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Do Skimpy/Sexy Halloween Costumes Work Against Feminist Ideas??

Society & Culture  (tags: US, Halloween, halloween costumes, girls, young women, feminist ideas, feminism, society, society's double standard )

- 3126 days ago -
Does Halloween costumes for girls encourage an unfair double standard by deeming acceptable one night what would be considered "trashy" most other nights? Are girls supposed to look slutty for Halloween? Why skimpy costumes everywhere?

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Kathleen Hilliker (293)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 3:12 am
Many girls appear not to think through the message of what their costumes convey to the world.

The onslaught of barely-there costumes indicates that many of the intelligent, involved, well-liked women of K-State and much of the world secretly desire to be nothing more than live sex toys. As proven by the bevy of feminist organizations, female CEOs and laws promoting gender equality, this is simply not an accurate portrayal of women today.

The most disheartening aspect of costume trends is that it is continued not by chauvinist men but by women themselves. No one forces women to buy the same cliché “sexy costumes” year after year. Nevertheless, Halloween partygoers can count on seeing a plethora of referees, policewomen, playboy bunnies and devils roaming Manhattan next Friday night, all wearing costumes that contain more skin than fabric.


Topic of discussion:

Have you, your granddaughter, or daughter every worn a slinky Halloween costume instead of finding gender-friendly costumes? I'd love to hear a discussion regarding why or why not, and what you think about our society influencing our childrens' decisions.

Also, do you feel that you, as a woman & mother (grandmother) coax your daughters into non-sexist outfits for Halloween?

Sheryl G (363)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 6:48 am
My daughter, who is in her early twenties, tends to go for the more sexy look for costumes but I put it on the fact that in youth one tends to be trying to draw in a mate, and men are visual lookers, who want the wow I'm hot in the bedroom....yet they want to marry a respectable woman. Thankfully she doesn't cross the line of going from sexy to trashy....there is a line, in my mind anyways. Maybe others do not approve of even a sexy look feeling that has crossed a line.
With youth the mind tends to be more in the looks department before moving on to the more well rounded mental as well as an attractive but less sexy look for outdoor wear. I know my daughter has a great mind upstairs and this is the one day a year she wears this sort of thing. I never encouraged it, but she is an adult so she must make her choices. I know who she is, what she does for the rest of the year, and that she had as escort with her to protect unwanted advances. So I try not to read too much into it, she is definitely a liberated woman in other ways.
As I said, my daughter is in her problem is the costumes under age 18 that are getting more provocative. My daughter showed me the Halloween booklet and there were very young children ages 8 and up, that were posed to me in provocative ways. We feed the perverts thirst when we do that, so I absolutely do not condone these costumes under 18, and any child with them on has their parents wishes as far as I am concerned, because under 18 you do have say in what they walk out of the house wearing.

patricia lasek (317)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 7:18 am
Yes, hey work to further denigrate the role of women in society. They help to promote the idea of women as mere sperm receptacles. I can't stand it when I see little girls dressed like hookers. It seems as though people today, maybe because of media exposure, just want to attract attention to themselves. And, it doesn't matter to them what kind of attention it is. Just look at daytime TV.

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 9:18 am
Yes such costumes as degrading, no question about it. Thanks for the article.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 10:43 am
The young girls are thinking, they are just thinking different thoughts than you are. There are many kinds of power and female sexuality is the most powerful! Be careful of acting like sour grapes, you don't have this kind of power so you discount its value! Sexy/trashy is acceptable to many of us all year round :)

Angie A. (0)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 11:11 am
I have noticed that it really doesn't matter what you wear , that the media has exploited women so much through out the years and "friends with benefits" with no responsibility to a relationship that both sexes are being desensitized to the reality of being intimate with someone else strictly is now seen as tabu. I dress just jeans and t-shirt, converse and my hair up most of the time and I still get men after just one thing and I hate it!!!! I am smart, a great dog trainer, I can speak about many subjects. Guys want to try me out, I'm not a candy bar ! Girls need to be taught the more we as women exploit sex the more it becomes a burden to the women who aren't like that. Sodom and Gomorrah , so sad. Now we are aloud to cuss in music and tv without it being beeped. I tell me kids all the time that they don't need to be like that to be cool or liked, people need to like you for who you are. Sex does not define the person!!!! Being popular with girls or boys does not define the good in you. Peace Love Angie

Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 1:11 pm
I think that BHO should pass a law that only hot women can wear sexy outfits. The hairy feminists can dress as Muslims in Afghanistan.

