Hollywood Gothique
CostumesThe Vault

Annual Costume Concerns are back!


There is some kind of unwritten law that, every year, there must be at least one article lamenting that there are too many sexually suggestive costumes for young girls. Here is this year’s edition, courtesy of CBCNews.ca.

The trend toward skimpier, sexier Halloween costumes for young girls is raising concern among members of a children’s advocacy group in Metro Vancouver.

Stephanie Owen said many costumes being sold to young girls for Halloween degrade women and glamorize the sex trade.

I can’t blame adults for being worried that there children are growing up too fast, and the premature sexualization of children truly is offensive, but Halloween is probably the least significant offender in this regard – at the very least, it’s no worse than fashions that young girls wear the rest of the year.

But what makes this article interesting is that it does a poor job of distinguishing between costumes for adults and for children, implying that it is nearly impossible to find safe appropriate garb for pre-teens.

Actually, cute costumes for adorable kids are just as popular as ever. (If you don’t believe me, the photo topping this post shows an example of a young adult costume that is not revealing at all.) I think the real problem here is that, once kids pass the age of ten, they start aspiring to act like teenagers – and they start reaching for older costumes, which may indeed not be appropriate for their age.

This illustration for an article about children’s costumes clearly shows an adult costume. Mistake or misleading?

Exhibit A is the photo that accompanies the article. Ten-year-old Jessica Zhang is shown holding a costume that the caption labels as having a skirt that is “too short for her.” However, anyone who actually looks at the image closely can see that she is holding an adult costume – not a children’s costume.

Instead of expressing concern that this is gateway to a life of promiscuity and prostitution, it would be much simpler if her mother would simply send her to the children’s section of the store.