Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kids Ask: Does my Hussy Costume Make my Butt Look Big?

According to the Eating Disorder Information Network, "20-30% of normal weight 4th graders think they are fat." Since fourth grade is not a normal age for kids to be worried about maintaining alluring figures, we as a society must be doing something wrong that exposes these youngsters to unrealistic body expectations at such a tender age. What message could we possibly be sending that would encourage kids to think of their bodies as sexy showpieces? What could we do stop this destructive trend?

Well, to start with, we could not dress our elementary-aged daughters in costumes like these for Halloween:

The Mo' Midriff Little Pop Star Costume:

The "Drama Queen Major Flirt Girls Costume" (Their real marketing title):

The Cheer Leading Vamp Costume:

I mean, really. There was a time when Halloween was not a holiday for sexist stereotype indoctrination, but a night when all kids could dress up as brain-eating un-dead goblins from Mars. Where have the good old days gone?

Instead of passing our young girls the fish nets and knee-highs this year, maybe we could have the kids research Amelia Earhart and dress up as aviators. Or perhaps we could have a few Marie Curie kids running around in lab coats. Or Queen Elizabeth kids, even. At least let them dress in the firemen and doctor costumes, for Pete's sake.

UPDATE: Jezebel noticed this too, and points out the ironies of parent-provided stripper costumes with their usual eloquence. They have also posted the worst example of stripper costumes for kiddies. Also, Strollerderby breaks the issue down for us with these words:
It's nothing new, but it still irks me to no end that from a very young age boys are given role models who use their minds and bodies to do something useful, something productive, while girls are taught to leave their minds at home and use their bodies to attract attention. Even while wearing masks.
Yeah, it sorta irks us too.

UPDATE II: In response to popular demand, we've posted some of our ideas for kiddie Halloween costumes here.


Mächtige Maus said...

I think the "Drama Queen Major Flirt Girls Costume" would have been more appropriately marketed as the "Dominatrix". At least that would have had a mildly empowering aspect to it.

La Pobre Habladora said...

I just can't believe that parents buy this stuff for kids. Can you imagine reading the name of the costume to your daughter? "Hey, honey. You look great as a Drama Queen Flirt Girl!"

This is by far the best bargain on the site, however, since you get two negative stereotypes to shove on your kid for the price of one.

Laura said...

Well, as my sister once said, bearded women are traditionally beautiful and sexy, so it's all how you work it.

Casmall said...

Does that first one have fake boobs? good lord.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Yeah, bearded women are the hottest. And these young girls are just about as likely to grow up to have bearded chins as they are to look like a super model or pop star, so I say it is time for a Beardy Barbie.

And yes, that first kid has apparently shoved fruit down her blouse. Or perhaps fake boobies comes with the costume. Pretty disturbing ad.

Cheysu said...

My sister's 7 year old picked out the Major Flirt costume. My sister thought it was funny. I remember seeing that costume while out shopping with my kids, and promptly told them that I would rather be caught dead then have them wear anything like that.
My 6 year old is navigating away from a full princess costume and going for a witch this year. A normal witch.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Yeah, last year one of my nieces went in an outfit similar to the first one posted here, minus the fake boobs (fortunately), but with a lot more make-up. I think I actually said "Good Lord!" when I saw her. She told me that she was a 'next top model.' She was 5. Her sister was a "zombie southern belle," though, which I thought was hilarious. That way she got the pretty dress AND the "scary" at the same time. She was 7. I have no idea what they've decided on this year.