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10 Needlessly Sexy Halloween Costumes For Girls

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6. A “Black and Pink Witch” costume from Target also looks more cocktail waitress than Wendy.

7. A black and bright bubblegum pink “Punk Skeleton” costume (another offering from Target) outfits a girl in a tight-fitting shirt, tights and a raggedy semi-see-through skirt.

8. Amazon’s “Funky Punk Skeleton Toddler Costume“ is not that different (well, it is black, neon blue, yellow and pink) and specifically geared to the two-year-old set.

9. This “Zebra Toddler Costume” from Amazon really makes me wonder (along with the above-noted leopard costumes) why is it so hard to create an animal costume that doesn’t include a skimpy, flippy skirt and an off-the-shoulder top?

10. If you didn’t know that the “Sweet Cupcake Toddler Costume“ was supposed to make your child look like a dessert, you’d think she was possibly trying out to be a mini Rockette.

I can already hear someone saying I (and a few others) are being too stern and serious and reading sexism into silly Halloween costumes for girls.  Commenting on the “Naughty Leopard” costume in Jezebel, Lindy West points out that that costume is really just a “dress with a dumb ear-hat” (as could be said for most of the nine other costumes just noted).

On its own, “Naughty Leopard” costume does not have “anything remotely sexual” about it, West says. What’s curious is why whoever created the costume had to dub it “Naughty Leopard” instead of something more descriptive like (the admittedly lame) “Big-Eared Leopard.”

“Naughty” has, West writes, come to be a Halloween term that is applied to women and “means ‘sexy, but like a baby.’” That is, using the word to describe a girl’s Halloween costume is (1) a covert attempt to sexualize children and also (2) disturbing statement about adult sexuality in general and about women in particular. Naughtiness, after all, “is literally the #1 least sexy trait for an adult human to exhibit in the bedroom—less sexy, even, than diarrhea or constantly-sounding-an-airhorn,” West comments.

West wonders “why do we cling to grown-up naughtiness like this.” One reason is rooted in those princesses — Belle, Cinderella, Tatiana, etc. — brought to us by Disney. You can find plenty of costumes for Their Royal Highnesses, all of which are pretty much guaranteed to be flouncy, satiny, longish and not-too-revealing; to be “safe” and okay options for girls.

Or are they? For all that dressing up in the Rapunzel costumes (and the other princess ones I perused while assembling the list above) may not make your toddler look sexy, enrobing her as a princess with a tiara, gloves, jewels, dainty shoes, etc., is still following the same principle (such as it is) that gave us the “Naughty Leopard,” “Devil Diva” and other costumes. These girlish get-ups promote the worn-out notion that to be female calls for being sexually attractive or offering an excess show of femininity (and, if you’re a Disney Princess, showcasing your ultimately marriage-and child-birthing- ability).

As a mother, I would (as you may have guessed at this point) never let my child wear any of these commercially produced costumes. When I was a kid, my parents always refused to buy any. My mother (before she went back to work full-time) sewed costumes for my sister and me and I made some of my own. They never won prizes for best of this or that. What was enjoyable was showing off my mother’s handiwork and feeling proud about the work that my mom or I had put into making something. That was (my  main concern as an elementary school kid) fun and also — dare I say, at the risk of making a political statement about Halloween costumes — empowering.


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1:05AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

more fun to make your own costumes and be more creative.

12:27AM PST on Feb 22, 2014

I hate these kind of things so much. This is encouragement of very revealing clothing.

4:41PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

uhm.. people thinking those costumes OR those children are sexy concerns me greatly. all cute!

3:48AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Sheila D and Melania P are both right. The costumes are basically cute but it's the poses that make them sexy. It's the parent who buy the costumes, so they should have the control over what their little girls wear.

6:06PM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

Agree with Gloria. First of all, the pictures were made provocative by the make up added and the poses used. The showToddlers and Tiaras is a pedophiles wet dream. Most of these, when changed just a bit could pass as costumes for little girls, not streetwalkers. Don't tease their hair and add tons of makeup, or put them in any kind of heels...they are Little Girls, dress them appropriately.

2:38PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Well, it is the parents fault!!

2:17PM PDT on Oct 14, 2013

Thank you Kristie Chew for posting this article. When my children were small I sewed their costumes, they were clowns, witches, cowboys and I admit (35years ago) a squaw, a cat among many others. The kids loved wearing their homemade costumes and showed them off proudly. My daughter had solid colors, no pink or neon or purple, she refused to be "branded" a girl. These Halloween costumes are not in good taste and cash in on the sexuality of little girls. Shame on them.

8:46PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

Can someone tell me how to reply to comments sent to me? For the life of me, I can't figure it out. A direct reply to the emails doesn't work. And if someone knows enough about technology (clearly that isn't me ha ha), maybe you could drop a line to care2care about this frustration. Unless I'm the only one feeling it. And those who did - thank you for taking the time to connect with me.

3:55PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

Sad that young girls are treated as objects. Dressed as gaudy, common adult women.

3:51PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

These are either way too short, way too sexy, or just weird for the age group. I seriously doubt a two-year-old wants to be a skeleton for Halloween. If she even understands what bones are she is probably freaked out by the idea of innards like the majority of kids her age.

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