Jamie Clemons (282)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 1:21 pm
Its one night out of the year when you can dress up as you would otherwise not dare to. I don't think it does any harm. Its one night out of the year when you can be free to dress up as you please. Women dress up like that not because they want to look that way but because of the way it makes them feel. Why can't feminist be hot too?

Sheila G (267)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 2:41 pm
then I think women need to shut up when the guy who is not so appealing leers and licks his lips and makes the most disgusting grunting noises towards them. don't put it out there and expect men to treat you as a lady, don't expect the gentlemanly response. I hear so many gals every year say I can't find that sexy costume that makes me feel so feminine. if you dress trashy, expect a trashy response. I stopped dressing like a vamp when I was approached in a parking lot by a sweaty and filty male who told me I looked so damn good. he had the right, I put it out there because I had the right and got a response I didn't care for. I remember a guy getting his head busted because he heard a man make a lewd comment behind my back! that good buddy got his ass whooped because of me. look how she's dressed, the creep said in defense.
I loved feeling sexy, but that killed it! :O
now, I dress like a hooker at home, his is the only advance I want.
ty Wicked

Cheree M (46)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 3:30 pm
The problem I have is, The other day out w/ my 10y/o daughter at wal-mart looking at costumes to figure out what she wants to be & here are these sexy inappropriate sleazy costumes for ages 8-12. Are you kidding me. This french maid costume had fish nets stockings, low low cut v-neck, very short w/ lace also to go around the legs. I mean it was something a grown lady would wear in my opinion. NOT NO DAMN CHILD. There were many costumes for that age 8-12, Sexy Devil, Sexy Cat , & the words Sexy was on the package. What's next for our KIDS?? Thanks kat. I honestly couldn't believe my eyes. This is the first year I have seen that at wal-mart.

Dragonfly Kid (17)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 4:58 pm
No, only women have earned the right to be slutty on Halloween. It's our GOD GIVEN RIGHT! LOL :) but not girls.

Jeff D (80)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 4:59 pm
In my view Halloween is really more about building consumerism and sucking the dollars out of every person they can. So what do they do? They target the markets for the widest audience of buyers possible .. including sleazy, slutty, whore and SEXY.

The Halloween fashion promoters know exactly what society wants and what kids LOVE to dress up as. Kids love to role play their favourite characters from TV shows or dress as their parents do.

In my opinion, keep to the scary haunting costumes that don't advertise the trashy and sleazy appeals/looks. Sure, it's okay to add a little sexy to the costumes, but not enough to lure the "Abusive, sexual, violent Predators" who have all the intentions to "Stalk and Snatch" on a prospective Halloween night.

Iain Parkes (0)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 5:47 pm
If the Feminists were in charge of fashion, we would all be wearing dungeries....

Sheila G (267)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 4:52 am
exactly, C Million, just look at the child in the pic above, she looks barely 12, what makes me wonder are the parents who allow their little girls to dress that inappropriately. there is a war already in the midst of the pre-teens to outsex their girlfriends bacause that is what they see in the world. of course they want to dress like that pop star with barely there costumes, that is one concert I would not allow a little girl to attend. there is such a cloud over it all, and the parents heads are stuck right up in it. let them be kids first, sexy never entered my mind when I was that age, why should it have?
this has nothing to do with feminism, lain, this has everything to do with protecting our little girls from a world that only wants to use them.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 5:32 am
Halloween is suppose to SCARY and fun.....NOT DRESSING YOUR KIDS UP TO BE SEXY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even preteen costumes were shocking!! Sexy costumes have nothing to do with feminism. It has everything to do with stupid consumerism that you buy into. My daughter is 6 and she wants to be a scary cat for halloween. What did we find???? SKIN TIGHT cat suits and playboy bunny looking cat ears etc.....thats not scary, it's inappropriate. I always have to modify anything we get to make it scary.

