Something Slutty This Way Comes… Seriously?

Ok, I admit it; I’m getting old. I find myself lost in the crazy world of progress. Some days lately, I sound like an old lady even to myself! Look at all those naked butts! These black leggings have got to go!  Or, take your hat off when you’re inside, or at the table. Or, What the hell is going on with Halloween costumes for girls? Seriously people, why are so many costumes variations of slutty, skanky images for girls, while boys get to be action heroes, goblins, ghouls, knights, pirates, and the like. The girls can be these things too:  if they’re willing to saunter about in super short, breast push-up, pedophile attracting counterparts. So call me an old lady; go ahead and do it in the comments section; but I find it disgusting!

Draculaura, size 4-6

Draculaura, size 4-6

photo    photo

We wanted to be rolly polly bees; cute bees...

We wanted to be rolly polly bees; cute bees…

While my neighbors and I carve pumpkins and put up fake cobwebs, as we get our houses ready for a night of doorbell ringing and kids in costumes, asking for candy, there are girls out there trying to figure out how to dress for the night, or for a party, when their options have become so utterly limited. When I was in high school and college, we liked to figure out creative, clever costumes… and sure, we wanted to look good. But looking good didn’t really involve pure sexuality. I was a Q-tip my junior year of high school (somewhere, there’s a photo of this, but not in my possession)– took me forever to make my cottony cone tip head and fluffy leg warmer tips. Ok, so maybe a few people thought I was a tampon, but not a sexy one. My friends were cowgirls, fairies, scary kids (from the Children of the Corn); we were cute,  we were funny, we were clever or scary; we were not sluts.

photoSo apparently I’m officially out of touch.  A week ago, I wandered into our annual Super Halloween store– you know, the ones that pop up in an empty space, each year and make Halloween their entire focus. Very quickly it was clear that unless I wanted to dress as a slutty variation of any of the usual suspects, I was shit out of luck, where costumes are concerned. However, it was when I wandered over to the kids only costume section that my old lady guts found themselves all bound up. When oh when did it become for ok for little girls, size 4-6 to dress as “Midnight Mischief?” Do these girls even know what kind of mischief there is at midnight?

Isn’t it bad enough that young girls are being date raped, party raped, and cyber bullied, photopushed and influenced to dress provocatively on virtually every level, without getting to dress up as “Fallen Angels,” at twelve? What kind of parents allow their young daughters to model for these costumes? Yep, there I go again, being an old lady. ‘Cause in my day, we got to be ghosts (entirely non-clingy sheets in place), witches (the non-sexy ones, that were just scary and ugly), gypsies (with colorful, silky scarves)… we were not sexy. We were little girls, playing pretend. We did not pretend that our barely formed breasts were there to get better Treats.

Image: Huffington Post

Image: Huffington Post

In the most appalling, most disgusting example of a costume, a company actually thought this was somehow ok. Maybe they market inappropriate costumes, but someone out there came up with this costume and crossed a line, because on some disturbing level, they thought it was ok. Don’t bother writing in to tell me it’s a joke. It’s not. I have a dark sense of humor; I get that stupid can be funny. But, people this is not funny, it’s just plain wrong. Let me be clear: on every level. Having worked as a social worker on an Eating Disorders Unit for two years, trust me: there is nothing, nothing funny about young women starving themselves.

sc086298a7So, I’m out of touch; I’m clueless. In my mind, Halloween is a time for Tricks and Treats. My kids went as Mummies, Heroes and Heroines, Hippies and other age appropriate costumes. There was no sexy in those costumes, and I made sure my girl could be just as clever, strong, or epic as my boys (Here, she’s Queen Amidala, from Star Wars). Today, I look around and I’m shocked to the left, shocked to the right. I’m left scratching my head and asking when did little girls and women become the utterly inappropriate treats of the night, or the butt of sick jokes? Why on earth do boys still get to save the world while girls get to shock the world. Or, am I the only one shocked? Go ahead; call me old.

Pulled this together with things at home... Cleopatra, no skank.

Pulled this together with things at home… Cleopatra, no skank.

