Something Slutty This Way Comes: Halloween For Girls

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, inaproppriate 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. There was very little focus on sexy, in our minds.

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 sexually molested, date raped, party raped, cyber bullied, photopushed and influenced to dress provocatively on virtually every level, without getting to dress up as “Fallen Angels,” at twelve? And 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; our parents forbid it. There were boundaries that weren’t crossed, and we were young 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 and even dark 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

Is this a trick or am I missing the treat?

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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.
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29 Responses to Something Slutty This Way Comes: Halloween For Girls

  1. Agreed! And it’s cold in New England. Although my daughter may be going as Hugh Hefner because as she said, “I’ll be coming from play practice and I will be made up grey and wrinkly all ready”. Fortunately, there is lots of comedy centered on the sexism of Halloween, so maybe things will be saner in the future.


  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    I think I’ve read something like this before that you posted. And I agree–this whole focus on sexy costumes for women drives me crazy. And to see it extend to younger ages? Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that you know my writing, Carrie. Yes, I’ve done this one before. I did some editing and put it back up, but honestly feel like there’s an even bigger piece to be done…. so many lines crossed on Halloween these days! Thanks for reading it again. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. jgroeber says:

    In college I went as Slutty. Which was way less risque than one would think (I wore cut off shorts and cowboy boots with an entirely covered bosom) because my roommates went as Wedgy, Crunchy, Hippy, Catty (plus two other I can’t remember) and a guy friend of ours went as Snow Weed (his last name is actually Weed.) Ha! But I agree. I made a series of woodcuts of my kids the year they all went as fluffy critters (a rabbit, a lion, a dog and a puffy dinosaur) and called them Second Skin. Because I knew there would come a day when they would feel pressured to shed thei skin to pretend to be something more violent or otherwise nefarious. (This year: a minion, Where’s Waldo?, Elsa and a cool vampire (entirely covered and not at all scary.) Yay!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • With such a creative mama, I have no doubt that your kids have lots of interesting options! As for what we each did or would do, as adults: entirely different issue. Thanks for stopping by, Jen; I always appreciate your feedback. xox


  4. Yup. Shared this on FB and tagged you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Lince says:

    You are right, I think, … I mean about girls’ costumes being more sexual-sensational. Not so much the ‘old lady’ part, although I get the connection to how things have changed since we were much younger. And that is unfortunate, because there are enough forces at work in our society to push kids into growing up too fast as it is. And Halloween is maybe the best kids’ holiday ever. I mean, free candy! How cool is that! And unlike Christmas, you don’t need to be forced to wait two or more weeks to get gifts.

    So I will be old-fashioned right along with you. Let the kids have their fun, and let’s not ruin their best holiday of the year, especially when it comes on a weekend and they have an extra day to sleep off the sugar high. – Mike

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post. We can’t fight for women’s rights on one hand and then seem to enjoy this type of portrayal on the other. I’ve become rather Scrouge -like with this holiday– too much vandalism to have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good on you, Dawn! It needs to be said and hopefully heard by the parents of the little girls who want to dress as midnight mischief. Unfortunately, Halloween isn’t the only place sexualisation of young girls is evident.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The costume see if you still Street this post of the type that you would find in sex shops in Australia. They are the sorts of things that women who like sexy dress ups for themselves and their husbands buy. It is sex fantasy gear for use in the privacy of their bedrooms not children’s party costumes. I agree that the sexualisation of children is disgusting. what amazes me, is how many mothers go along with it ,and buy and dress the girls in these things!


  9. Sorry . First sentence makes no sense. Am using a dictation app and forgot to check it. What I wanted to say is that the costumes you used to illustrate this post are the type you would find in sex shops here in Australia. I think the rest makes sense!


  10. The sad thing is, Dawn, “someone” out there is encouraging this by buying those inappropriate costumes. They must think it’s cute. More education is needed somewhere. Parents need to band together and complain about the sellers of those costumes. They need to sign a petition or use some other means of complaint. They need to complain to the owners of the property where those overnight shops are setting up. Pressure has to be brought. Neither of my kids went as anything inappropriate. My son’s stepdaughter went as a character from Lord of the Rings one year and as Dr. Who another. There are many alternatives to costumes that are sick.(that’s the best way I feel they can be described.)


    • These are all such great points, Suzanne. These stores are all over the place, not just where I live, and clearly they are profitable. Halloween stores make more in 1 month than many stores make in a year! Thanks for your input.


  11. Dave says:

    Symbolic discarding of repression. It’s the one night a year when women and girls are allowed to dress “slutty.” Without committing social suicide.

    And surprisingly many of them choose to. It seems like Hester Prynne enjoys wearing her letter, one day a year.


    • A reasonable point, Dave, but I really don’t think that “girls” understand the complexity of the issue. I’m not sure how many women think of it as a “symbolic discarding of repression,” but I agree, women have the right to dress however they like 365. Encouraging young girls to dress like this, I believe, is wrong. My guess: most of the females wearing some of these costumes, have no idea who Hester Prynne is… I really appreciate you taking the time to add your thoughtful ideas to the conversation. Thanks for stopping by!


      • Dave says:

        “Girls” shouldn’t be buying costumes without parental consent, yes? Are these costumes advertised on websites that “girls” frequent? Should they be browsing without parental guidance?

        Non-issue. But it sure looks controversial… to anyone who doesn’t ask “who’s credit card is buying the costume?”

        Parents need to parent? Why sure they do, as usual.


  12. Pam says:

    I was a tampon once for Halloween. Best costume ever. And sadly, no pictures survive. I get this–I hate that women and girls have only sexy costume options. I would challenge Dave above that many choose to wear sexy/sexualized costumes because THAT’S ALL THAT IS AVAILABLE. And some of us don’t have time to get creative with what’s available around the house (funny, I have no Cleopatra clothing options in my closet).

    On point as usual, Dawn. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pam. Hilarious… I was a Q-Tip, mistaken for a tampon and you had the verve to just do it! I agree, limited options and options designed by men. It’s wrong on so many counts. I appreciate you joining the conversation, Pam.


    • Dave says:

      Google: walmart, costumes for girls (or pick your favorite retailer). Damned few of them are even vaguely ‘sexualized’ (as opposed to “ALL THAT IS AVAILABLE”).

      The issue here appears to be shopping venue selection.


  13. Things have changed Dawn, that’s for sure. When I think back to all the best costumes I’ve seen, the ones that float to the top are clever not racy. ~James

    Liked by 1 person


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