Last year she was a witch but I had to add scrappy material to the bottom of the dress to make it longer and scary. It pisses me off!!!!! When I am done with modifications sexy is the last thing you will be thinking!! But I should not have to even do that!

Kathleen Hilliker (293)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 5:39 am
First, I'd like to thank all of you for sticking your necks out to even comment on this subject.

Society DOES make money on (yes, even underaged kids) by "cashing in" on what sells, and obviously - sex sells. It IS catering to consumerism, but I truly think we need to look more deeply as to WHY consumers put up with this type of marketing. We don't HAVE to settle for these sleazy/sexy/slutty type of costumes for our little girls to wear - not even for ONE night! When did Halloween turn from a fun night to school parties, home parties, and door-2-door "barely-there" costumes for our girls?

I ask, would you dress your boys in sleazy/sexy/sluttery type costumes? I don't care if they'd look funny in them or not. Isn't this a sexist reaction from the parents? Why doesn't that BOTHER parents? Why is there a bag of "his" and "her" costumes in our stores? Why can't there be ghosts or pumpkins or whatever "fun" costumes you can think up?

I think that it's us, the consumers who need to step back and think about how we are influencing our female & male children. If they're truly to grow up equally, we need to TREAT (or TRICK) them equally! Trust me, we're FAR from doing that!

I also don't condone the grim-reaper, darn-right scary costumes for young children (and we ARE talking children here, not 18+ kids). I know a lot of schools forbid this type of costume, and I'm hoping elementary schools are watching that the girls' costumes are also appropriate.

My daughter, when in elementary school, was very often dressed as storybook characters: Dorothy (Oz), Pippi Longstockings, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie).....there's NO WAY she would've went out looking like Mylie Cirus or eevn a genie. Why? Because I was trying to teach her that her self-esteem & self worth were more important than getting into a fringed & lace costume showing her bellybutton! She was a horse (great costume!), a clown, a 50's girl in a poodle skirt (all her friends did that one year), and a witch that certainly wasn't scary OR Morticia Adams-like. I think the more clever you can be, the more popular the costumes became. I cringe to think girls are dressing up like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohen....Britney Spears or whomever else they watch on music videos or the movies.

Ok, bottom line is, we need parents to really teach their daughters (and sons), that you can't grow up in a non-sexist world unless you take some pride and self-respect in this world - and it's GOT to come from the parents - whether it's the "popular" thing to do or not.

We HAVE to do it! We have so many sickos in the world (not to mention our neighborhoods nowadays, that you really DO have to think about the message you are sending out to your children. No, it's not JUST about their clothing, but it IS about YOUR attitude towards raising them with pride in themselves.

No, my daughter is far from a prude now as a young adult...she can look great (and sexy) no matter what she decides to wear - but I think it really comes more from the self-confidence that shines from within that makes her that way....not having parents who let her get away with what was "in" while she was growing up....esp. if it compromised her inner self-esteem.


Kathleen Hilliker (293)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 5:40 am
Please forgive the rant...I didn't mean to make it that long...but I haven't slept yet, and it's 5:40am right now in Arizona! No, I'm not wearing a sexy piece of lingerie either! HaHa!

Past Member (0)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 12:11 pm
ah sorry, I did not realize we were talking about kids. There are children feminists?

Sheila G (267)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 1:52 pm
love the rant, some people will never get it, and the kids ultimately suffer. it's not a joke and there is nothing funny about little girls feeling the pressure of grown women, feeling the pressure of having to perform for men to be valued.
sometimes I think this entire world is sick minded.