It’s a boy and man’s world, even on Halloween:

photo photo photo

Leave me a comment; share your thoughts. Is this a trick or am I missing the treat?

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Aging, Awareness, Blog, Blogging, Daily Observations, Holidays, Honest observations on many things, Humor, Life, Musings, My world, Parenting, Sexuality, Teenagers, Women, Women's issues, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Something Slutty This Way Comes… Seriously?

  1. Mike Lince says:

    I’m with you. The moms in my extended family would never let a daughter of theirs dress up to look slutty. My 5 year old niece is a ladybug this year. She is SO cute! – Mike


  2. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I so agree, Dawn! In the area of women’s rights and powerful females, we seem to be going backwards!


    • I worry that young women, girls, have no idea about making a stand and not accepting these sexualized images of themselves. Do they realize it only continues down the road? Very disturbing… but, hard to know, if we’re both just old? 😉


  3. Hate to admit that with the kids gone, I’m so over Halloween. But did get a basket of candy together for the little visitors. Happy Halloween- you make a gorgeous Cleopatra.


  4. Pam says:

    Word. So very glad my girls are all grown up and I don’t have to “do” Halloween anymore. But you are correct–the current state of costumes is appalling and wrong. Feminism? Never heard of it. Sad.


  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    You are not alone. I hear you. This type of thing drives me crazy. It’s gotten to the point where I’m embarrassed to walk down the costume aisles with my son. It seems every step we take toward strengthening our daughters (and I’m speaking generally since I don’t have one), we take two steps back.

    I don’t dress up much, but if I do, I go as a zombie. It’s always easy. Old clothes torn and shredded rubbed in dirt and some deathly makeup. Oh, and spiky, smooshed hair. 🙂


  6. kjlangton says:

    Agreed, Dawn…this focus on sexualizing our girls is awful…society and media send out neverending messages, but parents have the option and the DUTY to draw the line and open more doors for our strong young women.


    • ABSOLUTELY! I mean it, where were the parents who allowed these young girls to pose in those costumes. Who lets their girls go out like that? What are they setting their girls up for? Hard to feel like a strong, intelligent girl/woman when you’re dressed like a naught nurse/witch /cat/pizza slice (really!)/ princess…. Ugh! Thanks for taking the time, K. Much appreciated! xo


  7. Psychobabble says:

    Sex and sexuality is thrust upon girls (both boys and girls, but especially girls) at younger and younger ages these days, and it’s disgusting.
    But I’m clearly preaching to the choir – I was Queen Amidala in high school and my mom was a Q-tip once, too! We’re cut from the same cloth.


  8. Kourtney Heintz says:

    I think it’s a reflection of the idea that a girl’s only value is in her attractiveness. Our society seems to overvalue the external when it comes to females. It’s sad. And I hope young girls realize their minds and their souls are just as important as their bodies.


  9. Jane says:

    Ok, ok, I think it is disgusting that women are seen as only sex objects too, but your article just slut-shames women. There is something wrong with being forced to wear a sexy outfit, but there is NOTHING wrong with a women wearing one if she chooses. You use the word “skank” and “slut” like its derogatory. Since when did dressing up in a traditionally male costume become the only way a women can be strong? Some of the strongest, fiercest women I know do sex work, and good for them. You’re coming from this 2nd-wave feminism that is all about women having jobs and wearing pants, ok, but what about women who want to be on control of their own bodies in whatever way SHE chooses? And they can include dressing up slutty if she wants! There’s nothing wrong with women being sluts, what there IS something wrong with is, is believing as you put it, “Who lets their girls go out like that? What are they setting their girls up for?” Are you trying to say it is a girl’s FAULT if she gets raped or harrassed for going out dressing “like a skank?” Cause it sure as hell isn’t, no matter how she dresses.


