Traditional little girl Halloween costumes have gone from “adorable kid” territory to completely age inappropriate! Kids’ costumes now sport thigh-high stockings, bare midriffs and miniskirts. So what’s going on?It’s one thing for a grown woman to use Halloween as an excuse to look provocative – but now 6 and 7-year-olds are featured in catalogs wearing child-sized versions of skimpy adult costumes. It’s getting harder for a parent to find something that doesn’t make their daughter a sex object.
Just ask Joe Kelly – the founder of the advocacy group Dads and Daughters – who says it’s a disturbing trend. He says we shouldn’t be shocked, because it’s been coming on for a while now. Young girls are being sexualized at earlier ages than ever before, with make-up, push-up bras and thong underwear being sold to 6-year-olds.
And that’s a big problem. The American Psychological Association has linked oversexualization with three of the most common mental health problems in adult women and girls: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression.
So what can a parent do when their 10-year-old wants a sexy Cat Woman costume? Ask her, "What do you like about that costume?" She may say, "Amber and Britney are wearing something like that and I want to too." And then you say, “My concern is that that looks like a costume for an older person. Let’s find a costume where you feel OK and I feel OK. How about this one?” And come up with a compromise.
If you need some ideas – try TakeBackHalloween.org, which offers costume ideas that are more about creativity than sexuality.