Jeanette P (2)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 7:35 am
"Young Teen Daughter and Friend Made Above Photo Look Appropriate"

My daughter originally said she didn't want to dress up for Halloween, but at the last minute she changed her mind. I offered to take her the second-hand store where we could come up with something fun, but she decided against it. On Halloween, a friend of hers came over and I had to leave for a bit while they got ready. When I returned, they had left; I thought nothing of it as I trusted my teenager with this task. When she and her friend came back, they were wearing red, sheer tutus with their "booty", i.e. underwear only underneath and thigh high, sheer stockings. I was dumbfounded at the disrespect for themselves, but also at the manipulation of both as they knew I wouldn't have approved. I didn't expect my daughter to dress in a high-collared prairie dress, but not like that!

After speaking to them about it I learned that they REALLY did not understand the definition or importance of self-respect. They did not understand the message their clothing relayed to the world around them - not that it "should" have that effect, but that it "does" have that effect on others. How has society crept in to the point that everything our family has tried to teach them became null and void on that night?

I want my daughter to be proud of her body, no matter what it looks like. I want her to be confident too. Yet last night, just made no sense to me.

I agree that there is a definite trend about dressing, quite frankly, slutty for Halloween as I have been redirecting my daughter's costume choices since she was 11 years old. I also understand that our societal views change and we as women want independence over our bodies and our psyches. Yet, there is a point where damage is done to us if we lack the inability to have boundaries in our lives and that is true of both men and women. Boundaries are okay.

I can say that an adult has the choice to dress like this, but she has to consider the consequence of her actions - that young girls ARE watching her and wanting to be her. People in general don't want to consider consequences; sadly, we live in a "me" society.

Ian MacLeod (79)
Tuesday November 17, 2009, 3:28 am
A comment and a suggestion. First, dressing little girls up in skimpy/sexy outfits IS NOT SAFE. There are enough predators out there, plus enough flat-out wackos, that we need to be careful with children. Kids also aren't very good at concepts like, "It's just one day a year." I'd hate to see one of those costumes allowed for Halloween worn to school for show-and-tell. As for adults and near adults though, depending, granted, Samhain is not for sexy, but other purposes, but we're not celebrating Samhain as a country: it's dress-up day. It used to be mostly scary, but now it's just dress-up. People who are young, healthy and in good shape often like to dress provocatively. Sorry, but this DOESN'T mean that being "nothing but a sperm receptacle" is their life's ambition - or a sperm donor, to be even-handed about it. Lighten up. At least a little bit. Granted, flashing the kiddies and Grandma is NOT cool, but a little sexy role-playing is also not likely to bring down civilization. Not this week, at least.

I'd also like to point out that yesterday's "slutty" is today's "sexy" and tomorrow's grandma dress. If young ladies have been taught how to defend themselves, including not going places where they stand a chance of becoming victims, and if they're following common sense (I know - it's an oxymoron, but you do what you can), then they should be safe. Although I'd have to say that if they're out for candy and ringing doorbells, they're probably too young emotionally for "sexy," and they likely just want to look "pretty" and aren't thinking about why that look might constitute an idea of pretty. Long talk time, moms.

As for people in their twenties, male or female, they probably look as good as they're ever likely to as far as "young and sexy" goes, and they have every right to enjoy it, if that's something they enjoy. It's nice to be looked at and admired, and even being lusted after can offer a nice warm glow now and then. I've been a bodyguard for lady friends on more than one All Hallows Eve. Granted, nowadays an attacker might die laughing, but at 6'2" and almost 250 lbs I was nothing to laugh at back when, and it was fun. And that's all the holiday is about, crass commercialism aside. And why not set it aside? A sense of fun, old wardrobe and some imagination is all you need, really. And some like-minded friends. Home made candy for the little ones of friends who know they can trust you, and a party for grownups later on.

I think it was Tom Robbins who wrote, "Erleichda."

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