    • These are all excellent points, and very powerful things to consider. I should have been more careful, but my position pertains more to young girls who seem to have more and more limitations placed on their options. I don’t know you personally, so I’m not sure if you have kids… have been shopping recently, etc. but to me, it is shocking to see the highly sexualized costumes that are available to very young girls. In no way do I think women have to wear “traditionally male costumes” to be strong. My point was that there are few strong female costumes, in stores. They are almost all sexualized. I feel demoralized when shopping in adult sizes as well, that the there is a knight costume for my husband, and a very small, bustier top counterpart for me. No, I do not think that all strong women wear pants or have certain kinds of jobs. I have long believed that prostitution should be legalized and that the women doing sex work are not treated fairly. I ABSOLUTELY do NOT think that if a girl is dressed in a “slutty” way, it is her fault if she is raped. I do believe that there is an overwhelming (male) influence in fashion, advertising, social media, etc that paints women as sex objects only. The woman who wants that image, who chooses that costume is entitled to make that choice and not be judged, but when girls are made to feel that this is their main and sometimes only option, it really bothers me.

      Just as I don’t know you, you don’t know me. You don’t know what “wave” I’m coming from, just what I wrote here… and perhaps did not entirely cover all the bases of. I believe women should always be in charge of how they use their bodies, when that choice is free from outside pressure or manipulation. I believe women who wear pants and work jobs can be fierce and strong, just as I believe sex workers, stay at home mothers, and all points in between can be equally fierce and strong. I do not define a woman by what she wears or the job she has, but I do resent the push in one direction. Finally, I think the Ana Rexia costume is disgusting, plain and simple.


    • I should also add, Jane, I’m really glad you took the time to read this post and share your thoughts, honestly. I appreciate the time you took to say what you said, and tell me how you feel. Sincerely.


  10. lesleycarter says:

    As a somewhat new parent, this is something that worries me to no end and was part of the reason for moving to North Carolina. I’d love for Athena to grow up with enough respect to know that this is not appropriate. I don’t think it has anything to do with being old 😉


    • Thanks Lesley; I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my post. I hate to say it, but I’m not sure that where you live is a safeguard. Personally, I have family in N. Carolina, who have found the same costumes out there… sometimes it’s just what you notice. That said, Athena was an adorable little witch this year and as long as you are involved in the dialogue with her, it hopefully will never be an issue you have to worry about my wish for you. ;-0


  11. msharmila2013 says:

    Sex sells and if there is no broader cultural opposition to selling things with sex then we default to ubiquitous sex.

    Someone earlier said “no-one should be forced to dress provocatively but there is nothing wrong with choosing to” as if there was such a thing as choice divorced from social context. If it is ok, people will try and sell you sexy, and if everyone is saying “it’s ok to buy the sexy” and prancing around getting attention and admiration for doing so, 9 times out of 10, you’re going to join in.

    And thence cometh modern “culture”.


    • Very strong, well stated points msharmila. Sex does sell, and it sells to a younger and younger (and I would argue, more vulnerable) audience, all the time. That, was more the point I was making… but I still feel that too many women feel a social pressure to play the sexy game, as well. A complex and multi-leveled issue for sure… as the comments have proven!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post on TFTM, and sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated!


  12. Yara Damaj says:

    Oh my GOD! This is so disgusting!!! Sometimes I reconsider my passion for bringing up kids and having a family! What kind of World do we live in??? I love what you wrote! And I totally agreee!

    PS. Kudos on your outfits! Super well thought about :)))))))


  13. pattisj says:

    The sign of a sick society, I’m afraid. Things aren’t like they used to be, and I certainly wouldn’t want to see my granddaughters sporting any of these!


  14. Do those girls ever think about the image they’re selling? We are ALL selling an image!


    • We’re all selling an image, and no doubt not everyone likes me image, either. It’s a touchy subject (read the long comment above), and I guess we all see it in our own way. Some images, no doubt, sell for mother, than others. 😉 Thanks for taking the time!


  15. Yeh, I’m not ok with this either. My friend’s 5 year old daughter said something was “sexy” the other day and I felt really uncomfortable. I’ve also heard her singing along to that Gangnam song. It was horrible.


