something to the imagination.


next: Tween Girls: Just Ask Marlene
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
jen October 18, 2009, 6:58 AM

I totally agree! I had the HARDEST time trying to find a costume for my 8 year old daughter that WAS appropriate. And of course she wanted every mid drift/short skirt combo she could find. She did not leave the store happy.

Lacey October 18, 2009, 10:10 AM

That’s awful! I don’t know any parent in their right mind that would approve that. I’m lucky that I live in Oregon. It’s always rain and very chilly, so hopefully It will spare me for having to witness these “costumes” first hand.

TheCute October 18, 2009, 3:05 PM

Seriously?! You’re getting worked up over this?!

Bathing suits cover less and I bet you let your daughter wear one.

Logic, people. Use it.

Anonymous October 18, 2009, 3:13 PM

Have her father tell her how to be properly sexy… that’s not creepy at ALL. If that happened to me when I was 16 I think I would have imploded under the five miles of awkward and embarrassment. Maybe older sister or aunt, but dad? no way.

Appalled October 18, 2009, 3:16 PM

RE: TheCute

It’s the idea BEHIND the costumes. Bathing suits are skimpy because it’s warm, although I disagree with too skimpy there too. But why does a 6 year old firefighter need to be wearing fishnet stockings?

SesshoumarusGirl October 18, 2009, 3:46 PM

How about making costumes out of things you already have at home?

Todd Jordan October 18, 2009, 4:17 PM

Said the same thing the last couple of years. WTH are parents thinking? Actually they don’t think.

As you mentioned above, parents are the role models for behavior and dress, even beyond peers at times.

Does your household set the standard for women as okay to bear lots of skin? Does your family value modesty?

Parents should absolutely be involved in how their children dress, be they girl or boy.

Robin October 18, 2009, 6:48 PM

@TheCute, yeah but swimsuits serve a purpose, big and bagging while swimming doesn’t work out well. Also little girls in swimsuits aren’t running around the neighborhood ringing doorbells. What kind of message are we sending? It’s cute to look like bachelor party stripper at the age of 6?

Wendi October 18, 2009, 8:09 PM

I hate the costume choices that are out there. I have a 14yr old girl and it is so hard for her to find something that she is not showing herself to everyone. In my house showing to much skin is not allowed at all. There is no reason for it. I don’t do it so my daughter sure wont. In fact, she is very aware how things fit so she does not show anything without me even having to say a word. It starts by teaching them when they are young and setting a good example. Not hard at all.

disappointed October 19, 2009, 3:37 AM

I agree 100%. I am 16 years old, and I’m tired of seeing all these slutty outfits out there. Halloween turned into Whorelloween. It seems to be that society these days wants girls to grow up fast. And unfortunately, in this day and age, sex sells. I am against this in every aspect, and I know that sometimes I disppoint my own mom, but this is just getting out of hand. I wish more teens knew that moms do this because they care. They don’t want guys all over them. They want to protect their daughter.

What I really hate seeing, is these little girls modeling clothes that would fit their Barbie dolls better.

I can see most teens dilemma with being unable to find an appropriate costume, because I’m struggling with that too. I went and bought a football player costume that consists as a tight little dress with shoulder pads, gloves, knee-high socks, and a blow-up football. Doesn’t sound too bad, but the skirt was made just a teensy soo short. So if you’re having this problem too, here’s what I suggest: sew something on the bottom of the skirt or the sleeves or the neck line… That’s what I’m doing. :)

Well, I hope you all have a happy halloween!!

michelle October 19, 2009, 9:55 AM

Please. SOMEBODY is buying all these costumes, or they wouldn’t be all that was available. Yes, yes, none of US, of course, but then who? We are all at fault for creating that kind of culture, and only good parenting of both girls AND boys will make any kind of difference. I also want to know why even in this column you take away agency from the girls and give it all to the boys/men. As if we can solve the problem by having men explain that this is not sexy to them (implying that the goal is still always to please men)? That girls should not dress too sexy only because “what will the boys think”? Isn’t this the exact same kind of objectification and lack of control that we’re trying to avoid?

Mica October 26, 2009, 9:22 AM

I’m 16 and I really can’t find a costume anywhere that’s cute without being unbelievably slutty! I’m actually considering not going to the Halloween party that’s planned, because my only options all have necklines down to my belly button and hems up to my ears. If anyone can suggest anything that’s cute without making me look like a prostitute, it would be much appreciated! And as for a example of Halloween going trampy:
Need I say more? I really do not understand the Cyrus parenting rules.

Ash November 1, 2009, 2:57 PM

I buy my younger sister’s Halloween costumes. I have since I started working. I refused to buy her a costume that I wouldn’t wear. And I’m 25 and she is 17, so its not like I’m out of touch. I usually buy her an outfit that she can use the clothes from for everyday wear and add makeup and accessories. I’ve made her a pirate, a cat, a fairy, and a zombie for a few. At first she complains because I won’t get her a slutty costume, but she always loves the end results of my creations.

ana  October 17, 2010, 4:25 PM

this is so stupid so wen did it become not ok to wear knee socks really

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