    • It’s really hard when music, media, everything (it seems) is pushed to sexual. Kids are singing along to Blurred Lines sure, fun rhythm and music, but the words are all about rough sex with a “good girl.” Little kids pick it up and sing along too… and they can tell you the lyrics, but they don’t understand what they’re saying. It’s really disturbing, and yes, very uncomfortable that a 5 year old uses the word “sexy!” Thanks for taking the time to read and comment; much appreciated!


  16. Reblogged this on Tales from the Motherland and commented:

    It’s that time of year again… thought I’d pull this out of the vault, as I sit waiting for me… 1… Trick-or-Treater. Happy Halloween y’all!


  17. subroto says:

    I totally agree. I hate this hyper-sexualisation of our children and the lack of opposition to the big businesses that are profiting from it.


    • It seems we’ve become lambs in so many things these days, totally ignorant to what is the slaughter. We accept so many once unthinkable things, simply shrugging and saying “what can we do?” I may not have the answers, but it keeps me up nights wondering. Thanks for your thoughts, Subroto.


  18. You make valid points in your post. As someone who lives outside the States, I must admit I was shocked when I first saw Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s beyond my ability to comprehend how that is even legal. Jane made a valid point about women being whatever they want and dressing whatever they want without being judged. But I think she missed the point you were trying to make. We are talking about children here.
    These days there is an immense pressure on kids to step into the world of grownups too soon. We force all the technology on them, proud to say how our four-year old kid handles smartphones and tablets better than we do, we put them in front of the TV set and PCs, bringing the media dominated world ever closer. And the playgrounds are empty.
    To put those “sexy” girls outfits for sale is elementary wrong. Children are not to be sexual objects in any context. Period. I don’t understand when things went so wrong in the world. As an observer I am baffled by contradictory standards, especially in US. I remember few years ago I read an article where a magazine had to replace its cover photo of a mother breastfeeding, because they got an overwhelming number of letters, complaining it is not only inappropriate, but shocking to see a woman’s brest on a front page of a magazine. Seriously?
    I am saddened by all the attacks feminists get these days, both from men and women. To perceive feminists as these pants-wearing career-obsessed male haters is insulting. “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.” Equal rights and opportunities. That’s all.
    Stay-at-home parents, lawyers, teachers, factory workers, gardeners, strippers, doctors, astronauts, truck drivers, cooks, cleaning personnel, soldiers, engineers, prostitutes, police officers, writers, homeless people – they are people, men and women. The society with all its elements need to reach out to them equally. To respect the choice, to offer the help and protection , to provide basic rights. But most of all – not to judge. Once we learn that lesson, we’ll make one of the biggest leaps in our evolution.
    But for now, it would be great to see at least a little bit of diversity in kids Halloween costume department. Girls can be Elsa from Frozen and a Starship Trooper. Fiona from Shrek and the Scarecrow. They can be both Beauty and the Beast. Ogres and Queens. Banana and a cabbage. Ladybug and a Spider. Astronaut and the doctor. Same goes for boys, I didn’t mean to leave them out. Harry Potters, mice, bugs, Pikachues, carrots, wizards, sailors and million other characters.
    Just let them be what they are – children.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. susanissima says:

    Yep, the situation can be a horrific if parents don’t support a healthy approach to costuming. Last night, though, we saw mostly princesses in capes, ghosts, pirates, football players…Harry Potter was ubiquitous. Parents walked around with their kids, even middle school kids, and the celebrating felt safe. We handed out packages of nuts and baked organic treats without sugar and, surprisingly, many kids and all the parents thanked us. I think there’s still good, clean fun at the heart of Halloween and its our job to provide good models for it. Thanks for writing about this issue, Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve said it before, it’s ALL about the parents… particularly in this situation. Kid don’t wear these things if they aren’t allowed out. There will always be kids who sneak off and change into something else, but if we step up and discuss this choices, and let them know what the selections might suggest, I think there would be a lot less sexualization of kids. Nice to hear that you saw such a positive side of Halloween this year. Sadly, I saw something very different as we went out to dinner. It was all I could do to not stop my car and say: “what are you guys doing?!… and… Put some clothes on!”



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